Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) used Hollywood to make his case against what he described as the evils of science run amok during a speech at Liberty University on Monday, pulling examples from the films Gattaca and My Left Foot to paint a picture of a world dominated by eugenics-based discrimination, the Associated Press reported.
“Imagine a world where, when you get out of college, there’s no interview — they take a swab of your cheek,” Rand said in the speech, meant to support party mate Ken Cuccinelli’s gubernatorial campaign in Virginia. “The whole process is done by DNA. Those who get in the space program must have the proper DNA.”
Paul told his audience that Gattaca, which follows protagonist Vincent Freeman’s struggle to join NASA despite suffering from myopia, a heart defect and a 30-year life expectancy — all conditions that would likely disqualify him in an actual NASA physical examination — made him think “how awful it would be to have one’s whole life mapped out simply by analyzing one’s DNA.”
Brown also wondered aloud whether the U.S. “would have the strength of character” not to discriminate against those born with conditions like cerebral palsy, citing Christy Brown, whose journey toward becoming a writer and artist was dramatized in My Left Foot.
“Are we prepared to select out the imperfect among us?” Paul asked the audience. “What will be the limits? Will we stop with disability? Will we go on to select hair color, eye color, IQ, height?”
Watch video of Paul’s remarks, posted on Monday by the American Bridge to the 21st Century, below.