Ann Coulter: A Symptom Of A Larger Ailment genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Ann Coulter

In the past week, Ann Coulter has once again made her way to the center stage…the place from which she likes to spin her tasteless diatribes against everyone and everything she elects to associate with the Democratic Party and Liberalism.

In Coulter’s most recent appearances, she succeeded in wishing that John Edwards be killed by a terrorist assassin…an attack she offered to substitute for her prior controversial statement that John Edwards was a faggot…one that drew harsh criticism from both the left and the right. She also suggested that Edward's work as an attorney had bankrupted good doctors and prevented them from delivering babies.

Coulter has drawn ample criticism for her latest screeds, but I believe the issue is much larger than a brazen blond in a dress far too short for a boney legged woman who is in her fifth decade of life (OK, I apologize for the ad hominem rant but if Coulter isn't deserving, then who is?).

In all seriousness, while she has earned all of the criticism directed her way, she is simply a symptom of a far wider disorder. The core problem is that her brand of tabloid trash talk has broad appeal. It speaks to hatreds that were suppressed by the civil rights movement in the 60’s and early 70’s…a movement that virtually shamed bigots into silence though it likely failed to change as many hearts as we may have hoped.

Her willingness to say what others are thinking has made her the cause celeb for a group of hatemonger’s who have decided its safe to come out of the closet. It’s an interesting dynamic for a group that is primarily misogynistic. Ironically, Coulter's supporters and apologists haven't tagged her with either the “b" word or the “c" word monikers that they frequently attach to prominent and powerful women…a feat accomplished because she routinely attacks the same women these individuals dislike.

When she attacks these powerful women (and the men who don’t embrace the perpetuation of a gender driven status of privilege) she not only appeals to a distinctly defined male demographic, but also to the women that are trapped in a generational pattern of male dominance.

Pejoratively speaking, she serves as their female Uncle Tom…a co-opted woman who is willing to do their bidding (for a handsome fee). The dynamic is such that her attacks meet with the approval of men who would otherwise frown upon an assertive and acerbic woman. In many ways, they realize that she is the ideal candidate to champion their agenda…the ideal bait and switch if you will.

A blond white Anglo male of Coulter’s same age and ethnicity simply couldn’t get the coverage she receives as well as the free pass she coerces with her sensual shtick…an act aimed at mainstream media pundits like Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly…men who are also predominantly white males that view sitting shoulder to shoulder with the vituperate vixen as an ego enhancing pseudo-sexual encounter…something to talk about over beers with other good old boys who languish in their own loofah lathered fantasies while objectifying women.

In some bizarre way, Coulter is a blessing in that she has been the catalyst which has served to illuminate a dormant, though festering fraternity of ebullient bigots who seek to normalize bias and demonize diversity. She is their mouthpiece and their megaphone.

Coulter hits all the hot buttons…she assails terrorism by calling Islam a “car-burning cult"…she talks about immigration with derogatory stories of illegal drug smuggling Mexicans…she has asserted that Bill Clinton is gay and that John Edwards is a faggot…she argued that there should be a literacy test and a poll tax for people to vote…she suggested that women should be armed but not able to vote.

When speaking about the 9/11 women who opposed the war in Iraq, she contended that they were enjoying their husbands deaths…she accuses liberals of hating America, flag-wavers, abortion opponents, and all religions except Islam after the 9/11 attacks…and she said her only regret with Timothy McVeigh was that he didn’t choose to bomb the New York Times Building.

Reality tells us that nothing is more attractive than words of hatred to a bigot…and if one were to think of Coulter as a magnet, she puts out a polarity that instantly unites her with virtually all things bigoted. That occurrence simply demonstrates that Coulter and her vitriol flourish because of the symbiosis that exists between her and her fanatical followers.

In that regard, Coulter is simply the ugly oozing wound through which the poison of a larger disease escapes its incubation chamber...a chamber filled with hatred and fomented by the flagrant face that she is able to attach to the insidious ailment of animosity and anger at all things anathema.

Silencing Coulter may make a number of her detractors happy but it will not expunge the disease from the body that it inhabits...a collective of citizens that would likely prefer a return to the times that preceded the civil rights era...a time when vigilante justice and the power of the posse mentality meted out justice on the branch of the nearest tree or through the barrel of a gun.

I have the utmost respect for Elizabeth Edwards and she, in my opinion, represents all things antithetical to Ann Coulter. I don't begrudge her efforts to confront Coulter during her hostile appearance with Chris Matthews...but I suspect that doing so only emboldens Coulter’s supporters and enables them to make Edwards the object of their toxic tirades.

In so noting, I would suggest that it should inform and guide us to reconnect with the only strategy that can serve to muzzle Coulter and her ilk...a strategy that refuses to give recognition to their untenable ideations and uses the power of group rejection and shaming to force them into silent retreat.

Its simple things like voicing disgust when her name is mentioned or when she appears on television...in order to make sure that one's disdain is heard by those nearby. It’s being heard making a comment in the bookstore when passing a Coulter book display...asking why anybody would buy such trumped up trash.

The strategy should be to make her and her followers pariahs...people to avoid...people to ignore...people that become identified as out of touch and out of the mainstream...people clinging to antiquated hatreds that are born of ignorance. The goal should be to shift her status from celebrity to notoriety...to label her...not in the same way she sets out to label all that she dislikes...but to label her as unacceptable, embarrassing, and ridiculous.

When identifying with Coulter is seen as an asinine alliance and an indication of ignorance, she will become inconsequential and her power will evaporate. The objective should be to establish a distinction between celebrity and notoriety whereby notoriety is a scourge; not a badge of honor.

Accolades and acclamation ought to be reserved for celebrity…celebrity that has at its core the betterment of society or at the very least a contribution that isn’t a detriment. Notoriety should have consequences…a far different outcome and one that shouldn’t reward inappropriate behavior but should instead relegate the notorious to a place of obscurity and insignificance.

In our instant gratification society, we thrive on the latest and greatest breaking story…and the more outrageous; the more we tend to indulge our appetites. We have accepted the notion that all publicity is good publicity…meaning that we have enabled the construct that fame and fortune will likely flow from every tragedy and every misdeed. Celebrity is no longer just the domain of those doing good deeds…in fact; it’s now as likely to be associated with horrific acts and horrible behavior.

Until we break this cycle, people like Ann Coulter will garner the spotlight and have a platform to connect with other ill-intentioned and ill-mannered agitators. As long as she and others like her are given celebrity status, the hatred they espouse will reinforce the mechanisms by which it has been, and will continue to be, perpetuated.

The power of a civil society lies in its ability to will those inclined to bad behavior into at least a reconsideration of that behavior…and at best a recognition that such actions would facilitate their being ostracized…thereby hopefully serving to extinguish the motivations and their bad behavior.

It’s by no means a perfect equation as there will always be miscreants that cannot or will not be rehabilitated. Nonetheless, it is safe to say that the equation we’ve recently adopted is an unmitigated failure that has the potential to unravel what remains of the fabric that has held us together in spite of our many differences.

Ann Coulter is the equivalent of a caustic solvent…a sharpened seam ripper…and she has as her goal to disassemble in order to denigrate. Hers’ is an equation of destruction premised upon the principle that division properly manipulated in fact serves to multiply. However, unlike the biblical story of Jesus multiplying the loaves and fishes in order to serve more humanity to more humans, Coulter seeks to multiply the hatred necessary for one group to seek dominion over all others.

Her book, Godless: The Church Of Liberalism is nothing more than the recipe by which she seeks to bring her plan to fruition. She is akin to the rogue angels that sought status over stability despite god’s original promise of bounty for all. In the many biblical fables, the clear instruction was that when humanity is torn asunder against itself, it will never achieve its potential. Coulter’s fable offers no such instruction and its title is nothing more than a projection of her misguided motivations.

In this human existence that we all share, our capacity for good is matched by our free will to choose evil. The challenge of humanity is to recognize that so long as one human is pitted against another; there will only be turmoil and torment…making it incumbent upon a majority of humans to choose to align with goodness and to elect to shun those who seek to divide. Our destiny is ours to determine. Our determination must be to let no human keep us from our destiny.

Image courtesy of www.salon.com

Daniel DiRito | June 28, 2007 | 10:27 PM
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Comments

1 On June 29, 2007 at 9:47 AM, Dr X wrote —

Daniel,

This is a very interesting, perhaps unique, analysis of the Coulter phenomenon. Okay, I don't spend much time reading about Coulter, but I haven't seen a discussion of the bigot's bait-and-switch applied to the likes of Coulter. Excellent post!

2 On June 30, 2007 at 9:52 PM, tom wrote —

Hello,

I think this is a great post. I often have thought that she is not the lone gunman of the right-wing neocon agenda. It makes perfect sense that she is being played up for furthering the facist utopian goals.

Thought Theater at Blogged

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