I was a little suprised she is so popular. She's a rather awkward speaker; bad comic timing. There were a lot of people there cheering for her - mostly older people from the tampa community. I got a question in for question and answer - because she had talked for a minute or so about how good it was that we took out a dictator who gasses his own people - i asked her "In your opinion is it our country's responsibility to take out any leader who treats their people badly, like saddam did?"
She quickly answered that no, we should act exclusively in the interests of national security on those matters.
I wrote a letter to the editor of the university of south florida regarding what my impressions of the evening were. Nothing big. but here. there has been editorial debate over USF's paying coulter 36 grand funded by student fees to talk here - thats what my initial reference to not having aproblem with her speaking here is about...
I had no problem with USF inviting Ann Coulter to speak, but I found the event
to be a disappointing reminder of an issue that I feel hurts the Unites
States: the lack of a discussion between holders of opposing viewpoints.
We are increasingly able to stay uninformed while feeling we have an
understanding of political and social issues, as they are presented to us in
easy-to-remember sound bites and talking points. Our overscheduled minds find
relief in oversimplification of the facts and demonization of viewpoints
While oversimplification causes increasing spread of misinformation and
misunderstanding, it is the demonization of opposing ideologies that I think
hurts us most. The cause of this demonization is simple, I think. When a
rational person feels convinced of the correctness of their viewpoint, it is
difficult for them to comprehend that another rational person is as convinced
of the correctness of an opposing viewpoint. It is easiest then for the first
to conclude that the second is either insincere (and motivated by something
unmentioned) or simply irrational.
We see this in political arguments, in social arguments, and in wars. And we
can't exclusively blame the media or national opinion leaders. Our own
tendency to feel more comfortable knowing the opposing view is irrational or
corrupt – and thus more secure in our own understanding – is what really fuels
When a large number of USF students stood in silent protest and left the Sun
Dome during Coulter's speach, presumably due to her reputation for uttering
(and standing by) arguably racist and definitely anti-homosexual remarks, I
was pleased to see that they raised their fingers in the sign of peace as they
left. In fact, it made the hair on my neck stand up. I wanted to stand up and
scream to the crowd surging to take their now empty seats – most all of whom
were applauding attacking remarks from Coulter regarding the exodus – that all
those who were leaving were sincere people with rational desires for a loving
and accepting country, and for a more peaceful world.
But after they disappeared, leaving Coulter to preach predominantly to the
choir and call the U.S. political Left anything but rational or sincere, I
couldn't help feeling that with the staged walk-out we had taken another step
in our loss of communication between opposing views in this country.