by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
For conservatives who pay attention, the slippery slope isn’t a logical fallacy, but a way of life. In our gloomy predictions, we regularly understate how far society will begin kicking us down the slope once we start sliding. It would’ve been unthinkable for even the most pessimistic anti-divorce activist of half a century ago to predict that the majority of American children would be born illegitimately within a few decades. Anti-euthanasia activists never dared suggest that the Dutch would be so depraved as to begin drugging children into their graves merely because they reported depression. When Vermont was considering legislation providing for civil unions for same-sex couples, not even the sweatiest, most paranoid snake-handler imagined that florists would be financially ruined by the government for refusing to serve customers whose nuptials violated their religious scruples. Yet here we are.
And now, a few weeks after conservatives were laughed at for predicting that the desire to take down Confederate memorials would eventually turn into the desire to take down memorials to the Founding Fathers, it has happened again. The leaders of Christ Church, an Episcopal congregation in Alexandria, Va., have decided to remove two plaques honoring previous Robert E. Lee and George Washington, who both once worshiped there. …
… I do not offer this argument as an indictment of anyone’s motivations. I’m not accusing anyone of hiding the ball, or of deliberately misleading others, or even themselves. I’m not even arguing against the removal of Confederate statues. I am merely offering a prediction based on the current placement of pieces on the chess board, the temperament of the players, and the known history of their previous games. But I do think America will lose something important when the Founders are judged too problematic to honor, even if by that point most Americans will judge the losses minor and the gains to be had irresistible.