The Way It Iz

The OU Biennial Convention

On Sunday, The Orthodox Union held their biennial convention at the Young Israel of Woodmere. It...

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Frequent readers of this column are well-aware of my animosity of victim culture. Somehow, we have arrived in a time where one’s victimhood status is celebrated, and the more victimized groups one can associate with, the higher status that person has in society, even – and this is the key – if that person has not personally been victimized. This is as if to say that if one person belonging to a community has been victimized, the whole community can claim victimization.

Have you wondered why we are seeing an uptick in race hoaxes lately? Sure, you may be familiar with the highest profile case – that of Jussie Smollett - but let’s be honest: He’s not the only one. And as much as many of us won’t want to hear this, Jews are not immune from perpetuating these hoaxes either.

If you tend to find yourself on the Right side of the political aisle, you have undoubtedly been beaten over the head over the past few years about the importance of free speech. The freedom to express yourself is at the very heart of a functional society, and anyone who looks for ways to skirt this fundamental principle is not only attacking a basic concept in American thought, but is also harming others in two major ways. First, when an unpopular opinion is silenced, people who find themselves agreeing with that opinion are galvanized to play the victim. “See!” they shout from their proverbial soap boxes, “the other side cannot argue with us so they try to silence us.” While this is a strong reason to not silence dissenting opinions, it is not entirely relevant to this week’s conversation.

This week, former Missouri Senator and current MSNBC host Claire McCaskill made the claim that she foresees a time when red states will “empower citizens to go out and round up people they think look like foreigners.” The comments came amid a discussion about the fallout from the Texas abortion law that grants citizens standing to sue any medical provider who performs an abortion. McCaskill attempted to make a “slippery slope” argument as red states seek to impose restrictions on abortion. Without getting too involved in the actual abortion aspect of this, this statement from McCaskill allows us the opportunity to analyze some popular slippery slope arguments made on both sides of the aisle and how well they turned out.

2021 is now in the rear-view mirror, and throughout this past year, there have been a lot of stories don’t really require more than a one- or two-word statement. These are opinions I’ve wanted to share throughout the year, but because they were so short, they didn’t really warrant their own columns. So they are The Way It Iz’s 2021 wrap-up short op-eds. All of these will be one or two sentences long. So tweets. They are basically tweets.

Throughout this pandemic, we have heard the comparisons between abortion and forced masking and vaccination. Although the Venn diagram is not a complete overlap, often the pro-life side ends up being against any mandate enforcing masks or vaccines, while the pro-choice side is more closely aligned with mandates. The argument coming from both sides of this issue revolves around the notion of “body autonomy.” The Right will claim that pro-choicers only care about body autonomy when it comes to abortion, but not when it comes to vaccines and masks. The problem with this argument is that the Left will use the exact same counter-argument: that the Right only cares about body autonomy when it comes to vaccines.