The Corner

Politics & Policy

A Momentous Issue

On the homepage, we have a piece by Alexandra DeSanctis about Down syndrome and abortion. I read it with a mixture of admiration and disgust: admiration for the piece; disgust at the casually eliminationist approach to babies (thus people) with Down syndrome.

If you don’t like “eliminationist,” “eugenic” will do.

Xan’s piece gave me a memory: of a long, searching, powerful piece on the same subject by Tucker Carlson, written when we both worked at The Weekly Standard. Here it is, from December 1996: “Eugenics, American Style.”

Tucker begins by quoting Joycelyn Elders, one of President Clinton’s surgeons general (and notorious). Dr. Elders spoke of abortion as a public-health boon, given that babies with Down syndrome and other defects were being aborted. Further, Tucker reports on the pressure faced by parents of unborn children who have been determined to have Down syndrome. The pressure is to abort.

I read the piece at the time of publication, of course, and did so with admiration and disgust. I have re-read it — and feel the same.

So, I commend to you these two pieces: Xan’s written on Wednesday, Tucker’s written more than 20 years ago. Each of them addresses a momentous issue, one that goes to the heart, really, of what it means to be human.

P.S. Earlier this year, I visited Down Home Ranch, in Texas. It was founded by friends of mine, and friends of National Review: Jerry and Judy Horton. It is a ranch for adults with Down syndrome, and one of the residents is their daughter Kelly. To read about the Hortons and the ranch, go here.

Most Popular

Culture

Jussie Smollett Jokes Declared Off-Limits

The Jussie Smollett story has been declared not fit for jokes. "It's a straight-up tragedy," declares the co-creator of a Comedy Central show, South Side, set in Chicago. Bashir Salahuddin, a former Jimmy Fallon writer, says “The whole situation is unfortunate. Particularly for the city, there’s bigger ... Read More
U.S.

What The 1619 Project Leaves Out

“The goal of The 1619 Project, a major initiative from The New York Times that this issue of the magazine inaugurates, is to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year,” The New York Times Magazine editors declare. “Doing so requires us to place ... Read More
PC Culture

Courage Is the Cure for Political Correctness

This might come as some surprise to observers of our campus culture wars, but there was a time, not long ago, when the situation in American higher education was much worse. There a wave of vicious campus activism aimed at silencing heterodox speakers, and it was typically empowered by a comprehensive regime of ... Read More
Film & TV

The Movies Take On Limbaugh, Levin, et al.

Oh, good, here’s the lefty British comic Steve Coogan to give us his take on American right-wing talk radio. Let’s all settle in for some deep insights. The comedy-drama is dismally titled Hot Air. No, seriously. That’s what they came up with. Coogan’s Lionel Macomb is introduced to us via his ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Ignorant Comments on Israel

Making the click-through worthwhile: figuring out what President Trump meant when he said Jews who vote for Democrats show “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty”; examining the data on how American Jews actually feel about Israel; and why Democrats will always find a way or a reason to avert ... Read More