It used to be that comparing anything to Hitler was the best way to fast-track your argument to the realm of irrelevance. Reality TV is as bad as Hitler. Fast food is as bad as Hitler. Violent video games are as bad as Hitler. It all sounds so ridiculous, probably because literally nothing is as bad as the guy who systematically ordered the slaughter of millions of people.
There’s a new contender for the title of best way to add some hyperbole to your argument and completely undermine your entire point, though: comparing the object of your scorn to child porn.
In South Dakota, there’s a bit of a political fight brewing over whether the state should allow mixed martial arts (MMA), the sport made famous by the UFC. Governor Dennis Daugaard has opposed a bill that would create a system of regulation for MMA and allow competitions to take place in the state, because he believes that it would “legitimize” the sport. It’s a flawed argument and one that has been exposed time and time again when it’s been raised in other states, but Daugaard absolutely has the right to pursue his beliefs.
He might want to tell those on his side to shut the hell up, however.
Representative Steve Hickey (pictured at right) agrees with Daugaard’s position that MMA should be banned. He strongly agrees. So strongly, it turns out, that he comes across as a completely insane individual when he tries to talk about how he feels.
“MMA Cage Fighting is the child porn of sports,” Hickey argued in a post on his blog.
Now hold on a minute. There’s no denying the MMA can be a brutal sport at times, but to compare an activity that involves two consenting adults competing in an athletic endeavor with specific rules and regulations to child porn is utterly disgusting. Lives are shattered by child porn. MMA fighters go in knowing the risks and accepting them. How can one possibly compare such a thing to the innocent children who fall victim to the vile child porn producers in our society?
“The psychological community will tell you that desensitization to violence works exactly like desensitization to porn,” Hickey continues, sounding more and more like a complete buffoon. “You know how porn progresses… a peek at topless isn’t enough, it all has to come off, then a pic is not enough… it goes to video then to virtual and then to the devaluation and mistreatment of women, human trafficking and sex crimes against women.”
Wow, that’s quite a leap. Hickey goes on to say that he believes boxing wasn’t violent enough for the masses, so they invented MMA (ignoring the fact that MMA in its purest form was around way before boxing — it might, in fact, be the oldest sport on earth). He also points out that the Romans made prisoners fight to the death.
Wait… which one is it? All that Romans stuff came before modern boxing and MMA. Hickey’s argument that violence escalates as time progresses sure doesn’t hold up to even the tiniest lick of historical scrutiny. On the contrary, contemporary Western society is quite likely the least violent society in world history.
You don’t even have to be a proponent of MMA to see that Hickey’s argument is completely baseless and, frankly, extremely insulting. If South Dakota politicians are going to succeed in banning the sport, they would be wise to keep Hickey as far away from their movement as possible.