American Conservative meat puppet Ann Coulter was supposed to be speaking at the University of Ottawa last night. Unfortunately some truly loutish folks figured that it would be better to stop her speaking by protesting hard and long, to the extent that the U of O cancelled her performance.
Now, I’ll declare my bias out front: Ann Coulter is single-note conservative mouth-breather, quite possibly a knee-jerk racist and has done her right-wing nut character long enough for it to become tedious. As soon as you see Coulter on the tube, or scan her byline, you are driven to the Home Shopping Channel, or to go watch an AM radio. I suppose the most positive thing that I could say about her, is that she has likely signed her Organ Donor card.
The issue is really about Freedom of Speech. There’s a side of Freedom of Speech that we overlook. It is the responsibility side: Not only can you exercise your right to Freedom of Speech, but at the same time, you are obligated to let those who differ to have their say as well.
I have no time for racists and even less time for those whose simple existence proves that Mom wouldn’t swallow, but I do respect the essential right for Ann Coulter to exercise her Freedom of Speech. The reason is simple: When rational people hear the vituperative bilge, poseur proclamations and brain-injured rationalizations, people will come to their own decision. Banning her, or shutting her down means that a tiny percentage of the sane might think she’s “really telling like it is” or has some kind of insight that is being blocked by the power elite, giving her more credibility than she deserves.
That’s the conundrum of Freedom of Speech. The obligation to let those of a contrary view have their time. Fortunately, letting the nuts rant for a while, exposes them as those whose expostulations are a boring act that plays well with the uneducated or unthinking.
Actually, the protesters at the University of Ottawa should have protested vigorously, as they did, but at the appropriate moment, stood quiet and let her open her mouth to prove she’s a hack. Then simply gotten up and left the hall.
Fame pigs like Coulter are easy to shut up. Let them speak and let others recognize how shallow and silly the act really is. They’ll fall off the radar fast enough that we won’t have to put up with them befouling the airwaves or wasting good bandwidth with their brain farts disguised a commentary.