The expansion of the GOP’s “Big Tent” to include ideas that social convervatives find distasteful is inevitable in today’s political climate. But I never would have suspected that Republican politicians would feel comfortable enough to champion themes and techniques that are associated with eugenics.
For example, South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer thinks that giving poor people food will cause them to breed like rabbits:
My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals,” Bauer told a Greenville-area crowd. “You know why? Because they breed. “You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.
Although he says he could have chosen his words more carefully when he compared people who take public assistance to stray animals, Bauer refused to apologize for the remark. But at least Bauer only wants to keep the poor from breeding. Bill Binnie, a Republican Senate candidate in New Hampshire, is willing to take a more direct approach by euthanizing the Lebensunwerten Lebens :
We had a child. We had a pregnancy, my wife and I. I dont tell this story publicly as a rule. Ill tell it now. Its a small group. Im pro-choice because we had a positive amniocentesis test. We were going to have a special needs child, said Binnie when asked by an audience member about social issues. One of the things that happens when you realize youre going to have a special needs child is they sit you down and you learn [how] it impacts the other children in your family, Binnie continued. Whos going to take care of that child? Now in my wifes case, in my case, we could afford it and I though about it and we had that child, he concluded. It made me come to that other intersection of what matters. Im pro-choice. Binnie also explains in the video that the test result was a false positive and that his child was born healthy.
Binnie’s admission shouldnt be all that shocking when you consider that ninety-two percent of women choose to terminate a pregnancy following prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome. Yet is is still disconcerting to hear Republican politicians in the twenty-first century openly embrace and promote the cultural acceptance of eugenics.