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Sam Clovis Invoked the Slippery Slope

— August 30, 2017

Trump science nominee Sam Clovis perceives a clear link between marriage equality and pedophilia, but not between carbon emissions and climate instability.

Some days it’s hard to know which is worse, the fact that Trump has been slow as molasses in filling key positions with political appointees, leaving governmental agencies rudderless, or that some of his appointees have been confirmed by the Senate after all. Take Sam Clovis, for example. He’s Trump’s current nominee for Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Sam Clovis, who would fill the top science spot at the USDA if he’s confirmed, is not a scientist. When I say that, I mean he’s not a scientist like I’m not Odell Beckham, Jr. Although I suppose if your ideology rejects modern scientific knowledge (much like ISIS/ISIL), Clovis might be the perfect guy to fill the position. He fits right in with so many of Trump’s other picks in this clown car of a government, which all seem aimed at destroying their departments or otherwise bringing about the end times.

Back in 2014, The Des Moines Register reported that Sam Clovis claimed to have seen a UFO. Well, not seen, exactly, with his eyes. He merely knew it was there. Clovis, once an F-16 pilot in the Air Force, told radio host Simon Conway that he got a radar lock on an unidentified object that was traveling five thousand miles per hour. It came to a stop and then reversed course, flying away at the same incredible rate. That’s how he knew it was a UFO, and not, presumably, some anomaly that could be explained more rationally.

That’s not the only quirky commentary to come out of Sam Clovis. Clovis has a background in conservative talk radio. Between 2012 and 2014, he expressed concerns about the status of the LGBT+ community when viewed in light of the 14th Amendment. And by that, I mean some noises escaped his pie hole that made it sound like Clovis was afraid that the official sanction of same-sex marriages would result in a slippery slope leading to churches being unable to preach anti-gay sermons, the protection of pedophilia, legally recognized polyamorous marriages, and who knows, maybe even dogs and cats living together. Mass hysteria. You know the drill.

Dogs and Cat Living Together, from Ghostbusters. Posted by Crackle.

Let’s entertain the notion, just for a moment, that Sam Clovis has a valid point. Perhaps he’s right to be worried about the cultural fallout from allowing people in same-sex relationships who put a ring on it to obtain legal rights that married heterosexuals have long taken for granted, like being able to visit their partner in the hospital, estate inheritance, and insurance. After all, that sort of thing is exactly what conservatives worried about during Loving vs Virginia, the famous case that struck down state-level bans on interracial marriage in 1968: if those people get rights, what will happen?

Loving figured heavily in the gay marriage debate back in 2015, not least because of the slippery slope that Sam Clovis worries about. If interracial couples can marry, why not same-sex couples? I submit that the only way to stop this slippery slope is to undo the whole sordid thing. If gay people wanted to marry because opposite-sex couples can, and interracial couples wanted to marry because same-color couples can, the only logical way to stop goldfish from marrying coffee tables is to end marriage altogether. It all started because we let white, heterosexual couples marry. Once we signed off on that, we should have known it was all downhill from there, especially for people like Sam Clovis who have no sense of perspective.

Perhaps Republican pundits are exasperated, even offended, that Senate Democrats balk at a great many Trump nominees. This, coming from people who wouldn’t even give Merrick Garland a hearing, short-staffing the Supreme Court over a political grudge. There’s a difference between denying nominations over ideological differences and fighting the elevation of those outside the reality-based community into key scientific posts. Since Sam Clovis perceives a clear, cause-and-effect relationship between marriage equality and pedophilia, but not between anthropogenic carbon emissions and climate instability, confirming his nomination to the top science spot at the USDA would put Americans in a lot more danger than anything consenting adults do with their naughty bits.

Related: Recently in Demagogues and Dragons…


Trump nominee Sam Clovis: ‘As far as we know’ homosexuality’s a choice, ‘logical’ LGBT protections could lead to legalization of pedophilia
Trump administration still riddled with key vacancies
Democratic senators want Trump to withdraw Clovis nomination
Iowa Politics Insider: Lawmaker gets scoop on colleagues
Loving v. Virginia looms large in gay marriage case
Trump just nominated a climate change skeptic to USDA’s top science post

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