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American Thinker
American Thinker
22 Jul 2023
Jeffrey Folks


NextImg:Kamala Harris's Population Bomb

Kamala Harris recently came out with another shocking statement, and one that made it clear just where progressives stand on euthanasia, the right to life, and related issues.  On July 14, speaking at Coppin State University in Baltimore, Harris said that "when we invest in clean energy and electric vehicles and reduce population, more of our children can breathe clean air and drink clean water."  The White House labeled Harris' statement a slip of the tongue, hours after Harris showed no indication of its being so.  Based on her own lack of awareness, we can infer that she meant what she said.

The obvious question is how to achieve a lower population, if that is one's goal.  The left has long supported universal availability of contraception and abortion, including late-term abortion, funded at government or employer expense.  Along with that, tax codes penalize married couples.  And there is no place for nuclear families in liberal media, even as liberals do everything possible to champion transgenders and gays.

Beyond what might be called elective procedures, there are other possibilities.  In the past, progressives supported forced sterilization, which was once legal in 32 states.  And euthanasia, even of those who may not be capable of making a rational decision, is another procedure promoted by the left.  Currently, right-to-die laws exist in nine states and Washington, D.C.  All of these are liberal jurisdictions: California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico, Maine, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Washington State.  Liberals support euthanasia to the point of legalizing it for a wide range of conditions.  Most conservatives have reservations.

When Biden was vice president, he and Obama floated a policy of restricted care for senior citizens that would have amounted to euthanasia on a mass scale.  Under Obama-Biden, Medicare and Medicaid would have withheld funding for some late-stage diseases, limiting treatment to palliative care only.  As Obama's CMS director Donald Berwick told Congress in 2011, "[t]he decision is not whether or not we will ration care ... the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open."  The policy of restricting late-stage care to palliative treatment would have "lowered population" in a hurry, as thousands of elderly patients would have died before their time. 

It's important to note that Harris linked reduced population to other green "investments."  The idea that abortion, euthanasia, and sterilization are "investments" is the product of a perverse and warped way of thinking.  I don't believe that forcing Americans to spend tax revenues to murder children or eliminate senior citizens can be considered an "investment," as those on the left seem to do.  I consider it criminal behavior.

It's a lot like the behavior described in Burkhard Bilder's recent memoir of his grandfather's life in Nazi Germany.  Bilder's grandfather was a minor Nazi functionary who was imprisoned for one year after World War II as punishment for his wartime activities in a village in Alsace.  The grandfather was not an ardent supporter of fascism; in fact, he shielded one of his pupils who was mentally challenged and who normally would have been gassed immediately.

As Bilder recounts in his latest book, Fatherland (2023), the Nazis euthanized "nearly a third of a million physically and mentally disabled Germans between 1939 and 1945" and forcibly sterilized some 400,000 people (Bilder 147).  In an important aside, Bilder notes that forced sterilization was widely practiced in the U.S. at the time and promoted by liberal organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation, which initially funded the "research" of Germany's Angel of Death, Josef Mengele.

Actually, "investment" in lowering populations is a progressive cause that antedates the Nazis by many decades and that continued unabated after the war.  In America, until the early 20th century, opiates were legal and widely available, and they were used — as was chloroform, often with physician assistance — as a means of euthanasia.  (In the 1840s, Edgar Allan Poe attempted to take his life by swallowing laudanum, but he took too much, vomited up the drug, and survived.)  Legalization bills were introduced as early as 1906 in Ohio and Iowa.

More recently, books like Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb (1968) frightened the public into believing that the Earth's resources could not support a growing population and that measures must be taken to halt population growth.  A host of population bomb books followed, such as Hal Lindsey's The Late Great Planet Earth (1970) and Donella Meadows's The Limits to Growth (1972).  

Al Gore's later predictions of climate change came with the warning that lower food production would lead to mass starvation.  Gore began with these predictions in 1976 in the first congressional hearings on global warming, which he suggested would lead to catastrophe.  Since then, global grain production has risen from 1.24 billion metric tons in 1976 to 3.07 billion metric tons in 2021 and shows no sign of decline.  Never has a public official been more wrong about food production, climate change, or population...until now.

As if in response to Gore's hare-brained predictions, the U.S. government promoted abortion, and many individuals announced decisions not to have children.  Many other countries, including India and China, forcibly sterilized, aborted, or restricted childbirth, and these policies continue in communist China with regard to certain "unwanted" groups, including the Uyghurs.

AOC is just one of millions of progressives who share Gore's mistaken assumptions.  In 2019, she claimed that the world was "going to end in 12 years" unless drastic steps were taken to reduce carbon emissions.  The congresswoman appeared to be citing an IPCC report claiming much the same thing — a report that predicted mass poverty and hunger if costly measures were not adopted to slow climate change.  One "solution" is to lower the Earth's population.

Progressives have brought about untold suffering as a result of their support for "reduced population," but in her remarks, V.P. Harris evinced no awareness of the damage of anti-life policies or of their long and painful history.  She did not pause in her delivery, and she accepted applause for her remark.  In fact, as she spoke of lowering populations, she was her usual giggly self. She did not correct her "gaffe"; the White House stepped in and did that.

In a chilling irony, within days of Harris's remark, Canadian authorities legalized euthanasia for "persons with a severe refractory mental illness."  The progressive assault on human life has never been more determined than it now is.  Already, those who are unwanted, a burden, mentally ill, or elderly are potentially subject to elimination.  Soon it may be those who are just "different," or too conservative.  Life is a precious gift from God, and it must be protected by those of us who are capable of speaking out. 

Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).

Image: Mobilus In Mobili via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0 (cropped).