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The Horror of Eugenics Happened; What Can We Learn From That Mistake?

Tonight, we're going to talk about health care, the views of President Obama's "czars" and his close advisers, and why it's important to look there. It's important to know where they stand.

But first, I want to start someplace to show you the beginnings of and the history of eugenics, which means basically creating a master race by discouraging reproduction with people with genetic defects and other "undesirable traits."

Now, I know right now the people who are writing their blogs in the basement are saying, "Oh, my gosh, we got him now! Glenn is saying eugenics is coming!"

No, I'm not. I'm not saying anything like that at all.

Eugenics are not coming. Eugenics have been wildly discredited by the Nazis and only truly evil people would go down that road.

But it did happen and it's important that we look at that time period, because there is a lot we can learn from the past mistakes that led to that point:

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BECK (voice-over): Eugenics is not an idea and it did not start with the Nazis, but with American and British socialists and progressives who thought that through measures like prohibition and later, birth control, they could cure the ills of modern society, such as poor public hygiene, rising population among lower classes and urban crowding.

Indiana passed the first sterilization law in 1907 for confirmed criminals, idiots, imbeciles and rapists. And in the next 30 years, 29 other states followed suit, along with Canada and most of Europe.

Eugenics infected the mindset of intellectuals such as the leader of the new liberalism movement of the early 20th century, Herbert Croly. He wrote a book in 1909 called "The Promise of American Life," in which he declared that the state must, "interfere on behalf of the really fittest."

Eugenics was popular thought for President Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt and their advisers. In 1912, a year before he was president, New Jersey's governor, Woodrow Wilson, created a board of examiners of feeble-minded, epileptics and other defectives. Under it, the state could determine, "when procreation is inadvisable like for criminals, prisoners, poor kids and the ill-defined, other defectives."

Roosevelt's close adviser, Charles Van Hise said, "He who thinks of himself not primarily, but of his race and of its future, is the new patriot." Former President Roosevelt later endorsed Madison Grant's "The Passing of the Great Race," a book that Hitler once referred to as his bible.

What most history textbooks seemed to ignore is that before the Nazis took power, Germans lagged behind Americans and Europeans in eugenics. But World War I and the great flu pandemic basically turned doctors into social planners and Hitler and the Nazis took the logic of public health to totalitarian extremes. They made the central policy goal affecting employment, marriage, medicine and more.

The same year, Hitler joined the Nazi party in 1920, the Nazis rounded up hundreds of thousands of disabled, elderly and mentally ill, and exterminated them, "useless bread gobblers" or "life unworthy of life."

Back to America: Eugenics was beings effectively written into the Constitution. In the Buck v. Bell case in 1927, progressive lawyers stood on the flimsy ground of a Massachusetts vaccination law to keep Carrie Buck from reproducing. We know now she wasn't retarded. But to add insult to injury, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes infamously wrote, "three generations of imbeciles are enough."

Seven years later, Hitler wrote to the president of the American Eugenics Society to ask for a copy of his famous case for sterilization, which called for forced sterilization of some 10 million Americans. During that year, the Nazis sterilized over 50,000 "unfit" Germans, which caused an American eugenicist to complain, "the Germans are beating us at our own game."

The Nazi eugenic idea involved naturally into the eventual Holocaust and the deaths of 6 million Jews, as well as millions of other innocent people.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

America, there is so much anger and hatred in this country right now and it is important that we have an honest conversation here and understand clearly what is being said on this program.

No one is saying that eugenics are coming. The builder of the master race was only part of the problem in Germany, made possible after they began to devalue life. They tried to figure out how much is a life worth and put a price on how much each individual was worth — and some were worth more than others.

I want to show you a poster that I saw this morning getting ready for the show. I want you to know that I have a daughter that was born with cerebral palsy, and they said that when she was born, that she would never walk or talk or feed herself. She went to college — they were wrong.

This poster bothers me so much because the hand of the person shown in this poster reminds me of my daughter's hand. This is from Nazi Germany. It says in German, basically, it's going to cost 60,000 marks to keep this man alive. As you see, he's sitting here with a gnarled hand. He's a sweet guy and everything, the poster says, but his quality of life is a shame — your time is up.

And there is this poster. This is also from Germany in World War II. This one shows an institution here and all of the houses that could be built with the money if we could just eliminate this institution.

Now, here is what the president of the United States has told us Tuesday:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The rumor that's been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for "death panels" that will basically pull the plug on grandma because we've decided that we don't — it's too expensive to let her live anymore. The intention of the members of Congress was to give people more information so that they could handle issues of end-of-life care when they're ready on their own terms. It wasn't forcing anybody to do anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

I don't believe that this is a matter that is appropriate for laughter or jokes. I want you to clearly understand that I don't think he wants to kill your grandmother or unplug your grandmother. It would be a truly an evil person that would do that.

However, what happened in Germany was that they couldn't afford health care for all. You see, they had devalued their mark so much because the government just started to print money. Does that sound familiar? It has only been done a few times in the world's history and it has never ended up any other different way than it did in the Weimar Republic. That forced Germany into an economic collapse.

America, I ask you to take a good long hard look at what's going on today. You must ask with boldness: Could our economy, the way we are currently spending and printing at will, possibly go into some sort of "emergency situation"? Could it collapse? Is it possible? Is it possible that our debt is so high that we can't pay it back or we have to make tough decisions and possibly ration health care?

The answer everyone will tell you is yes.

So then, is it crazy — is it ridiculous — to say, "all right, if we have a crisis in our monetary system, what will our government and our president do?"

To figure that out, to figure out what he is going to think or what he thinks currently, we need to listen to his words on how to decide what his policies — he told us this in the campaign, so we're only following his directions. Listen carefully, and figure out how to decide what his policies are going to be and what they are:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Let me tell you who I associate with. On economic policy, I associate with Warren Buffett and former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker. If I'm interested in figuring out my foreign policy, I associate myself with my running mate, Joe Biden, or with Dick Lugar, the Republican ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, or General Jim Jones, the former supreme allied commander of NATO. Those are the people, Democrats and Republicans, who have shaped my ideas and who will be surrounding me in the White House.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

America, this program is under a great amount of pressure to not bring you this news. I would ask that you listen carefully.

We will do exactly what Obama himself has told us to do: We have to find out about his advisers. Who is shaping his opinion? Who is surrounding him? We know it's not based in eugenics, but what is it based in?

You see, your voice isn't going to be represented in the "war room" in a crisis situation. Whose voice will the president hear?

• Are you worried about who is advising President Obama about health care? Click here to sound off

Well, there's Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel. He is a health adviser. He said this in January of this year: "When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated."

The science "czar," John Holdren, says: "The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential early socializing experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early years after birth will ultimately develop into a human being." He also wrote about putting sterilants in drinking water for population control.

One of the leaders in this type of thought, and a friend of the regulatory "czar" Cass Sunstein, is prominent Princeton professor Peter Singer. In July 2009, in a New York Times article titled "Why We Must Ration Health Care," Singer wrote that saving the life of one teenager is equivalent to saving the lives of 14 85-year-olds.

You also have Rahm Emanuel's brother Ezekiel saying in November 1996: "Conversely, services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed."

This is the stuff that they're now saying out loud. What are they saying to the president behind closed doors when we aren't there to watch it? I guess we won't know, because we'll all be too focused on the emergency that starts the rationing and the czars don't have to answer to anyone.

— Watch "Glenn Beck" weekdays at 5 p.m. ET on FOX News Channel