Saturday, August 07, 2010

Guilt by association

I couldn't go right to sleep the other night, and wound up turning on the television a little after 2 a.m. Trust me on this, there is very little on television at that hour unless you like informericals.

So in looking for something to put me to sleep, I tuned in during the Glenn Beck show on Fox News. The few times I've watched him in the past, I've become quickly bored with his chalkboard and rhetoric and moved on. But without much choice, I hung around for a couple of minutes.

What I saw was interesting, in a bizarre sort of way. Beck was talking about some guy from 100 years ago who advocated eugenics -- "thinning the herd" when it came to the human species. I forget the name of the scientist -- it was late -- but the basic idea was to essentially get rid of the weak links. We'd be better off to stick to the strong and smart and weed out the others, he argued.

The scientist in question wrote then ex-President Teddy Roosevelt in 1912, who wrote back a letter of support for the idea. Teddy wasn't alone in his support; the idea was actually backed by people ranging from Woodrow Wilson to Margaret Sanger.

From there, Beck pointed out that one of the most admired people by the progressives of today -- including someone like Hillary Clinton -- is Teddy Roosevelt. The implication, of course, is that Clinton wants to follow Teddy's example in everything, including this.

So if I'm listening correctly, if I admire most of Roosevelt's actions and beliefs -- particularly for the time when he was arrive -- I have to go along with every single one of them. If I think Thomas Jefferson was one of the intellectual lights of the American Revolution, then I have to be in favor of slavery.

That's rather intellectually dishonest. Remind me why five million people watch that level of thinking every night.

Me, I hit the off button and went to bed.

1 comment:

Glenn Locke, The Tall Thin Guy said...

But Teddy was a Republican who they will proudly claim when it suits them, so all Republicans believe in Eugenics too. And so does anyone who has visited Mount Rushmore. Or, I guess, visited a National Park. Wow. I didn't realize I believed in Eugenics, but I guess I do. I guess I'll have to kill off my 85 year old parents now!