I wish I could say I was surprised when I read it, but alas: one of the geniuses at Salon.com once again missed the point entirely. In a recent article by Scott Eric Kaufman, Breitbart’s Ben Shapiro is called out for comments he made regarding the Transgender suicide rate. Shapiro, clearly making a valid point about the shockingly high number, makes a reference to a similarly high suicide rate among World War II era Jews living under Austrian and German rule.
“The transgender suicide rate is approximately .8 in every 100,” he said, and “the only comparable suicide in human history is Jews living under Austrian and German rule during World War II.”
We all know what reference is being made here. Shapiro used a straightforward comparison to argue that being Transgender is bad enough that the only group of people in history who apparently thought they had it as bad in this life were the Jews living under the Nazi regime. Reducto ad Hiterlum? Absolutely. I hate Reducto ad Hiterlum. But the point was made nonetheless.
Now here’s where Kaufman totally misses the boat. He tries to impress us with wit, but only manages to make the obtuse assertion that “Of course, [Shapiro] doesn’t seem to realize that in his own analogy, he’s not the Jew — he’s the Nazi.”
If ever there was a WTF moment, that was it. There’s so much wrong with that failed attempt at a zinger. Shapiro never tried to make himself the Jew or the Nazi in his comparison. An attempt to insert himself into either position is absurd (probably why he didn’t make it). Shapiro is neither a Transgendered person nor a monstrous, socialist eugenicist, mass-murdering, bastard. He’s not in the analogy at all – a fact as clear as day. The analogy simply compares one group of depressed people with another group of depressed people, linked only by their tragically high propensity for offing themselves. But the certainty of this fact is completely lost on Kaufman, who apparently either (a) wasn’t bright enough to figure this out, or (b) knew very well that Shapiro never inserted himself into this comparison in the first place, but felt like misleading his equally simple-minded readers with the ease and effortlessness to which he has become so accustomed. My money is on option (b).
And this is what’s truly wrong with this type of disingenuous commentary. Writers like Kaufman see nothing wrong with using their uninformed, or inattentive readers for the cheap thrill of making the idiot laugh. Bravo, sir. You made the morons clap.
Additionally, and more importantly, is the fact that Kaufman’s analogy is even more flawed than he claims Shapiro’s is flawed. In Kaufman’s assessment of the current state of affairs, anyone who dares question the wisdom of promoting or supporting Transgenderism must certainly be a Nazi. Ya know, cause Shapiro and anyone else who thinks we shouldn’t praise this utter nonsense is on moral par with the brutal totalitarianism of the Nazi party. You tell me: who is more in danger of being eradicated because of his beliefs: the traditional values guy, or the Transgender apologetic?