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Take the Quiz: Who Said It ... Margaret Sanger or Ayn Rand?

 

Few individuals reflect the ideological schism in America more so than Margaret Sanger and Ayn Rand. Both were towering and polarizing figures during the twentieth century, and their influence continues to hold powerful sway over their contemporary disciples who represent the two sides of America’s growing political divide. One woman is the patron saint of liberal ethics for Planned Parenthood and progressives the country over; the other is the ideological darling of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and many who self-identify as tea partiers. Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi are proud recipients of the Margaret Sanger Award – Planned Parenthood’s highest honor; Glenn Beck has a cameo in the latest film adaptation of Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand’s famous novel.

It’s no wonder that mentioning either Margaret Sanger or Ayn Rand prompts entrenched, passionate responses from many people. Sanger and Rand’s voices reflect many of the most cherished or hated ideals held by both sides. Considering how polar opposite their ideologies are, it should be easy to determine which lady said what. And this is good news, since there is a quiz, of sorts, below.

I have listed sixteen quotes, some from Margaret Sanger and some from Ayn Rand. See if you can guess which quote belongs to which woman; the answers are at the bottom of the article. As an aid, keep in mind that Hillary Clinton reveres Margaret Sanger while Rush Limbaugh holds Ayn Rand in high esteem. While reading the quotes, ask yourself, “Would Hillary Clinton or would Rush Limbaugh agree with this?”

See next page to begin the quiz: 

  1. “I am certainly in favor of abortion. Or rather, I do not mean that everyone should have an abortion, I meant that I am in favor of woman’s perfect moral right to have one if she so decides.”
  2.  “I regard abortion as the most important issue, because the anti-abortionists have such evil motives. They have no interest in human beings, only in embryos.”
  3. “I do not approve of abortion, nor can I give the address of anyone who will perform this operation.”
  4. “But the question of race betterment is one of immediate concern, and I am glad to say that the United States government has already taken certain steps to control the quality of our population through its drastic immigration laws, whereby our gates are closed to those whom she considers undesirables.”
  5. “That these foreigners who have come in hordes have brought with them their ignorance of hygiene and modern ways of living and that they are handicapped by religious superstition is only too true.”
  6. “How can I advocate restricting immigration when I wouldn’t be alive today if our borders had been closed?”
  7. “The most serious charge that can be brought against modern ‘benevolence’ is that it encourages the perpetuation of defectives, delinquents and dependents. These are the most dangerous elements in the world community, the most devastating curse on human progress and expression.”
  8. “The retarded should not be allowed to come near children, who cannot – and should not have to – deal with the tragic spectacle of a handicapped human being.”
  9. “The presence in public schools of the mentally defective children of men and women who should never have been parents is a problem that is becoming more and more difficult, and one of the chief reasons for the lower educational standards.”
  10. “The American public is taxed, heavily taxed, to maintain an increasing race of morons, which threatens the very foundations of our civilization.”
  11. “Handguns are instruments for killing people – they are not carried for hunting animals – and you have no right to kill people”
  12. “Like the advocates of birth control, the eugenists, for instance, are seeking to assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit.”
  13. “Modern studies indicate that insanity, epilepsy, criminality, prostitution, pauperism, and mental defect, are all organically bound up together and that the least intelligent and the thoroughly degenerate classes in every community are the most prolific.”
  14. “Ladies and gentleman, should that monster [Ronald Reagan] succeed in 1980 – and I hope to be dead by then, because I don’t want to see such a day – I damn any of you who vote for him.”
  15. “It [philanthropy] encourages the healthier and more normal sections of the world to shoulder the burden of unthinking and indiscriminate fecundity of others; which brings with it, as I think the reader must agree, a dead weight of human waste. Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world, it tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant.
  16. “I wish to take advantage of the present opportunity to point out that the unbalance between the birth rate of the ‘unfit’ and the ‘fit’ … can never be rectified by inauguration of a cradle competition between these two classes. In this matter, the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feeble-minded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be held up to emulation to the mentally and physically fit though less fertile parents of the educated and well-to-do classes.”

See next page for answers:

Answers:

Note: all of the quotes from Ayn Rand come from the book Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q&A by Robert Mayhew. I didn’t necessarily intend to only use one source, but it did save me from having to reread The Virtue of Selfishness and back issues of The Objectivist.

    1. “I am certainly in favor of abortion. Or rather, I do not mean that everyone should have an abortion, I meant that I am in favor of woman’s perfect moral right to have one if she so decides.” Ayn Rand, page 17
    2.  “I regard abortion as the most important issue, because the anti-abortionists have such evil motives. They have no interest in human beings, only in embryos.” Ayn Rand, page 54
    3. “I do not approve of abortion, nor can I give the address of anyone who will perform this operation.” Margaret Sanger, “Letter to a Client,” page 381, included in The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger: Volume 1, The Woman Rebel, 1900-1928
    4. “But the question of race betterment is one of immediate concern, and I am glad to say that the United States government has already taken certain steps to control the quality of our population through its drastic immigration laws, whereby our gates are closed to those whom she considers undesirables.” Margaret Sanger, “Racial Betterment,” a radio address included in The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, page 446
    5. “That these foreigners who have come in hordes have brought with them their ignorance of hygiene and modern ways of living and that they are handicapped by religious superstition is only too true.” Margaret Sanger, Woman and the New Race, page 31
    6. “How can I advocate restricting immigration when I wouldn’t be alive today if our borders had been closed?” Ayn Rand, page 25
    7. “The most serious charge that can be brought against modern ‘benevolence’ is that it encourages the perpetuation of defectives, delinquents and dependents. These are the most dangerous elements in the world community, the most devastating curse on human progress and expression.” Margaret Sanger, The Pivot of Civilization, page 44
    8. “The retarded should not be allowed to come near children, who cannot – and should not have to – deal with the tragic spectacle of a handicapped human being.” Ayn Rand, page 125
    9. “The presence in public schools of the mentally defective children of men and women who should never have been parents is a problem that is becoming more and more difficult, and one of the chief reasons for the lower educational standards.” Margaret Sanger, The Pivot of Civilization, page 32
    10. “The American public is taxed, heavily taxed, to maintain an increasing race of morons, which threatens the very foundations of our civilization.” Margaret Sanger, “Racial Betterment,” The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, 446
    11. “Handguns are instruments for killing people – they are not carried for hunting animals – and you have no right to kill people.” Ayn Rand, page 19
    12. “Like the advocates of birth control, the eugenists, for instance, are seeking to assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit.” Margaret Sanger, “Birth Control and Racial Betterment,” The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, page 252
    13. “Modern studies indicate that insanity, epilepsy, criminality, prostitution, pauperism, and mental defect, are all organically bound up together and that the least intelligent and the thoroughly degenerate classes in every community are the most prolific.” Margaret Sanger, The Pivot of Civilization, page 29
    14. “Ladies and gentleman, should that monster [Ronald Reagan] succeed in 1980 – and I hope to be dead by then, because I don’t want to see such a day – I damn any of you who vote for him.” Ayn Rand, page 71
    15. “It [philanthropy] encourages the healthier and more normal sections of the world to shoulder the burden of unthinking and indiscriminate fecundity of others; which brings with it, as I think the reader must agree, a dead weight of human waste. Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world, it tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant.” Margaret Sanger, The Pivot of Civilization, page 41
    16. “I wish to take advantage of the present opportunity to point out that the unbalance between the birth rate of the ‘unfit’ and the ‘fit’ … can never be rectified by inauguration of a cradle competition between these two classes. In this matter, the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feeble-minded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be held up to emulation to the mentally and physically fit though less fertile parents of the educated and well-to-do classes.” Margaret Sanger, “The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda,” The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, page 320

Using the comment section, I would love to hear how you did on the quiz. And, please let me know if your ideology and ethics best match those of Margaret Sanger, Ayn Rand, or, hopefully, neither.