Ann Coulter is wrong about Mitt Romney

In earlier years, I was influenced by my peers (who repeated what they saw on TV, in rockstar/moviestar interviews, and heard from their teachers) to think that all conservatives were evil or at least a secular equivalent of it, greedy, selfish and cruel.

With that as our perceptual filter, it was easy to see people like Ann Coulter as not only somewhat vile, but also as pandering to the dumbest and lowest instincts of humanity. To be seen reading Ann Coulter was like admitting that you weren’t sure what letter comes after “R” in the alphabet.

With more experience of the world, I see Ms. Coulter as straddling several worlds: she wants to be a foremost conservative thinker, but wants to be a popular one, so she preaches a simplified version of reality with abundant humor and vitriol in order to engage the herd.

This makes her like many of us a person with two masters, reality and popularity. Our entire society is based on this concept and it does us no favors, yet we cling to it because we fear that turning against it will make us social pariahs. And then where do we find clients, lovers, friends, favors and bowling buddies?

I take the social risk of reading Ms. Coulter because unlike many conservative commentators, she advocates for conservatism as a practical idea and is not afraid to point out the insanity of liberalism. Perhaps she seems more than our academics who focus on details. Sometimes the truth is crude, vitriolic and funny.

That being said, I have to take her to task for her most recent column, which is so correct that it misses the bigger point:

This is not to diminish Reagan. It is to say that Romney wasn’t the problem.

To the extent Republicans have a problem with their candidates, it’s not that they’re not conservative enough. Where are today’s Nelson Rockefellers, Arlen Specters or George H.W. Bushes? Happily, they have gone the way of leprosy.

Having vanquished liberal Republicans, the party’s problem now runs more along the lines of moron showoffs, trying to impress tea partiers like Jenny Beth Martin by taking insane positions on rape exceptions for abortion — as 2 million babies are killed every year from pregnancies having nothing to do with rape. – “Romney was not the problem,” by Ann Coulter, November 21, 2012

She is absolutely correct in that there was nothing wrong with Mitt Romney and in fact, he represents the greatest of conservative attributes and a new plan for conservatives, which was to try being actual conservatives instead of neoconservatives/neoliberals/RINOs (these terms all mean the same thing).

However, she missed the bigger point: this is a culture war, and it’s not being fought for culture itself.

It’s a struggle by individuals to appear better than others.

In that sentence is revealed not only American politics, and European politics, but all politics in egalitarian regimes. When we’re all the same, we have to differentiate ourselves.

How do we do that? By having better opinions than those of others. By being more altruistic, more egalitarian and more compassionate in appearance than others.

We’re not being altruistic, egalitarian and compassionate for those we claim to help. No — this is pure show business. We are trying to appear better than others so we can be more popular and succeed more.

It’s what celebrities do. If you’re a celebrity, you don’t go down the street to help Mrs. Smith whose husband just died and left her with three starving kids. You go to the darkest corner of the earth, find an orphan with war wounds and hopefully AIDS, and try to “help” that poor soul in front of the cameras. The show must go on.

Democrats have won over a huge portion of our population because our society is unstable and thus, people live in fear. They don’t have any power. They perceive that they can have power by joining the Democrat gang by having the right opinions.

It lets them look down their nose at someone who is socially acceptable to mock, namely Christians, whites, rednecks, poor people, the “uneducated” (which they mistake to mean “the dumb”) and so on.

Republicans are losing because they have not found a social higher ground that makes Republicans appear more educated, intelligent, powerful and ultimately compassionate, although they are.

The election of 2012 was lost in the media, in academia and in popular culture. (This side-steps the issue of Romney’s 47%, who are still bad news, but a result of the phenomenon of white liberal altruism, not a cause of it.)

Democrats have successfully portrayed Republicans as the party of greed, stupidity, poverty, ignorance and cruelty. A compliant media, desperate to do whatever’s popular, and a lost population who just want some political power of their own, have been complicit.

The result is a whole country brainwashing itself about Democratic ideas — which provably do not work — and varnishing itself with self-praise about how enlightened it is.

That’s the next crusade we must undertake: deflating the Democratic self-image, and replacing it with an image of the conservative as the only option for thoughtful and realistic people.

23 Comments

  1. I know a term for what you’re saying: Kultursmog. book, the Death of Conservatism.

    A term coined by columnist, Bob Tyrrell, to describe the cloud of “liberal misconceptions and bugaboos” that “pollutes the liberals’ minds and renders them oblivious of any evidence contrary to their…views”. It is a choking mess of touchy-feely and Marxist/Socialist ideas that are incompatible with traditional American social, cultural, and economic ideals. –the Urban Dictionary elipses mine.

    I intend to stop talking about conservative talking points of politics and start noticing the actual acting out of conservatism. One of my old friends, who got on the Obama train, really has a lot of conservative values in her life but is also a popular type. She gets involved in the community, as many of the local dems have done. They helped those who normally wouldn’t be able to get themselves to the polling station, to vote for the man in the oval office now. She believes she’s done a great thing and will never know otherwise. All I can do is accept that. I will have to focus on what I’m doing.

    1. crow says:

      Are you talking about ‘acting as-if’?
      I’ve often noticed this weirdness, along with the fact that it is so widespread that one is hard pressed to see it as anything other than normal.
      I have a saying: Fifty million people can be wrong.
      For many years, I though it must be me; that I was mad, because everybody else couldn’t possibly be. I was wrong.

      People seem unable to grow-up any more. To be adults.
      So many of them pick a hodge-podge of ideas and stances, over the hard facts of reality, and lose all track of their preferences having nothing to do with reality.

      That’s the way it is, though, and for us – unable to do anything else than be connected to reality – we must somehow operate in spite of this, and never surrender to the disease.

      1. I don’t think acting as if is quite what I meant, but then it hadn’t occurred to me so I’ll think about it. What I want to do is find conservative efforts and aid them.

        We never know what effect our acts have on someone observing. They may think about them later when their mind is in a different state. That’s why I want to be cool and kind, and help something that is being done right. Popularity can change.

      2. It may strengthen souls.

        Besides, the tide is turning.

        However, like most things “natural,” one must be patient.

        Really, really, really patient.

      3. In fact, the larger the group, the more likely they are to dumb it down to a lowest common denominator, disengage from reality in order to support it, and become afraid to challenge the dogma because others rely on it, thus creating a feedback loop that steadily removes them from reality.

        That’s how societies die.

    2. External ideologies tend to produce this “smog” because external ideologies are based on what “should” be, and thus are untested, thus require a different type of confirmation than seeing results. As a result, they produce ideological echo chambers in which each member confirms what others think in order to be part of the group. However, this means they’re acting on autopilot and escalate automatically as the internal volume of the group rises.

      This is why all of these external ideologies resemble each other: consumerism, leftism, social popularity, even democracy (inevitably: demagoguery). We are walking zombies as soon as we adopt these contra-logical “wishful thinking” ideas.

      1. Speaking of believing in what “should” be, I saw a lot of that on the Right. I see it on both sides. Anytime people begin talking about that I notice it. It’s almost like there is nothing to say about what “is.”

        1. Even more than what “is,” what is eternally true. I think that’s the root of conservatism right there. We aim at reality, and what is true no matter what the year-number is, and then, among all those options, we aim for what is best: the good, the true and the beautiful.

          To be a liberal, you must believe reality is bad.

          To be a conservative, you must believe reality is good.

  2. Meow Mix says:

    That’s a tough dragon to slay Brett. The libs were able to make complete asses of themselves during Occupy Wall Street through an orgy of idiocy and uncivilized behavior, yet the left media was still able to spin it as ‘all these brave souls fighting oppression’, etc. That a mob of fools can destroy everything around themselves and still come away as hero figures shows how deeply entrenched their inflated self-image is. To add fuel to the fire we’ve had a lot of conservatives making themselves look like idiots over the past election campaign, from strange rape comments to not knowing what continent Libya is on. My guess is that the best way to deflate the left is by simply letting them do what they do best: ruin nations. I know that’s not your strategy but as with the past progressive era, the country had to take a good beating before people got fed up and swung right again.

    1. You make a great point: it’s no longer enough to say the media are idiots. We need to recognize them as enemy propaganda and litigate, legislate and boycott against them.

      1. ferret says:

        Maybe they are merely a weapon, or a tool, or an agent?

        Just couple of posts back, it was clearly articulated that liberal mob/proles defined this propaganda, and the media was only conforming to this popular democratic demand.

        Now THEY are the enemy. That means, nobody is ordering and paing for their services, they simply satisfy the urge of making funny propaganda. Kind of non-profit organization.

        In any case, it is not clear who is financing the media and why.

  3. Jason says:

    What about us middle-of-the-road types that agree that conservative behaviors generally produce a better outcome, but liberal lifestyles are more fun?

    Striking a balance between the two is my own goal.

    1. Are liberal lifestyles more fun, or do they seem that way for long enough for better opportunities to go on by?

    2. Anon says:

      Yeah, I don’t get the “liberal lifestyles are more fun” thing. After the teen years, it becomes apparent real quick that a liberal lifestyle leads nowhere…even juvenile internet “meme sites” recognize the emptiness of the liberal existence in the form of silly little meme images/”demotivational posters”

    3. ferret says:

      “liberal lifestyles are more fun”

      Russian roulette is even more fun, but also not healthy :)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_roulette

  4. WhyManWhy says:

    “In earlier years, I was influenced by my peers (who repeated what they saw on TV, in rockstar/moviestar interviews, and heard from their teachers) to think that all conservatives were evil or at least a secular equivalent of it, greedy, selfish and cruel.”

    Brett, I’ve never been like this, ever. My peers I never took seriously, told them so, and considered them d-bags. That’s said, it gives me the right (entitlement?) to comment on all manner of things as I wish. So……..

    What is with the whole Mitt Romney thing on this site??? Seriously, c’mon. And you wanna rip on the alt-right while talking up this crowd? I don’t get you guy, this attitude is not congruent with the insights found in you writings.

    1. I tended to give people respect for accomplishment, and many of these peers were quite accomplished.

      We don’t rip on the alt-right here; we rip on the “extreme” right that produces no results while alienating people from rightist politics.

      And why support Mitt Romney? Because he was the better man in the race, and because he exemplifies everything I’d want.

      I might ask that it be taken further in his second term, or by presidents after him, but we need to gain a toehold and then demonstrate useful, constructive and successful policies.

      From there, we can go further into becoming a conservative nation.

      1. Anon says:

        A lot of people have trouble with this idea….I don’t know why, but “hardcore” rightists struggle with the concept of supporting something which is not ideal, but closer to the ideal than the alternative in the current narrative (western democracy, with the two-party American twist).

        I’m not an American, but if I were, I would easily support almost any Republican candidate against a Democrat, for the reason above. Americans are somewhat privileged in that it’s actually useful to vote – a lot of other countries (like the one I live in) have several versions of the same party running for election, mostly centre-left with superficial differences.

        1. Jean says:

          Anon,
          You actually said what MANY Americans are saying, here and elsewhere: We WISH there was a difference between the dogshit on our lawn (R) and the dog shit on the neighbor’s lawn (D). Please note the letters are interchangeable; no matter who wins, WE lose: We are not part of the ruling elite. If there were a difference between the parties, when a D or R takeover occurs, there would be massive changes in public policies, foreign and domestic.
          So far? Reagan was the last I know of who actually changed anything, the rest have all been greater or lesser shills and puppets for other agendas.

          As we devolve into the R-loved Police State, do you the D-party isn’t salivating at THEIR chance to use the SAME laws and technology to further their personal agendas? Or that the D’s, when they pass laws encroaching on our freedoms (let’s say, the Draft and/ or gun control), the R’s aren’t absolutely peeing their pants over how much BETTER things got for them? (Bigger army; disarmed proles; better budget for pork projects, etc.) And that’s BEFORE we look at the absolute crap and misappropriation and OUTRIGHT THEFT that goes on over here.

          Doesn’t require Chateau Heartiste’s Roissy to point it out, nor Ferdinand Bardamu (One works in DC, the other was a government worker in NY). Nor is a conspircy required: The parties both want DOMINION over us all. HOW is incidental: Teach the young minds for 8+ years. After that, by the time they’ve figured out how they were lied to and taught falsehood – IF they figure it out – it’s too late for them to actually avoid the problems (Student loan debt; home debt; car loans; marriages, sometimes several, and concurrent costs; lawyer fees for various “criminal” charges like posession of Marijuanna, or underage drinking, or “pedophilia” [when the Varsity football QB @ 19 picks up the not-yet-18 freshman hottie at the party and she regrets it the next morning...]

          IF you are a law-abiding citizen here, the police can STILL arrest you, detain you, MAKE UP charges (resisting arrest, loitering, obstruction of justice, endangering a minor, assualting a police officer, etc, etc, etc), then deprive you of your posessions, and even your life, without even facing dsciplinary hearings.

          That’s if you’re HONEST and have done NOTHING. IF you have a “history”, or are a “Constitutionalist,” an “agitator,” film the police, or make any “sudden movements,” you could end up dead.
          And we haven’t mentioned no-knock warrants (often to the wrong house, deliverd by juiced-up [adrenaline] SWAT teams, with no more PC than “a druggie informat said so.”)

          The Rethuglicans (Used to be one) want a state-controlled monopoly on violence with subservient proles who will do their bidding – killing those the elite don’t like, working in the cubicles of corporate America, endebted to their eyeballs and never able to escape the rat-race. The Democraps – About the same, as long as the military is “over there somewhere” where the OTHER “Funny-looking people are.”
          And the people back home should be good little corporate cogs with no self-defense and violent gilded-cage prison guards on the streets. Same meaning, different words; or, a distinction without a difference.

          There are really NO differences between the “two parties”, made most clear when the third-party candidates debate. Which doesn’t happen at the televised two-party debates because if it DID, everyone watching would KNOW we’re being lied to.

          1. ferret says:

            “no matter who wins, WE lose: We are not part of the ruling elite.”

            This is what American people are trying not to look at. Too depressing. It is much healthier to have your neighbour as a source of all problems. And this dream of getting rich by working hard, or winning in lottery, or robbing… such a sweet dream! Just turn on your TV and you are rich, strong, and powerful together with the hero.

            But why “we lose”? If I live a decent life, I’m happy, have a good friends, hobby, etc., I don’t feel I lose – until I learn somebody has more wealth and power. What happened at that moment, did I lose my friends or hobby? No.

            Now about the power. Am I upset about somebody else making decisions at the nation scale? Perhaps not, because I’m not sure my decisions would work better. Only hairdressers and taxidrivers know exactly how to govern the country.

            This “losing” should be measured considering what the life quality could be for the non-elite if there were a different socioeconomic and cultural order.

            Let’s start from the economy. Capitalist one is the best known at the moment. It has a sideeffect – average cultural degradation, but at least it is effective.

            About the cultural values: they are not prohibited. You can go to the libraries, museums, research online, etc. Can you prove another order would provide more cultural opportunities?

            I’m not sure we lose.

            Try to prove it, give a description of a society where people would have more and why. Don’t compare to elites, only what the non-elites have vs. what they could have.

  5. I know I’m trying to make better use of the conservatism we’ve still got. I want to know what it is, who’s good, and which of my political representatives are good, and who in my community exemplifies it.

    1. gg says:

      That approach and attitude is a large part of the answer. It is a good natural approach to find a balance between seeking out and allowing things to come to you. It requires patience intelligence and skill to make the most of. But certainly almost ANY combination of those three will suffice for a person who holds the correct approach and attitude. A bit like having proper posture. At first it is uncomfortable finding the correct alignments within the body. Overtime and quicker than one realizes, all kinds of advantages start pouring into every part of daily life. Proper conservatism is like correct body alignments and posture. Liberalism is like inventing a more comfortable couch to slouch in to offset bad posture as if attaining correct posture is as useless as it is initially uncomfortable.

  6. Jean says:

    There are NO conservatives in the Republican party for the very reasons (Popularity) listed above. Conservatives don’t get voted in. End of story.

    And as long as the nit-wits in the Republican party refuse to let (Lower case c)conservatives run, we can count on a “mandate” of about 51% of 45% or so. (Allows for third-party votes, undecided/intentionally blank, etc.)

    But with 47% or so on the gravy train – PLUS more who are RUNNING That train – we’re hurtling off the cliff at an increasing speed, and it AIN’T NO ACCIDENT.

    Soon it will come to violence, then likely an insurgnecy, and that will destroy any chance to rebuild.
    And won’t end nearly enough parasites, either. Turds can float as well as the cream…

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