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
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