-How aggressive is your voice?

Ann Coulter Encounter
By Scott Spicciati Editor
December 07, 2002

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 lectures.

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 interesting night.

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 results."

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.

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