In March, we began hearing it everywhere. Fluorescent flyers were taped, tacked and stapled all over campus. On them was a picture of Ann Coulter, arms folded, above a simple war-type declaration: THE RUMORS ARE TRUE.
Ann was going to speak to us! The topic: "Exposing the lies of the liberal left."
Rapidly, the campus was divided into two fiercely-opposed factions: those who accepted this shocking development, and those who wanted her to be, as someone in my class put it unblushingly, "gotten rid of." Each side took turns telling the other how intolerant it was. Chalk outside the auditorium read both "STOP ANN'S HATE" and "VIVA FREE SPEECH." There were violent arguments in the classroom (see above). I must have received 20 email petitions to keep Coulter from coming. The $25,000 paid out by College Republicans to secure her was investigated by the faculty. [VDARE.COM note: our writers are available at a somewhat lower rate!] There were reports that her invitation would be withdrawn.
But it wasn't. And the auditorium was packed. If we could make it through the throngs of students outside, waiting to see if they could score any extra tickets, our bags were inspected and we were told "no blocking the view, no causing a scene." Yeah, right.
Clearly, the biggest fraction of the crowd were non-supporters. The low rumble of the audience got louder as the minutes ticked on. Ann was late. But then, when she walked out onto to stage, there was an audible gasp—she was SO thin.
Especially in contrast to the David Hasselhoff-type security guard standing some distance behind her—distinctly attractive, if I do say so—waiflike Ann was startling.
Needless to say, the faculty, staff and the extra city cops whose job was to keep protestors under control were a joke. After announcing that any mischief-makers would be escorted out of the building, the deans did little more than stand around. Maniacal feminists and Muslim activists (yes!—at a Catholic university!) screamed curses and insults, set off a stink bomb, blocked views, turned their backs and moaned loud fake orgasms. Meanwhile the "authorities" prevented any of the College Republicans from taking matters into their own hands.
Ann's response was to provoke the liberals further with characteristically Coulter insults. ("Wide load!" she called repeatedly when confronted with the protestors' backsides). Then she invited them to step it up a notch by announcing: "It's in my contract that if you get too bad, I will leave."
Needless to say, the protestors promptly got worse. And then Ann did leave—even skipping out on the high-security book-signing to which she had previously agreed.
I have to say that this really disappointed the campus' already severely outnumbered conservatives. They imagined Ann Coulter to be made of tougher stuff. Why encourage misbehavior among the liberal banshees, only to sweep off without even a hat tip to her sponsors? They put up with just as much abuse (if not more) in order just to get her on campus. If she had spent half as much time actually giving her speech as she did yelling "Wide load!", she could certainly have gotten through the whole thing.
Also…I admit it: I was, well, irritated by the way she ignored the (quite numerous) conservative women who were on her side. It only took a few instances of Coulter calling on all the "conservative heterosexual MEN" to quell the protesters before we women realized we had two choices: either assume the roles of men (who is the feminist here?) or simply sit down and let the protest rage.
I went to the speech eager to hear Coulter's wit and sarcasm (and, yes, hyperbole) engaged in a tough but interesting topic—one that I would certainly not hear in any classroom. Instead, I saw Coulter lower herself to the standards apparently set by foul-mouthed juveniles and then flee in a way that she would undoubtedly criticize as "womanish" in her opponents.
With this in mind, I approached Coulter's new book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism with some caution. My faith in the Blonde Defender was shaken. I was hesitant to let down my guard again. I didn't want to be suckered in by her right-wing rationality, witty pot-shots at Michael Moore and little black dress.
But what can I say? She's good!
In Godless, Coulter documents what many conservatives already feel: that modern liberalism is a godless state-endorsed religion. Using this general attack on liberalism as a structure from which to launch more focused assaults, Coulter addresses sex education, crime, abortion, the "Jersey Girls" (VDARE.COM contributor Peter Gadiel wants us to point out that the "Jersey Girls" are not connected with his 9/11 Families For A Secure America), the Iraq War (she's for it), public schools, AIDS, race, IQ, and evolution.
Coulter describes example after example of liberalism reacting to rational thought and objective science with censorship and witch-hunting in order to maintain its national hegemony. In the case of AIDS and DDT, anti-discrimination and hyper-protective pretenses take precedence over human life. In the case of criminal punishment—especially with regard to Willie Horton—dangerously ineffective "rehabilitation" and anti-racism take precedence over the reality of crime prevention (and, ultimately, human life).
And she certainly entertains. Some choice bits:
And my personal favorite:
From a VDARE.COM point of view, it's interesting that, while Coulter unflinchingly addresses controversial issues like racial differences in IQ, she conspicuously avoids all mention of immigration. For example, she dedicates a good portion of a chapter to outlining crime statistics in various cities around the U.S., making very clear the many failures in liberal criminal justice. A short rundown of the crime statistics associated with liberal immigration policies would have fit quite easily into this discussion. She doesn't mention it.
But VDARE.COM editor Peter Brimelow is quoted ("a 'racist' is 'someone who is winning an argument with a liberal'"—Page 69). And Ann has begun speaking out on immigration in her columns recently, opposing the Kennedy/Bush Amnesty/ Immigration Acceleration bill and citing Brimelow's 1992 National Review cover story from which VDARE.COM is lineally descended.
Coulter-watchers have been anticipating this eagerly since the few but telling references to immigration in her 2003 book, Treason. She could make an immense difference to the debate.
I admit it's a little odd to read some of Godless's more sermon-ish parts. Coulter's arguments are interesting and solid, but let's just say she's not the first person I would turn to for spiritual guidance—even if she were wearing that cute cross necklace she sports in Godless's jacket photo.
But don't be inadvertently influenced by the extraordinary loathing she inspires. This is a serious book, very cleverly and thoroughly done. I genuinely enjoyed reading it. My once-shaken faith has been reignited—even if from now on I'll stick to Coulter on the page, not Coulter on the stage.
Athena Kerry (email her) recently graduated from a Catholic university somewhere in America.