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Ann Coulter: Idiot, Ignorant, or a Case of Arrested Development?

Upon reading a given column by Ann Coulter, a thinking person is left with a number of questions. The most pressing, of course: “Is she serious?” This is not a rhetorical question– it’s a legitimate mystery. Clearly, the woman can write. She’s a lawyer, an author, and a political commentator. Her writing style is effective– fast paced and strangely absorbing. She’s a master of her craft.

Which makes it even more confusing. Because, as you know if you’ve ever read a Coulter column, by the time you finish with it her style is the last thing on your mind. More likely, your head is ringing from the sheer stupidity of her arguments.

For instance, her post 9/11 foreign policy: “We should invade [middle eastern] countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity.” [Syndicated column, 9/12/01].

Her thoughts on female voters:

“If we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democrat president. It’s kind of a pipe dream, it’s a personal fantasy of mine, but I don’t think it’s going to happen… The Democratic Party ought to be hanging its head in shame, that it has so much difficulty getting men to vote for it. I mean, you do see it’s the party of women and ‘We’ll pay for health care and tuition and day care — and here, what else can we give you, soccer moms?’” [October 2007, Interview with The New York Observer]

She’s a shrill, screaming weasel. She’s cornered the market on misguided outbursts, and in the age of Rush Limbaugh and Michael Moore, that’s no easy feat. She’s the literary equivalent of a tirading, temper-tantruming three-year-old at a dinner party, and her parents are too overwhelmed to deal with her.

Clearly we have a paradox. How can one be so talented and yet so painfully misguided? We find this quote to be very enlightening:

She says: “The swing voters — I like to refer to them as the idiot voters because they don’t have set philosophical principles. You’re either a liberal or you’re a conservative if you have an IQ above a toaster.” [Fox’s Beyond The News, 6/4/2000].

Really, Ann? What about, say, a voter who is pro-life and concerned about the environment? Or a voter who believes we should not be in Iraq, but also favors economic deregulation? Or someone who believes that in a country as successful as ours, no child should go without health care– but at the same time doesn’t want to reward people simply for being unemployed?

Idiots, according to Coulter.

ann coulter 300x230 Ann Coulter: Idiot, Ignorant, or a Case of Arrested Development?

In short, Coulter’s worldview is incredibly simplistic. It’s black and white, good versus evil, right versus wrong. There is no middle ground.

Now, I’m far from a moral relativist, but this is outrageous. Our political landscape is far, far too complex to be understood in such simple terms. We are dealing with a world in crisis. Oil prices are going through the roof. Our economy is faltering. Climate Change is an increasingly real threat. For Coulter to suggest that there are only two possible approaches with which to confront these challenges is ludicrous.

And yet this woman is a millionaire. Why? Because people buy her books. People read her newspaper columns. This is why Coulter is so dangerous– because at precisely the time when Americans need to be rallying together, she is driving them apart.

Now, obviously Coulter is not alone in this. There are many voices across the political spectrum doing their best to polarize America– to divide us into completely incompatible sections. While Coulter may not be the most well known, she is certainly the most shameless.

So yes, she is serious. She’s a talented entertainer with a warped worldview. She knows what she believes and she is going to express herself, civility be damned. In her mind, you’re either a loyal, inflexible, intolerant conservative, or you’re her enemy.

This should not be surprising, given that she sees the world in the way that she does. Many of us can sympathize with her– after all, we were all children once.

It’s just that the rest of us grew up.

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9 comments to Ann Coulter: Idiot, Ignorant, or a Case of Arrested Development?

  • troutay

    I think she should be kidnapped, dressed in a burka and dropped into a taliban held area. Lets see how long her verbage continues.

  • I agree with you and troutay! We could give her a home in Iraq, Gaza or an Alaskan Village on the Yukon. Hopefully, her new home would have no running water, inside toilet or maybe even electricity. Coulter – can you guess why she is not married?

  • Andi

    Personally, I think Coulter is just plain evil, but it always amazes me how people cannot express similar sentiments without a bunch of pointless sexist crap. Hurr hurr hurr. Ain’t no man wants her! She oughter be sent to eye-rack where they know how to treat women!

    Honestly she provides so much material to ridicule her with, that in the parlance of my rural upbringing, is that all you got?

  • Andi

    Oh, I should have clarified, I was talking about the comments, not the essay, which is great. Thanks!

  • Slowhand

    Actually, I really enjoy reading Ann’s columns. Yes, she loves to incense the “Left” with her prodding and goading and her outrageous comments, but many of her “tirades” have merit. I hold an undergraduate degree in both History and Philosophy from a fine Jesuit University with a short stint at law school. I find it suprising that most people that malign Ann like to call her names, say she is evil and comment on how she should be put to death. But I don’t see anyone here touting their educational credentials and their logical arguments to counter her comments,…all I see are people offering their ideas on what torture would be best for Ann. Come on kids, grow up. Or at least tell me what your educational background is so that we can have a real, honest, and adult debate on Ann’s merits. Otherwise, go back to the sandbox until you get a better education. Just sayin’….

  • Lord Tantrum

    Coulter is a good writer, Slowhand, I’ll give you that. It doesn’t take an Ivy League degree to see through her act, though. She mixes the occasional insight (the impact single-parent upbringings have on crime, for instance) with outrageous statements designed to infuriate liberals and whip right-wing nutjobs into a frenzy. I don’t have much respect for her, though I agree that the death threats aren’t necessary.

  • Being controversial is her schtick. I think that privately she would tell you she doesn’t believe half the things she says. But, if it will raise an eyebrow, she’ll say it.

  • Ike

    To Slowhand

    Most of us who do have superior qualifications do not as a rule append it to comments to bolster our point of view. A point is either logical or not. To me, I don’t care what Ann Coulter says, as she is becoming part of an irrelevant choir or the new corporatist, for whom logic and truth have no value. But, just for you I will add that I am an engineer who also holds a Master of Laws degree. So I spent more that a short time in law school. I can assure you qualifications as such do not guarantee sanity.

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