State Senator Suggests Shipping Mentally Ill to Sibera, Says Hitler Was Right

A reader posted a link last night to this article from on my Facebook page.  When I read it, I felt physically ill.  It’s about New Hampshire Republican State Senator Martin Harty and a phone call he took from one of his constituents, a community health care center manager from Stafford, New Hampshire.  She is concerned about the state budget cuts to mental health programs and programs for the homeless.  What Senator Harty said next – comments he admits he made – are unbelievable: 

Barrington Republican Martin Harty told Sharon Omand, a Strafford resident who manages a community mental health program, that “the world is too populated” and there are “too many defective people.”

 Harty then stated, “I wish we had a Siberia so we could ship them all off to freeze to death and die and clean up the population.” Omand said Harty appeared to be serious. After Omand responded that his idea sounded like what Adolf Hitler did in World War II, Omand said Harty responded, “Hitler did something right, and I agree with (it).”

The Republican State House Speaker William O’Brien said that “at Harty’s age [90 years old], he has earned the right to say what he thinks, but ‘he needs to appreciate that as a representative, he will be held to a higher standard.'”

I’ve been staring at that for 20 minutes.  I have no idea how to respond to this.  Maybe if we replace the word “defective” with “elderly,” a la Senator Harty:

“The world is too populated,” and there are “too many elderly people.”  

Would ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox have picked up the story if he’d said that?  Would Speaker O’Brien have been more outraged?  

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  • lcmc March 12, 2011 at 4:25 am

    What a thing to say to someone who works in the field. And I can't begin to say how much that hurt on so many levels. I can't even fathom how anyone voted for this man, much less that they haven't run him out of office already. My brother lives in New Hampshire and is outraged and embarrassed that he is from the same state.

  • Amy Kiel March 12, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Appalled. How can this be that anyone like this would be in our government representing the people of our country! And worse, that the house speaker says this man has the right to say such things. I can't express how infuriating this is to know that it is being tolerated, much less that it was said in the first place.

  • Anonymous March 13, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Scary. Is it going to come to that. I seriously worry so, often.

  • Anonymous March 15, 2011 at 4:05 am

    They say wisdom comes with age but it seems in Martin Hartys case, age came all alone.

  • Anonymous March 15, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Who is not defective? Siberia would be a very popular place! I think Mr Harty has made a very good case for his own one-way trip. Let's look at his symptoms: No filter, poor social skills, & antisocial ideation? I ain't a doctor, but it sounds like a mental illness to me. At best, Mr Harty is seriously out of touch and extraordinarily ignorant about the giant continuum of "mental illness".