In the past 100 years there were many attempts at creating an ideal class in America. A few believed the best way to do this was to get rid of the rich (tax them and redistribute their wealth) and get rid of the underclass by allowing them to slowly die out. And, yes, this did happen in America.
Believe it or not, there were laws in 27 states in 1945 that made eugenics legal. This was actually an attempt by a society -- a movement if you may -- to create an ideal society. We learn in history class this was a movement that sweft through Europe with Hitler and Moussolini, yet we don't hear much about the American ideal class movement.
Eugenics was practiced on the mentally retarded, uneducated, malnourished, underclass, and even criminals. It was an attempt to rid society of these "undesired" class. I do not like the word "undesired," here, as you guys know I fully believe in the sanctity of life (with common sense), yet the word "undesired" was a word used to describe the underprivileged classes by famous writers back in the top half of the 20th century, including Orson Wells.
However, what Hitler did made Americans aware of what was wrong with eugenics. It was, as they say, inhumane.
There were also a few back in the first half of the 20th century who wrote about, or discussed, getting rid of older people who were a burden on society. You know who they're talking about, as your grandmother may be among this class in a nursing home somewhere.
Some argued that these folks are a drag on society, and cost way to much to keep alive. They, in essence, are responsible for the rising health care costs (however they would be wrong because the elderly are not the reason health care costs are so high -- it's government intervention. Yet that's something I've already written about).
Obviously, and thankfully, this group of progressives didn't succeed. However, there was actually discussion about this recently as Obama's Health care reform was working it's way through the legislature. There was discussion of meetings to decide whether the government should pay for certain people who are a burden on society. The exact name here slips my mind, yet I know this was discussed.
Whether this made the final bill I'm not sure we really know yet. Some say it's in there, and some say it's not. With a bill 2,000 pages long, it's easy to understand the confusion.
However, I think most of us (liberals, progressives, conservatives, libertarians, etc.) as Americans would agree we need to take care of our elderly, and love them, and appreciate their lives, as opposed to disrespecting the sanctity of life. Yet at the same time a little common sense is in order (like DNR orders).
Now you might not think of it this way, but another method to purify society and create an ideal class is through contraception and abortion. I never thought about it this way until I read about it in a book recently.
Back in the early 20th century there were women and men who championed birth control in underprivileged communities in order to get these folks to stop having children. The same actually occurs with abortion, as over 75% of planned parenthood offices are located around impoverished inner city areas. Coincidence?
As Americans we all need to condemn efforts to diminish the sanctity of life. However, to keep someone who is brain dead, or terminally ill, alive on a ventilator for extended periods of time seems to be something that shouldn't be done either. It's kind of a where-do-you-draw-the-line type of thing.
Word of the day:
Baleful: Harmful, ominous, malignant, or evil, perfidious, malefic;full of menacing or malign influences; pernicious
Round he threw his baleful eyes followed by his huge fists. Three nurses were quickly on the ground. The safety of the rest of the staff remained in question.