Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ann Coulter is Not a "Free Speech Heroine". She's an Idiot.

I must admit that I had never heard Ann Coulter speak, but have read many of the things she has written. Certainly no intellectual, but if I understand correctly, she is a comedian, akin to a shock jock.

Bill Maher had her on as a guest this week and my "shock" was not in her anticipated "hate speech", but in how ignorant she is, or at least acts.

Coulter was blaming the current debt crisis in the U.S., on medicare and social security. When pressed about the wars and the extension of the Bush tax cuts, she declared that they had nothing to do with the current debt.


No. Apparently, the sick and the elderly are to blame.

Not expensive wars or corporate tax cuts. Not the bailing out of Wall Street.

Ezra Levant, that chick magnate, is smitten with Ann Coulter, and interviewed her recently on Fox News North, opening the segment with scenes of an "angry mob", protesting Coulter's intended visit to the University of Ottawa.

Although Levant prefers to use the terms "Demonic Mob" and "Mad Mob".

In the photo above, the young man in the background, with the red eyes, is not part of a demonic mob", but young neocon, Michael Sona, a Conservative staffer.

Sona was the activist who tried to steal the ballot box at the University of Guelph.

The votes in that box were allowed to stand, but it had the desired effect, because Sona's actions resulted in a ruling that no other special ballot polling stations, similar to the one in Guelph, would be authorized anywhere else in Canada during the campaign.

Controlled controversy 101.

In the above segment Coulter and Levant discuss the mob mentality, with Coulter suggesting that the only violence, or threats of violence, come from the left wing.

Obviously she hasn't been watching the Tea Party protests, where one man carried this sign.

Coulter also claimed that only the left will compare right-wingers to Nazis and/or other dictators. Again she needs to get out more.

Even Canada's Sun Media jumped on the bandwagon.

Of course, the intent is not to have us believe what they are saying. They know it's not true but it doesn't matter. The devotees will believe it's true and they need to keep them angry and loyal. 'Don't be ashamed of those thoughts because we agree. We're just like you'.

Classic Karl Rove.

And Karl Rove's counterpart, Guy Giorno, has advised the same to Stephen Harper. Protect that "base" at any cost, even if it means appearing stupid.

Mob Mentality

In a bit of an intellectual aside, Coulter brings up Gustave Le Bon, a French social psychologist, sociologist and author of A Study of the Popular Mind. Without really going into his study, she simply suggests that he has the demonic left-wing mob mentality down pat.

Viewers swooned. She speaks French.

Le Bon suggested that the mob will take on the intellect of the lowest among them.
This very fact that crowds possess in common ordinary qualities explains why they can never accomplish acts demanding a high degree of intelligence. The decisions affecting matters of general interest come to by an assembly of men of distinction, but specialists in different walks of life, are not sensibly superior to the decisions that would be adopted by a gathering of imbeciles. The truth is, they can only bring to bear in common on the work in hand those mediocre qualities which are the birthright of every average individual. In crowds it is stupidity and not mother-wit that is accumulated.(A Study of the Popular Mind, By: Gustave Le Bon, Book One: The Mind of Crowds)
It should be noted that Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda mastermind, read Le Bon religiously, to reach to the lowest in Germany, and Mussolini kept a copy of A Study of the Popular Mind beside his bed.

Le Bon's biggest fears were realized, because he was concerned that in the wrong hands, the book could be used as a guideline to manipulate the masses for the lesser good, and indeed it was.

I can't help thinking that that is exactly what Fox News North and its big brother Fox News is attempting here. Reach out to the worst of people, and the worst in people.

Philosopher Hannah Arendt covered the Nazi trials at Nuremberg for the American press, and remarked on how "Unimaginative, ordinary and unthinking" they were.
Others may have hoped to see Bluebeard in the dock, she wrote, but for her, the horror lay in the fact that "there were so many like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic ... [but] terribly and terrifyingly normal." She was one of the first to refute the "monster theory" of less-than-human Nazis. ( Long Shadows: Truth, Lies and History, By Erna Paris, Alfred A. Knopf, 2000, ISBN: 0-676-97251-9, P. 318)
And yet there were many PhDs in the party.

But to do what they did required ignorance, not intellect. A numbing of the masses, so the worst could dictate the actions of all.

In that atmosphere, hatred goes mainstream, and we all become desensitized to it.

Bombings, human rights abuses, war crimes.

“Crowds are somewhat like the sphinx of ancient fable: It is necessary to arrive at a solution of the problems offered by their psychology or to resign ourselves to being devoured by them.” Gustave Le Bon
"Thus inwardly armed with confidence in God and the unshakable stupidity of the voting citizenry, the politicians can begin the fight for the “remaking” of the Reich ..." Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

1 comment:

  1. How timely Emily, it's almost eerie that you posted this just before the right wing extremist's actions in Norway. Extremists can come out of the wood works at any time. But the reactions are interesting. Peter McKay's comments are typical of the right wingers - let's keep them trembling point of view. Never miss an opportunity to remind folks how terrifying the world is "Defence Minister Peter MacKay said the bombings and shooting at the youth camp demonstrate that the world is 'still a very volatile place'". Tell me, when has the world not been a volatile place? Compare his comment to the Nobel Peace Prize chairman who said that the attack 'was intended to hurt young citizens who actively engage in our democratic and political society. But we must not be intimidated. We need to work for freedom and democracy every day." Man, I second that.