Blogger.com where I maintain this blog gives me access to a range of statistics on viewers of my blog. One is "audience", where the hits are coming from. What Blogger gives me is a rolling seven-day number. Blogger.com can tell me how many times I have had a viewer from a particular country in a seven day period. It gives me the hits for the top ten countries. I look at this statistic occasionally, because I assume most hits come from the U.S. and perhaps other English speaking countries. Well, something caught my eye this morning. Number 2, with 35 hits, was Ukraine.
That was a total surprise. Ukraine is not an English speaking country and most Ukrainians must have other things on their minds right now. So why was it that I got 35 hits from Ukraine? The only answer I could come up with is that the U.S. represents a beacon of hope to people who witness the peace they had or yearn for slip away.
Opponents of Senate ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) say we don't need ratification. They are entitled to their opinion. However, what they fail to appreciate is what ratification of the CRPD would mean to so many Americans and others, like those 35 Ukrainians -- the U.S. is willing to join with 145 other countries and stand clearly for liberty, freedom, and human rights for all people. Ukraine ratified the CRPD April 2, 2010.
What we do or don't do affects the hopes and aspirations of people in far away places. Our laws are strong. Our system of government is solid and works. Senate ratification of the CRPD would not undo our laws or weaken our system of government. But such an act would strengthen, perhaps restore, what others think about us and the potential change for the better in their own circumstances.
The Senate has a choice -- ratify the CRPD and relight the candle of hope in Ukraine and elsewhere or not ratify the CRPD and darken the planet. I hope they make the right choice, and soon.