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The Ann Coulter DefenseDaniel Johnson Salem-News.com
A nation is a community of diverse people, held together by common beliefs, goals and aspirations.
(CALGARY, Alberta) - What do Theo van Gogh and Ann Coulter have in common? Religious extremism.
Van Gogh was murdered in 2004 in Amsterdam by an Islamic fundamentalist who believed that van Gogh had insulted Islam. Similarly, Coulter implicitly urges her readers to kill those who do not agree with her own extreme religious conservatism.
Her 2003 book, Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism, promotes a hatred no less vile than that of Osama bin Laden. Treason, in most countries, and certainly in the United States, is a crime punishable by death. Liberals are guilty of treason, thus implicitly suggesting they should be killed—as was van Gogh.
"Liberals have a preternatural gift for striking a position on the side of treason,” she opens on page one. “You could be talking about Scrabble and they would instantly leap to the anti-American position. Everyone says liberals love America, too. No they don’t. Whenever the nation is under attack, from within or without, liberals side with the enemy. This is their essence.” On the last page she concludes that “the fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives is: Conservatives believe man was created in God’s image; liberals believe they are God….They instinctively root for anarchy and against civilization. The inevitable logic of the liberal position is to be for treason. (emphasis added)”
What is the motive for her extremism? It’s the same as any Islamic fundamentalist. Both believe they have the absolute pipeline to truth and not only will neither brook any dissent, but for them death to the infidel/enemy is a “rational”, wished for, outcome. “Liberals are always against America,” she says, which makes them enemies of America. “We won’t have any enemies because we’re going to kill them.”
At the end of her book she quotes political philosopher Paul Johnson from Enemies of Society who says that “a man who deliberately inflicts violence on the language will almost certainly inflict violence on human beings if he acquires the power.” The violent language in Coulter’s speeches, articles and books cannot be missed and must not be underestimated.
I’m surprised that some crazed right-winger hasn’t taken her seriously, deciding that, in the name of Coulter patriotism, it’s his duty to kill as many “liberals” as he can. Then, if captured alive, he can offer the “Ann Coulter defence”. Just as Islamic terrorists act in the name of Allah, he would be acting in the name of Ann. Murder in the name of ideology is neither new nor uncommon.
The historical trend is clear and Harper’s magazine (or some other publication) would be doing America, indeed the world, a service in reprinting its November 1964 article “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” by historian Richard Hofstadter who, in presciently describing the Ann Coulter of today, said he used the term paranoid style “simply because no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy” of its followers.
The paranoid fantasies of Hofstadter’s 1960s Goldwater fanatics are nothing compared to today’s Coulter. “Any historian of warfare knows [war] is in good part a comedy of errors and a museum of incompetence,” wrote Hofstadter, “but if for every error and every act of incompetence one can substitute an act of treason, many points of fascinating interpretation are open to the paranoid imagination.”
A nation is a community of diverse people, held together by common beliefs, goals and aspirations. When some individuals are seen as irredeemably bad, then the grounds for community are lost. When people like Ann Coulter preach hatred and exclusion with such uncompromising intensity; when the argument is so emotional and immune to reason; the foundations of community itself crumble across what Coulter says is the greatest nation on earth—its greatness diminished and existence itself threatened, she says, by Godless liberals—but really by her and her hate-filled adherents.
Daniel Johnson was born near the midpoint of the twentieth century in Calgary, Alberta. In his teens he knew he was going to be a writer, which is why he was one of only a handful of boys in his high school typing class—a skill he knew was going to be necessary. He defines himself as a social reformer, not a left winger, the latter being an ideological label which, he says, is why he is not an ideologue. From 1975 to 1981 he was reporter, photographer, then editor of the weekly Airdrie Echo. For more than ten years after that he worked with Peter C. Newman, Canada’s top business writer (notably a series of books, The Canadian Establishment). Through this period Daniel also did some national radio and TV broadcasting. He gave up journalism in the early 1980s because he had no interest in being a hack writer for the mainstream media and became a software developer and programmer. He retired from computers last year and is now back to doing what he loves—writing and trying to make the world a better place
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