This is so awful that it’s actually brought me to tears: Sen. Martin Harty, R, of the New Hampshire legislator, has admitted that he informed a constituent that the mentally ill, the physically disabled, addicts and the mentally challenged (I’m sure you can imagine what word he actually used for this last group) should be sent to a Siberian camp to freeze to death. His raison d’etre: the word has too many “defective people.” Direct quote. Story here.
It’s rare that I find myself moved to tears over a news story. I’m a news junkie to the extreme: I begin my day with the BBC and I have a list of about seven news sites that I check periodically throughout the day. I keep up with local news, state news, national news, international news. Consequently, I am extremely well-informed. I am also equally desensitized. The news can make me angry, occasionally it can shock me. It often does overwhelm me. But I don’t cry over it. Especially over political news. Generally, I expect politicians to say very stupid things.
But this? This hurt me deeply. I have two chronic medical conditions, hereditary spherocytosis and bipolar II. And Martin Harty thinks I should freeze to death in Siberia. I’m a white ciswoman who appears straight, so this is my first experience with an American politician actively calling for my demise. And it’s so fucking horrifying that I don’t even know what to say about it. I am genuinely shocked to the center of my being.
I may be shocked, but I can tell you what I am going to do about it. First, I’m going to let my Republican parents know that one of their party’s senators has decided that their children are defective and should die in Siberia. Second, I’m going to fight. I believe, for multiple reasons, that membership in the Republican Party, has become indefensibly unethical. As it stands right now, the GOP is responsible for a heinous leglislative assault against female-bodied individuals, GLBTQ-identified individuals, the economically underprivileged, and religious and ethnic minorities. Sen. Martin Harty’s remarks were not strongly condemned by the Republican House Speaker, who praised Harty’s “long-standing commitment to protect the values we cherish.” By “we,” I can only assume the Speaker meant able-bodied straight white males.
It’s time to fight back. Time to hit the streets and let the Republicans know just how grossly they overestimated their public support for such horrendous legislation. It’s time to be angry, it’s time to write letters, and demand explanations. A party that can tolerate a cancerous influence like Martin Harty does not deserve the power it currently enjoys.