Ann Coulter Makes Surprisingly Reasonable Point About “Divisive” Political Rhetoric
They say a broken clock is right twice a day–but I really, truly, never thought the day would come when I would agree with Ann Coulter on anything. If I were a religious woman, I would probably consider this a sign of an impending apocalypse. I’m not, so I’m really just very surprised.
You see, yesterday I clicked on an article on Right Wing Watch about a ridiculous thing Ann Coulter said about how Donald Trump is going to “save us from 1000 years of darkness.” Now, certainly, that was not the thing I agreed with. That would be absurd–unless we were talking about harnessing his Day-glo skin, which does not seem like a feasible alternative energy source.
No, what I agreed with was this:
Coulter started off the interview by defending herself from charges that she’s “divisive,” noting that Jesus Christ was divisive as well. “Yeah, I’m ‘divisive’ because I say things I believe, generally, so does Jesus, and liberals yell at me, that makes me ‘divisive.’ It’s the hecklers’ veto,” she said.
That is a damn good point, and one I have been giving a lot of thought to myself these days. Ironically, it’s something I feel I’ve heard more from the right–specifically Glenn Beck and his acolytes–than anything else. Most often, it has something to do with Black Lives Matter and the fact that they are interfering with the ability of these people to go on pretending that systemic racism is not a problem, but I’ve heard it about a variety of other topics as well.
Regardless of who says it or what side it comes from, it’s a terrible, terrible argument. It’s an incredibly lazy way of shutting people down. Whether it applies to me and my opinions, or Coulter and hers. If I disagree with Ann Coulter it’s because I believe she is wrong about something, and I will be prepared to back that opinion up with facts, sources and reason. It will not be because “Oh gosh, she’s dividing us as a country.” It is not her job to unite us as a country, it is her job to state her opinion on things.
The fact is, there is nothing that someone like Ann Coulter could say that would have the power to divide us if we were not already divided to begin with. If we were “united” we would all universally disagree or agree with her. That divide isn’t on her or on anyone else, it’s on us. I think it’s better to confront those issues head on, rather than shove them in the closet like a drunk cousin at a WASP Thanksgiving.
Frankly, I find the “Now play nice and stop being biased” police, and the “Well, I’m a moderate, which means I am always right about everything” brigade about ten thousand times more frustrating than I find Ann Coulter. At least she’s cognizant of the fact that she —like basically every other person on earth —is biased. I would rather know what people actually think, and work from there, then pretend we’re all on the same page all the time.
I don’t like silencing people, even when I disagree with them. There is something I find extremely oppressive about demands for “positivity”–as if it is someone else’s responsibility to not talk about things they feel importantly about, or controversial issues or upsetting things because it might harsh their mellow. If you wanna go look at pictures of cute kittens and puppies–by all means, go ahead! But that doesn’t have to be everything.
“You’re being divisive” is not an argument. “You’re biased!” is not an argument. “You’re being too negative” is not an argument. Either learn how to argue a point by its merits and explain why, exactly, you disagree– or sit that discussion out.