Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter represents the foxy face of fascism and is getting away with saying incendiary bullshit that her male Republican counterparts would never dare to. She’s not bright, she’s rude and she’s repetitive – so why has she hit the bestseller list 5 times? Prepare to be afraid…

In a world where no one seems particularly happy with their own government, or anyone else’s for that matter, it’s quite unremarkable that extremist views on the political spectrum will occur and develop.

When the topic of extremism crops up, my mind subconsciously flits to skinhead BNP supporters – a minority who, barring ridicule on “Have I Got News For You”, are largely ignored.

And then I hear comments like this, made just after the September 11th attacks:

“We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war.”

I’d normally just assume comments like these came from the ranks of the far and distant right and not give it another thought. That is, until, I heard that these particular comments were made by a woman who has written five New York Times bestsellers and describes herself as “Christian first and a mean-spirited, bigoted conservative second”.

Ann Coulter is the new darling of American fascism and, if the book sales reflect common opinion in the world’s superpower then damnit – I’m terrified.

Now, from my understanding, one reaches the bestsellers list with work that’s original. Reading Coulter’s arguments, one can’t help but draw parallels with the kind of ranting that someone at the pub might start spewing after having one too many. So, I have to ask myself, why on Earth would people go out and buy something that they’ve heard time and time again? What’s the difference between this woman and Mick-the-racist on his eighth pint – apart from a fat bank account and the publishing deal?

I searched for explanations – Intelligence? Twenty minutes of watching any spontaneous interview with Coulter will certainly tell you that she’s not the brightest star in the sky. How about her cutting wit, tact or determination? Well, this is the woman who used an episode of Seinfield to ‘prove’ that “mixed race couples walk around New York with a chip on their shoulder” and then went on to claim that all Christians were “perfected Jews” and that the world would be better if everyone were Christian. Ann also, famously, rang a radio show an hour and a half late for her interview and then complained about the time. Looks like her etiquette isn’t up to scratch either.

So I’m wondering… out of all of the extremists, out of every writer that the far-right had to offer – why did this one become so successful? One who even conservatives criticise and who has been accused of repeating the same points over and over in those five best selling books? The mind boggles.

I feel that perhaps in order to answer my own question, I must turn to my inner cynic. The one thing that Mick-the-racist does not have is a mile of preened leg and a figure that even the most disillusioned, half starved, off-the-rails celebrity would envy. The lady herself even claimed that: “I am emboldened by my looks to say things Republican men wouldn’t.”

In a media-saturated world, it’s depressing to believe that someone’s political reading list could be easily swayed by the “perdy laidee” sitting on the front cover. Why should looks be the thing needed in order to empower a woman?

Maybe the left should retaliate by re-publishing Das Kapital with Jodie Marsh on the front cover? I have a feeling that the reception would be a lot more favourable this time around.

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