UPDATE: Read our extensive review of Treason.
There's something about Ann Coulter. An aura, possibly. But something
has hooked me into her hypnotizing rhetoric that has molded the opinions
of millions. Her syndicated column features the most fiery articles I've
ever read from a political pundit. Aggressive-Voice.com readers know my
feelings toward her. Just read my review of
Slander. As a two-time New York Times best seller, Ann Coulter has
crossed the line many times, usually doing so while verbally assaulting
President Clinton and other democrats along the way.
I finally met Ann Coulter. She was touring the Florida college campuses
mid-November, and I had the chance to get face-to-face with her on
November 14, on her last stop; Florida State University. And yes, I got
to fire off a question at her.
If you've ever read my earlier columns on Ann Coulter, you would probably
conclude that I think very little of her. But I really am a fan of
Coulter. The experience was amazing, one that every
politically-interested mind should experience. I would like to mention
some my observations, and what it was like to sit in during one of her
She arrived at the auditorium at approximately 7:30. As she walked past
me in the front row to get to the podium, I could feel the energy
radiating from her. The lecture hall was packed. The audience was
mostly made up of conservatives; each with a copy of her autographed
book, Slander in their laps, from the book signing an hour beforehand.
And of course, some campus liberals showed up; about 20 of them. Why
they did was beyond me. I'm guessing it was a form of protest, but they
looked ridiculous. I don't know if you've ever seen a college liberal
before, but most of them are as far left as you can get. They walked in
with a nice twenty foot rainbow colored banner, making sure to catch the
eye of everyone in attendance. Most of them wore lavishing clothing,
effulgently enough to overshadow the conservatively dressed
--conservatives. I knew from there, that this was going to be an
The title of her lecture was, Liberalism and Terrorism: Different
Stages of the Same Disease. The lecture didn't get off to a great
start. Coulter's microphone wasn't working, and none of students from
The Institute for Conservative Studies, the people who brought Coulter to
Florida State, would do anything to correct the problem. While the ICS
fumbled around, Coulter uttered, "This is the physics building. Somebody
should know how to do this."
She opened the lecture by reading some of the material from one of her
columns that focused on how the democrats should distinguish themselves
from republicans. It was in sarcastic tone; encouraging the democrats to
stage more anti-war rallies and to speak against the boy scouts. The
audience mainly sat quietly, slightly chuckling at a humorous note or
two. One fellow, continually guffawed after every word Coulter spoke.
He was obviously having a good time. He was obviously a conservative.
When it appeared that the storm had passed, things became shaky again.
Before finishing a point, Coulter spotted one of the IFC members with a
video camera. Coulter quickly stopped and glared at one of hosts for the
evening, and immediately shot at him. "Am I being filmed?" she demanded
to know in an evil tone. Not in a whisper, but in a snarl. "Am I being
filmed? I don't want to be filmed!" At this point, Mr. Chuckles was no
longer laughing his head off. He had the expression of a high school
student who was afraid to move a finger after the class was scolded by
the fuming teacher.
The Institute for Conservative Studies continued to screw up. One
student felt it was necessary to take more than twenty photographs of
Coulter, from every angle in the auditorium. The flash was on, of
course, and it wasn't making Coulter happy. Once again stopping in the
middle of a point, Coulter retorted, "I am being distracted, here."
But the night eventually got smoother. Coulter fan #1 started his
laughing routine up again. It happened after Coulter made a point that
Hillary never knew about her husband's affair, which means she naturally
won't know a lot of things as a New York senator.
There were two main points to Coulter's lecture. The first was that
liberals and democrats have been trying to impede the progress in the war
on terrorism, thus making democrats terrorist themselves. As I've noted
every time in my columns on Coulter; she never backed up her facts. She
would name democratic politicians who had voted for or against a certain
bill, but failed to explain that republicans do the same thing. But this
is expected. After all, she is a conservative, and everything that
conservatives do is right.
I of course, disagreed with almost everything she said about the
liberals' intentions to bring down America.
The second half of the one hour lecture was the best part. It was what I
completely agreed with. And for the first time, I found myself finding
respect in Ann Coulter for sharply sticking up for what she believes in.
That issue was 'racial profiling.'
In her lecture, she named every terrorist act against the United States
by Muslim extremists. She must have named twenty incidents, but always
repeated the phrase, "Muslim extremists." She then began arguing that
airport security needs to stop searching elderly men and women, and start
searching the Muslims and people who look like Muslims.
When the lecture was over, Coulter was prepared to take questions. A
member of the ICS stood in the aisle, and people with questions were
asked to stand behind him. Everyone stayed in their seats. So
naturally, I stood up and was prepared to ask a question. I stood alone
for a good 30 seconds, before others courageously lined up behind me.
Keep in mind, we were only allowed to ask one question, with no
follow-ups. It went a little something like this:
"Miss Coulter. You've done a thorough job expressing how Muslim
extremists are responsible for the terrorists attacks on the United
States. Just recently, President Bush reacted to statements by Pat
Robinson, and other Christian-right reverends who have labeled the Islam
religion as evil. Bush had replied saying that the Muslims are peaceful.
What was your reaction to those comments?"
Coulter then quickly replied, basically saying that Bush did the right
thing by defending Muslims as a whole. Unfortunately, we were not
allowed to throw a rebuttal nor could we follow up on our question. It
was a shame, because I easily got Coulter to contradict herself. This is
the same women who said, “[they] should invade their [Muslim] countries,
kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.” and also called for
the “mass deportation of Muslims.” When democrats defend Muslims, it is
an act of political correctness. When President Bush defends Muslims, it
is doing, "a good job."
As I pointed out in one my earlier columns,
Coulter basically denounced the Muslim faith entirely:
"For my escapist summer reading at the beach this week, I've been
flipping through Sean Hannity's fabulous new book, "Let Freedom Ring."
It's a fine book, with many excellent illustrations of how consistently
wrong liberals have been for half a century, give or take a few years.
But I must take issue with Sean on one point. Perplexingly, he writes:
"The vast majority of liberals are good, sincere, well-meaning people."
This cheery bonhomie is beginning to sound like the mantra about the
"vast majority" of Muslims being peaceful and has produced the same good
Yet Coulter personally told me that Bush was "right on" for defending
Muslims after several blasphemous comments were made against them by
right-wing Christian leaders Jerry Falwell and Pat Robinson. This is a
clear-cut example of how most of Coulter's arguments are structured
around hypocrisy and built on hypocrisy.
By the time my short exchange with Coulter was over, a line had formed
behind me that extended past the last row in the auditorium. The
questions that followed mine were horrible; Coulter had an easy time
destroying all of them. "Do I look like a Muslim?" a fellow behind me
cried out. Coulter confidently replied, "I don't know, but I'd search
you if you came through my airport!"
A liberal audience member chuckled at one of Coulter's replies from his
seat. She looked up at him, and quickly shot off a challenge. "This is
why I became a conservative in college in the first place….If you think
you're so smart, why don't you act brave enough and come down and ask a
question?" That immediately silenced every rainbow-shirt wearing
spectator. Not one from that bunch came down to ask a question.
When the lecture ended, I proceeded to exit out the back with my
colleague. Coincidentally, Coulter was right behind us as she was being
escorted to her car by the conservative studies students. A few fans
caught up to her; some asked for autographs. With a cigarette in her
mouth, Coulter eagerly signed autographs and accepted compliments from
other fans, one had said she was the best thing to happen to the media.
I learned a lot about Ann Coulter just by observing her in real life, and
in person. While I don't take back a word I've written about her in the
past, including in my earlier columns, I have recently found a certain
amount of respect for her; even if she does believe that liberals hate
America. She still argues one-way, refusing to accept that conservatives
aren't always right. But she's a conservative speaker, and ergo defends
the conservative stance.
Ann Coulter is a powerful woman. Never have I seen a speaker bring out
so much emotion in a person before. Some worship her, others curse her
to the ground. Until the next time I encounter her, I will continue to
criticize and (sometimes) praise her fist-raising columns. She is simply
controversial, and doesn't care if you like her or not.