I Regret to Inform You That Circumcision Is Now a 2020 Issue

Photo: Phil Long (AP)

Andrew Yang is something like the opposite of Beto O’Rourke, in that he’ll give you a concrete answer on pretty much any question you ask him no matter how insane it is, and then provide half a dozen answers to questions you didn’t even ask just for good measure. One of those questions, which, yes, someone asked, is about infant circumcision, a practice Yang said he opposes.

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew, is pro-circumcision, and now there is a chance that these two people will discuss circumcision on Shapiro’s show. Let’s just, OK.

This all started last week, when Yang tweeted about the opioid epidemic. Great! An important topic for Democratic candidates for president to speak about. Then someone asked him about circumcision:

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This is a question that almost any political candidate would just...not answer. It’s an extremely fraught religious and cultural issue that nevertheless is relatively immaterial to the context of running for president. But Yang, a dedicated poster, responded anyway:

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The Daily Beast turned it into a story because, sure, fuck it, let’s talk about circumcision in the 2020 cycle, what else is there to lose. Yang elaborated, per the site:

And he now has his eye on a new demographic: circumcision opponents who call themselves “intactivists”—a reference to their desire to keep penises “intact.”

“I’m highly aligned with the intactivists,” Yang said. “History will prove them even more correct.”

Yang said he had initially planned to have his sons circumcised, fearing they’d be “self-conscious” if they still had their foreskins. But his wife convinced him otherwise.

“From what I’ve seen, the evidence on it being a positive health choice for the infant is quite shaky,” said Yang, who did not address whether he’s circumcised himself.

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And here comes Ben.

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Again. Plenty of opportunity here for Yang to just let it go and not respond to pivot to a different issue. Did he do that? Nope.

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Why. WHY.

Here’s an even better idea: How about no one give Ben Shapiro the time of day in 2020.

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