Monday, March 05, 2007

The Ann Coulter Cesspool

I certainly do remember the first time I had heard of Ann Coulter. It was a few years ago and I was flying into the United States to speak at a conference. I had not been to the US for several years. I landed at Los Angeles and went into a bookstore at the airport.

There was a row of the newest conservative books. Previously I had a relatively healthy respect for conservatives in spite of various disagreements. I leaned Republican, by which I mean in a normal race I would prefer to see the Republican win over the Democrat. I had read Buckley frequently, read National Review, Human Events and even had a membership in the Conservative Book Club though I did not consider myself a conservative.

I don’t remember which book of Coulter’s was out that day. They all seem pretty interchangeable to me. I picked it up and started reading. And I was shocked. One of the things conservatives had always claimed was that they were the defenders of honor, tradition, civilization, etiquette, and civility. Coulter was dishonorable, uncivilized, rude and vile.

I had older views of what it meant “to be a lady” and Ann Coulter was no lady. Nor is she a gentleman. She lacked every one of the graces that I associated with being a decent human being.

I was shocked by her dishonesty. I am fairly well informed on what people think or don’t think. I read vociferously from across the political spectrum and I kept finding that she misquoted, misstated or invented comments from her opponents. She twisted things into grotesque distortions. I saw no necessity to lie. Ann Coulter apparently saw no necessity to tell the truth.

I was taken aback that she would stoop to slander as a form of argument. Conservatives argued that thinking was important. I was used to individuals who would take what the Left was saying and carefully analysis it and dissect it and repudiate it. But Coulter was the stereotype of the brainless blond bimbo. She never engaged her opponents intellectually. I can only assume this was due to a lack of ability on her part. Those who think argue, those who can’t think slander.

It was as if all intellectual argument was too difficult for her to grasp. Instead she slandered, smeared and attacked. And hers were dishonest attacks, not based on reality but based on her twisted view of others.

She writes with such bitterness and hatred that one wonders what kind of demons she faces herself. Her venomous tirades are so utterly devoid of human decency that one can only conclude that she is a very unhappy individual intent on inflicting her misery on others.

She seems to find a particular need to attack gay men perhaps because she so often looks like a badly done drag queen. Al Gore, she announced,was a “total fag”. At a recent hate festival for the Right she spit out the comment: “I was going to comment on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the world faggot, so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards.”

There was a time that words like faggot, nigger and such were reserved to the uncultured, uncouth, lower classes, particularly those with a penchant for boozing and scraping in the gutters. Now the conservative movement holds it up as the epitome of intellectual debate. Hate Buckley if you want but at least he was civilized and if he insisted on insults he usually did them in a somewhat cultured way -- his exception, and low point, was his vile attacks on Ayn Rand when she died.

But Coulter never gets out of the gutter. She seems incapable of logic and fairness. And she is devoid of writing talent. I love a well constructed sentence or paragraph. The beauty and inspiration of words is something I appreciate. It is something that, now and then, I manage to accomplish but not nearly as oft as I wish. But with Coulter there was never any beauty in what she wrote. Her words were perfect reflections of her own personality.

Her words were scratchy, her logic emaciated, her books steeped in make-up to hid the true ugliness underneath. Her screeds are bitter tirades that scream loneliness and boil over with hatred and contempt. She writes the conservative equivalent of pornography and not even the run of the mill kind of porn. Hers is packed with violence and disgusting perversions.

What makes Coulter so bitter? I don’t know. A lesbian friend of mine suggested that Coulter could be a closet case. Certainly when someone regularly uses crude words for gay people as a term of slander I start to wonder. She is unmarried but that doesn’t necessarily surprise me. I see what’s she like after she’s had the full day to prepare and I can understand why no sane man (or woman for that matter) would wish to crawl into bed with her. She could bath in gravy and a German shepherd would still head for the hills. I couldn’t imagine sleeping with her next to me. One would stay awake all night with one eye askew lest she sink her fangs into one’s jugular to feed.

Now I will confess there is one aspect of Coulter I appreciate. I believe the new theocratically inclined Right is a danger to individual rights, limited government, free markets and social tolerance. I think they are a threat to decency. Ann Coulter is on their side. So many in the modern Right are mimicking her and the more vicious they become the more they disgust the voting public. It is people like Ann Coulter, Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and others who are infesting the Right with irrational, indecent, rhetoric. And that alienates people.

They are so ugly in their temperaments that they make it almost impossible for the civil, the humane and the decent to cast a vote for the Republican Party. Ronald Reagan built up the modern conservative movement with his devotion to the concept of individual liberty and his basic personal decency. He preferred his wit and humor to verbal assaults. Coulter despises liberty and baths herself in the most indecent of rhetoric. She, and those like her, are dismantling the conservative movement and putting it out with the trash in the gutter -- a place she knows so well.

So Ann, keep up the good work. There are still a few people who actually believe that conservatism is about decency and civility and the higher virtues of Western civilizaiton. A few more speeches by you and that myth ought to be dead once and for all. If I were the Left, instead of trying to fund Air America, I’d be running radio stations that are all-Ann Coulter, all day, 7 days a week. But what I find really amusing is that modern conservatives are so detached from reality and sanity that they actually think she is helping them. I guess that is even better. They are undermining their own cause by promoting her.

So dear Republican friends. Give Ann a hand. I would think you can find her books remaindered for pennies on the dollar. Buy they by the hundreds. Hand them out. Learn her rhetoric by heart and repeat it often. if you father is a Democrat call him a “faggot”. if you sister is worried about global warming tell her that she’s a genocidal Nazi wanting to exterminate Jews. Spare no one. I want to see a conservative movement that is made up of Ann Coulter clones. Nothing would kill the conservative Right faster.

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