It needs to be about individual choice and self-improvement. Forget pushing (to a broad audience, anyway) for one group to do more procreating and another to do less of it. In vitro fertilization has come a long way in the last five decades, and embryo selection has progressed from being all about viability to include avoidance of undesirable traits, the most conspicuous of which is Down syndrome. And the inclusion of putatively desirable traits is somewhere just around the corner. Eugenics need not be about telling the best to breed more and the worst to breed less, but instead marketing it as a game anyone can play. If everyone begins systematically making the most of what they have, we get a rising tide raising all boats outcome.
Since we're on the subject of selling the idea of eugenics for public consumption, Razib Khan recently pointed out the seemingly obvious point (which I nonetheless have never explicitly acknowledged until he spelled it out for me) that eugenics, rather than being a way for the patricians to further distance themselves from the plebes, is actually a means of moving towards that good old American ideal of everyone having an equal--or at least less significantly unequal--shot:
Steve [Hsu] has much to lose in a selfish zero sum sense because he’s already rather assured of intelligent offspring. He’s smart. His wife is smart. Standard quantitative genetics implies that even if they regress to the mean his offspring will be quite bright. There may not be much more juice to squeeze out of that genetic background. It may be very different for a couple with more average endowments. So sorry to turn this upside down, but personal eugenics may in fact be a boon for the ugly, stupid, and psychologically unstable, because it gives them a opportunity to close much of the gap with those who were lucky in the genetic lottery. Some of you may object to terms such as “ugly,” “stupid,” or “psychological unstable.” But people with these issues have to deal with them in their day to day. One can make all the platitudes one wants to make about “inner beauty,” but very few people live by this ideal.Anyhow, these rhetorical considerations are probably going to become moot in the future. Prospective parents are going to take advantage of technologies that give their children an edge in life regardless of braying from opinion makers. Elites can crow all they want about the need for racial and socioeconomic integration in schools; couples are still going to do their damnedest to get their own kids into the iciest, most affluent schools they are able to.
There is already good deal of conceptual acceptance of eugenic practices on the individual level, especially on the political left. From 2004, the most recent year in which the dichotomous question was posed, the percentages of GSS respondents who say they'd have an abortion or want their partners to have one if a test revealed "the baby has a serious genetic defect", by political orientation (n = 2,451):
Though the major media regularly treats eugenics as being under the aegis of the right, I suspect the subset of the right to which it actually applies is about as large as the population for which "secular right" is an accurate descriptor.
GSS variables used: GENEABRT, YEAR(2004), POLVIEWS(1-2)(3-5)(6-7)