M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Monday, July 21, 2003  

Coulter? I Hardly Know ‘Er!

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a comment on Miss Alli’s site that was somewhat in defense of Ann Coulter. My point was that it’s easy to forget that one of Coulter’s friends, Barbara Olson, was on board the plane that struck the Pentagon on September 11. As for those of us who didn’t lose anybody on that tragic day, how can we say for certain that we wouldn’t have responded in the same way? By which I mean, of course, going completely and totally poo-flinging bugfuck crazy?

Ann Coulter has quite publicly urinated in the Cheerios™ of national discourse. Some of the arguments in her new book Treason (no link – find it yerself, Commie) are so ridiculous that even engaging them diminishes any serious political commentator.

Good thing I’m not one of those.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to address her position that Joe McCarthy’s heroism is the only reason we’re not all goose-stepping around in big fur hats. I will, however, attempt to address one of her charges, one that I’ve also seen on message boards and heard on talk radio, which is that people who don’t support the war hate America.

I can’t believe it’s even necessary to have this discussion, but let’s get on with it.

Okay. I’m firing up the old analogy generator. Imagine your child, if you have one. If you don’t have children, imagine you do. If you’re Ann Coulter, imagine that your lips, having departed your face years ago, have become sentient and are starting their own lives—

Sorry, I meant to keep this civil.

So, this child of yours, either real or hypothetical. When he’s doing something you think is wrong or dangerous, don’t you tell him?

If she’s getting B’s and C’s in school and you know she could get A’s with a little more effort, aren’t you going to encourage her to put in that effort?

If she’s running towards a cliff, won’t you yell at her to stop? Mightn’t some anger creep into your voice?

If he’s shooting up a mall, aren’t you going to try and talk him into putting the gun down? Preferably from behind a large stone planter?

You would?

So my question is, why do you hate your kid so much?

Why can’t you support your child? What’s wrong with you? This is your child we’re talking about.

I mean, if your kid gets beaten up by someone who then runs away and hides, and everyone feels bad for him, and he starts looking around for other kids to beat up himself, and he gets it in his head to beat up this other kid who’s threatened to beat him up even though he never could, some kid that your kid insists is good friends with your kid’s assailant despite all evidence to the contrary, and you know he doesn’t like this other kid and has wanted to beat him up for a long time anyway, and this other kid may be smaller and weaker now but your kid insists that the other kid is learning karate and will have his black belt in a matter of months and nothing will be able to stop this other kid from beating up your kid at will, on like forty-five minutes’ notice, and your kid is determined that he’s never going to get beat up again, no way, no matter how many people he has to beat up, no matter how many other kids hate him now, so you owe it to your kid to hold his coat and cheer him on while he beats up this other kid twice as badly as he got beat up himself. Right?

Because this is your child, and it’s your parental duty to support whatever he does. Anything less is taking the side of that kid who beat him up in the first place. I’m calling Social Services on your child-hating ass right now.

I can hear the objections to this line of reasoning already: “Dammit, you’re infantilizing this country, treating it like a spoiled child, which is exactly the way the Europeans see us.” Fine. Leaving aside the fact that half of the Middle East is wondering just how long it’ll be before they get wished into the cornfield, it still applies if you’re talking about a parent, friend, mentor, or other loved one. If you see that person going off the rails, you say so. You don’t say, “Wow, nice car. That drug muling is really paying off” or “I’m glad you’re not letting those arbitrary child pornography laws prevent you from pursuing your dream.” People don’t stage interventions for people they don’t care about, okay?

And it’s not like the anti-war folks don’t have a stake in what happens to this country. Many of them live here, despite the common misconception that two hundred thousand people commuted to Manhattan from Belgium for the protests back in March. Listen: if you’re driving down the freeway and your passenger points out that you’re going north in the southbound lane, you don’t get all hurt and say, “Dude, I thought we were friends.” If you have any sense of self-preservation, you’ll consider that input before simply snapping back, “We want to go north, you slaveowner!” Of course, that might not allow you the vindication of eventually tasting truck grille and accusing your passenger of bringing about the accident by providing aid and comfort to the southbound, but everything’s a trade-off.

I’m going out on a limb here because I haven’t actually done any independent polling, but I daresay that most Americans do want what’s best for America. They just disagree with each other about what that is. Ann Coulter wants to cut off the debate by denying the American-ness of people who disagree with her, which, sorry, doesn’t say much for the strength of her position. Anybody can win if they can prevent their opponents from showing up. She says liberals get indignant when their patriotism is questioned, and she’s right about that, but she couldn’t be more wrong about the reasons why. She might understand that if she’d come down out of her tree and talk to people instead of sitting up there and dropping coconuts on their heads.

Accusing other Americans of anti-Americanism isn’t a serious debate tactic, any more than when lefties Godwin themselves out of a discussion by invoking the Nazis. It’s lazy, it’s counterproductive, and it’s so beside the point that the point looks like a line from there.

And if you don’t knock it off, you’re going to be the first in the Gulag after the Glorious Revolution.

Kidding! Kidding. Jeez, so uptight, you people.

* * *

Just to prove I’m not a communist, check out that little capitalist logo on the right there, under where it says “loot.” Technically you’re not “supporting this site,” because I’m not paying for it, but writing these things does burn up time that I might otherwise use to check the coin returns on the vending machines at the bus station.

The logo on the stuff is kind of pixelly-looking in its blown-up form, but I hope to fix that soon. That means you’d better snap up the current versions before they get taken off the market and become collector’s items. What? It could happen.

posted by M. Giant 3:32 PM 0 comments


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