Sunday, February 12, 2006

Ann Here We Go Again!

Ann Coulter, leader of the race to the bottom in debate, has moved a few more lengths out in front. She's going down in history as the woman who could sprint all the time in this marathon of lowering standards.

Let's not waste time throwing pies of logic at her (the ony kind of pies that should be thrown) nor redefine futility by pointing out that if any on the left had said these things my e-mailbox would have been flooded by condemnations and calls for banning (to their credit, some of the rightward blogs have been busy condemning Ann as well - follow the above link to Donkelphant, and he'll link you to Right Wing Nuthouse's collection of links - however, more below) and since it's Sunday and I feel like crap and didn't sleep well last night, I don't want to once again try to move the ocean with a spoon and say that her comments add nothing to any form of debate besides a razor-spitting raspberry.

Let's just skip all that. Those who find her witty, intelligent, and reasoned won't believe any argument I could make.

Let's explore WHY she has so many followers. In the above mentioned Right Wing Nuthouse link, you will see that there is the inevitable comparison to left wing comments, which is fair to some degree, although I disagree with the idea that comments at the Coretta Scott King funeral are the same thing. (At most, you've got a case of wrong place and time, and I think Rev. Lowery's comments were at the wrong place and time. Jimmy Carter's I don't have a problem with for two reasons - the King's WERE wiretapped, and everyone should know both parties did it. Just because history may shine a mirror into current acts, it doesn't magically wipe out the people at fault in the beginning. But to say the comments at the funereal are similar to Ann's is saying that arguing in a church is the equivalent to making death threats and using the term "ragheads" in a public forum as a joke.) But look at the comments and you see people defending her. Look at the other blogs listed, and you will find people defending her comments there as well.

Some defend them as her right to talk. No problem there. I've never said she should be banned - I've often said I wish she could tell the truth and not go so over the top, but never ban her.

Some people say the left is just as bad, so what's the problem? The problem, shared on both sides, is that if you condemn egregious remarks on the other side, but not the same style of remarks on your side, you're a hypocrite and should be judged as unworthy for debate. You have no standards, you only have sides. However, in today's world, you're more likely to get a radio or TV gig and get a rabid fan base.

And some people say that Ann can make these remarks because she's right. Here's the real issue.

I'm reading several books on arguing and logic, and one of them - "Truth, Knowledge or Just Plain Bull", by Bernard M. Patten - states it clearly in the introduction. "The Simple Truth Ain't Simple". Later on, it gets even more plain:

"Because there are no simple answers, a simple answer is likely to be wrong."

But that's not what people want to hear nowadays. Many people would rather swallow what the leaders of one party say and accept it as truth handed down from Sinai. And the leaders, especially the ones currently in office, make the "truth" even easier to swallow by saying, "It's our side and the wrong side". Why think about it? It's easy! We're right and they're wrong.

Ann does make it easy. There's no thought to much of her invective. It's all riffs on the major key of "They're wrong and evil" with some minor trills in the key of "Look at how much better we are". A simple tune, easy to whistle while you vote and hum while you look at blogs that agree with your side. People want it that way. Why struggle to understand something complex and deep when there's this ready made, easy bake answer over here, just waiting for you to turn off your brain.

And you know you're right, you can call the other side "ragheads" and rue never taking a shot at Bill Clinton. 'cause that's easy - they're wrong, and deserve any and all evil we can wish upon them.

And since they're evil and we're right, there's no need to actually listen to them or question our acts. No! Wanting it to be easy never means having to wonder about your side.

So, maybe Ann's appealing to the people out there who just don't want to wonder about things. And she's got a lot of followers.

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