Recently, I mentioned the evil policies advocated by Obama's science czar, John Holdren, in the 1970s in response to his imaginary fears of a population explosion and collapse in our current time. Holdren advocated totalitarian responses, including a worldwide government that would regulate reproduction for each individual. In his ultimate goal, each person would need permission from the government to go off a mandatory, universal contraceptive. Mass, mandatory abortions would be used to curb the growth of entire sectors of the human population. Zombietime has the details.
In the comments, both Bruce Alderman and Dan Trabue stress the importance of finding out whether or not Holdren still advocates these policies. Well, yes, but I don't think that this goes quite far enough to address the seriousness of this political situation.
I believe that once a person holds certain extremist political views, that person should be permanently outcast from polite society and his/her opinion should no longer be sought after in any public policy debate. Such a person should be regarded as having so completely broken faith with human decency that s/he have no place in civic life.
After World War II, this is how Germany treated its most passionate Nazis who did not end up in prison or at the end of an executioner's rope. These people were perhaps not killed, but they were shunned from government, if not outright banned. In a similar way, many post-Communist Eastern European governments, such as Romania, have banished senior Communist leaders from holding office. They are treated as the ideological equivalent of registered sexual predators.
As they should be.
Likewise, so should our society regard those who have adhered to the most evil of ideologies. And Holdren's policy proposals represent crimes on par with the worst actions of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
It is not enough for an ex-Nazi to say at his confirmation hearing "Well, I no longer support the extermination of the Jews, as I did when I created a plan to do so and published it in a book in 1937. Now make me ambassador to Israel."
If he were a true penitent, I'd say that perhaps he should be given a chance. David Horowitz, for example, was a Communist while growing up. But he reformed and has now made a life and a career out of being an ex-Communist and pointing out the evils of Communism at every opportunity that presents itself to him.
It would not be enough for Holden, if pressed by reporters and commentators, to admit that he no longer held these views (which, Zombietime notes, he is not doing). It is not enough that he may have changed his mind in the intervening years. He must truly and passionately repent. For the policies that he proposed were not simply wrong or ill-founded. They were not, to use Bruce's term "mistakes". They were evil.
In a civilization that still believed in itself, men like John Holdren would be outcasts on the fringes of society, unable to hold a job or keep friends, let alone become senior government officials. May it be so for ours.