I doubt Trump is a eugenicist. If it turns out that he is, you can count on me to advocate against him on that point.
But here is what interests me about this HuffPost video: the low-ish view count. It’s been out since the end of September and has not even 350K views. They’re using Trump’s own quotes to compare him to Hitler who definitely was a eugenicist. Given Trump’s visibility, the time frame, and the subject, 350K views is sluggish.
Why the low number of views? Maybe people aren’t responding to it because it’s just wrong and people see through it. But here’s something else that occurred to me. The foundation for eugenics is pretty well established already in our country and most of the west. Many, but not all, of the parts to a eugenic machine are in place. In the “already completed” column, we have sperm donation, egg donation, surrogacy, abortion, commercialized human reproduction, egg freezing for future use. In the “to do” column: sold harder to the general public, the legal side has to be strengthened, and avenues for enforcing contraceptive use and abortion have to be established. That last “to do” item will be tough to do for the foreseeable future, I think. I voted against Prop 60 since I will never vote to enforce any form of contraception for any reason. On the other hand, commercial surrogacy may create the impetus for forced abortions. The conceptual foundation has been laid and the social and legal apparatus is being built on top of it.
People typically understand the term “eugenics” as a state-enforced ideology, but that’s not what I’m talking about really. What we have so far is a consumer version of eugenics. I have zero doubt that in many individual cases of people relying on third-party reproduction, they design babies to their personal specifications: blonde hair, athletic, high IQ, etc. So in practice, consumer-based eugenics is here, and we’re pretty much OK with it because of our skewed idea of “freedom,” because money talks, and because we aren’t supposed to judge. But as I argued elsewhere, there is a link between freedom and fertility. Controlled, mechanized fertility is creating a net decrease of freedom, not a net increase.
What I’m trying to say is, perhaps the video didn’t go viral because most viewers intuited that they agreed with those quotes, even if it turns out they were taken out of context.
Social progress, as if it was a straight line, is a myth. Instead we go around in a circle, or maybe it’s a spiral. Either way, there’s nothing new under the sun.