Andrew Yang to parents: Just say no to circumcision

You know, I’ve seen some odd political headlines over the years but this one deserves a prize. Little-known candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination, Andrew Yang, wants to micromanage the decision of whether or not to circumcise boy babies. In case you were wondering, though I’d question why you even thought about wondering, Yang is against the practice.

Take that, guys. On the highly unlikely chance Yang should become president, he’ll offer initiatives to encourage parents to take his advice. Has this topic ever been a part of a campaign for someone running for president? I think I would have noticed if it had.

The Democratic candidate revealed in a little notice tweet last week that he was against the ritualized practice of cutting a newborn’s foreskin. But in an interview with The Daily Beast, he said that if he were elected he would incorporate that view into public policy, mainly by pushing initiatives meant to inform parents that they don’t need to have their infants circumcised for health reasons.

Before this story hit the Internet Monday night, Yang was most known for his Universal Basic Income platform. He wants to give every American $1,000 to go to school, pay bills, start a business, etc. Maybe he’ll offer some cash for parents to see his way on circumcision, too.

Apparently, the State of California had this discussion back in 2011. I should have known. Former California Governor Jerry Brown even signed into law a bill that prevented local governments from banning circumcision in October 2011. Just another reason I’m glad I live in Texas.

Yang’s supporters seem to be an interesting mix of people. Among his supporters are the “intactivists”. I’m telling you, this whole thing is an education to me. Now I know a new word.

But Yang’s coalition seems to be comprised of a hodgepodge of groups with offbeat interests beyond just universal basic income. 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.

Those poor Yang boys. Their dad outed their intact penises to the world. Is nothing private anymore? You’ll notice Yang is close-lipped about his own. Yang says if elected he’ll make sure parents are informed that the decision is theirs alone and the pros and cons of either doing circumcision or not. Isn’t that already being done, though? When our now-grown son was born we were given the choice and the doctor answered our questions. Why do we need our president weighing in on this subject? Aren’t there North Korean nukes to stop and border security to argue about?

I’ll leave you with this tweet from Yang’s account. He’d like you to know that he believes in science. I don’t know if he thinks people doubt that or not but his father has a PhD in Physics, he says, and he believes in science. The replies are great.

No word yet on Beto’s opinion on circumcision. I’d like this to be a debate question of all the candidates during the Democratic debates. We could all use a laugh.