Slippery Slope is a Metaphor, Not Reality

A word of encouragement from Jonah Goldberg's Tyranny of Cliches is in order, since I keep seeing so many would-be conservative pundits and politicians talking about the country is "gone," or how we are "past the tipping point," as though the descent into full-fledged welfare socialism is now inevitable. Banish the thought! Jonah writes:

So long as one remembers that the slippery slope isn't a thing but a metaphor, it's not so bad. It's when people believe that it describes an actual phenomenon, a mechanism of historical progression, that the slippery slope becomes an invitation to surrender. If you take it as a given that losing an inch means you've already lost the mile, then you will give up after losing the inch. That is precisely what the other side wants you to do: give up prematurely. If you go through life thinking the slippery slope is real, you will make it real. If you go through life a happy warrior, believing every good fight is worth having because it is good, and every defeat is temporary, you might have other problems, but you won't have the problem of premature capitulation.

Brian Mattson