New Hampshire’s eugenics legislator resigns

Strom Thurmond celebrated his 100th birthday as a serving senator from the state of South Carolina. But it’s not necessarily a great idea to keep soldiering on as a legislator until you drop off the twig, as 91-year-old Martin Harty, a state representative from New Hampshire has learned, rather painfully.

Mr Harty was forced to resign after he disclosed his surprising views on eugenics to a constituent who runs a community mental health program.

According to the Concord Monitor, Mr Harty told Sharon Omand that "the world is too populated" and there are "too many defective people". This included "the mentally ill, the retarded, people with physical disabilities and drug addictions - the defective people society would be better off without." Nature has a way of "getting rid of stupid people," and "now we're saving everyone who gets born," he said.

Mr Harty threw caution to the winds after Ms Omand protested about cuts to mental health services. "I wish we had a Siberia so we could ship them all off to freeze to death and die and clean up the population," he allegedly said.

Although Mr Harty remarks were inflammatory, some of the blame has to be shouldered by voters. Unlike Strom Thurmond, who was first elected at the age of 32, and had years to learn how to be both circumloquacious and circumspect, Mr Harty was elected by the people of New Hampshire at the age of 91. ~ Concord Monitor, March 11

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