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Letter - Shame on senators who didn't vote for disability treaty

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On Dec. 4 the United States Senate had the opportunity to endorse fair and humane treatment for people with disabilities around the world by ratifying the convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Each Democrat, Independent and eight Republican Senators expressed American leadership throughout the world by voting to ratify this treaty. Thirty-eight senators, all Republican however, would not let the United States of America stand tall in our support for and fair treatment of people with disabilities. Consequently the treaty was not ratified. One Republican Senator did not vote.

To the 38 dissenting senators I say "Shame on you." Cuba, Syria, Iran, China, Russia and other countries are now all ahead of us in this matter. You isolationist zealots, so afraid of the United Nations. How do you ever, ever, propose that the United States take a multi-national leadership role in anything on the world stage if you can't even ratify a treaty as benign as this one?

I live in Minnesota, both my senators support fair and decent treatment of people with disabilities throughout the world. Senators in each surrounding state; yes North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin, you have senators who for ideological reasons will not lead in matters of human dignity. In eleven states, 22 percent of America, both senators rejected this chance to lead. Is it any wonder that Americans hold Congress with such contempt?

-- Lowell Deede, Detroit Lakes

(Editors note: This letter was accidentally cut off in last Wednesday's Detroit Lakes Tribune. We have reprinted the letter in its entirety.)

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