November 29, 2007 6 Comments
Ann Coulter may or may not be a name that immediately springs to your attention. She is an American Christian fundamentalist and a conservative commentator. You may naturally think that, as a Conservative, you share common morals, ethics and ideals. Well you probably don’t, and that is why I am continually surprised when her books are recommended at various British Conservative events. She is a Republican, and that is often why the more right wing of the Conservative party often offer her up as an ally.
Coulter has courted a lot of media attention and, as a result, a lot of airtime in the US. This however, has been heavily reliant on her mostly questionable comments on a range of controversial subjects. Her ultra right-wing repertoire has ensured she is one of the most controversial and outspoken commentators on American politics. So why should British Conservatives not consider her to be a role model?
Well, firstly, there are her comments on Muslim nations such as "we should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity" which is offensive and quite frankly likely to incite hatred. Then she moves on to attack, on live television some particularly outspoken and media savvy 9/11 widows by declaring that "â€¦these broads are millionairesâ€¦ revelling in their status as celebrities. I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much â€¦by the way, how do we know their husbands weren’t planning to divorce these harpies? Now that their shelf life is dwindling, they’d better hurry up and appear in Playboyâ€¦". As if that wasn’t enough, she goes out of her way to demean every woman in the US with her views on rights to vote. The argument she uses is simple, but unsubstantiated: she says America "would be a much better country if women did not vote". Do I need to go on? It is hard for even the most ardent right-winger to find even a shred of common ground with Coulter. Even the Libertarians in Connecticut turned her down as a candidate after meeting her (and they more or less accept anyone).Â
Over the years the American public and many journalists have become increasingly vocal in their attempts to stop Coulter attracting the levels of media exposure she currently enjoys. Much like the BNP in the UK however, her controversial views generate her exposure and a media platform. Everyone loves a hate figure after all.
Of course, in the land of the free, Coulter has a right to express her opinions, but what exactly is her agenda? It seems simply one of money-grabbing, opportunism and attention seeking. There is no personal ideological message of which she is passionate, but a much more selfish motivation of a large retirement fund; after all, as Ronald Reagan said, " politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book".