Friday, May 14, 2010

Conservative love of the slippery slope.

Fresh off arguing that legislation prohibiting sexual orientation-based violence would lead to the legalization of bestiality, necrophilia, and pedophilia, Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas is getting attention again, this time for claiming that the Miss USA pageant is killing liberty and creating economic chaos.

This kind of thing is hardly an isolated incident. Republican ex-Senator and potential presidential candidate Rick Santorum is infamous for (amongst other things) insisting that same-sex marriage would lead to "man on dog" relationships. Republican John Cornyn claimed that same-sex marriage would lead to a world in which "man on box turtle" marriages would be legal. Republican Arizona senate candidate J.D. Hayworth recently announced that legalizing same sex marriage could produced man/horse nuptials.

Not only does this same slippery-slope argument have a long history of being proven wrong each time it's been raised by conservatives (in opposition to non-arranged marriages, inter-denominational marriages, interracial marriages), it also doesn't accurately represent what's occurred in countries that have legalized same-sex marriages. Yet many conservatives continue to unabashedly trot out the same fallacious argument with surprising consistency and without much in the way of conservative backlash or electoral consequence.

Why, it's almost as if they're preaching to an infantile choir instead of an audience capable of critical thinking. ...almost. ;)

EDIT: Speaking of preaching to an infantile choir, welcome Edmonton Assholery reader (as of yet, we've only had one visit via that link). You've arrived here from a post that 1) conflates Swiftian-style satire with actual slippery-slope claims and 2) doesn't dispute the thrust of the argument but instead claims that I cant make it because of things that people on "my side" have apparently said.

I've no doubt that you'll put your critical thinking skills to use, return to the blogpost that you came here from and point out to the author the problems with both the satire/slipperly-slope conflation and the subsequent logically-challenged adolescent playground bluster because you're here to engage in intellectually honest debate and not rhetorical "spanking".

(For the record, that last sentence was sarcasm, also not to be conflated with slippery-slope argumentation. Wouldn't want anyone still dwelling in intellectual infancy to confuse the two.)


jj said...


Audrey II said...

You had to draw specific attention to the "amongst other things", didn't you JJ? ;)

Oh, well. I guess the ex-Senator and GOP superstar more than earned it!

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