From the initial “vanishing” stakes to the “revised” posters (and subsequent “poster wars”), it seems as though the left is doing everything in its power to stunt the success of Ann Coulter’s speaking engagement on Feb. 28. Meanwhile, alumni have whined, and professors have moaned in anticipation.
Liberals are the first to ridicule Coulter’s bold statements and outspoken ways, but deep inside, they are petrified that her strong views will somehow influence their peers. Why else would they waste so much money and paper on (illegally posted) color flyers of Coulter juxtaposed with a phallic mascot, or make an effort to destroy the Cal Poly College Republicans’ flyers?
The university is meant to be an open forum for free speech. This point is clearly addressed in our Mission Statement: “Cal Poly values free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity.” Diversity of thought should have as much value on campus as other types of diversity. At least, this is what the administration tells us.
In fact, Cal Poly recently adopted the Association of American Colleges and Universities “Making Excellence Inclusive” initiative, “designed to help colleges and universities fully integrate their diversity and educational quality efforts and embed them into the core of academic mission and institutional functioning.”
If the Inclusive Excellence movement is any more than an masked version of affirmative action, our campus should strive to support events such as these. I, for one, was pleased by Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong’s mention of all types of diversity at the Inclusive Excellence Colloquium a couple weeks ago.
At a campus where conservative speakers rarely find their way to commencement ceremonies, Coulter’s appearance means a great deal. Coulter is likely the most renowned conservative speaker to visit the campus since then-Governor Ronald Reagan stirred it up in the ’70s.
And contrary to liberal bashing, Coulter is an intellectual in her own right.
Coulter graduated cum laude from Cornell University School of Arts and Sciences, where she helped found the Cornell Review. She received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, and was an editor of the Michigan Law Review. She later served as a litigator for the Center for Individual Rights.
Coulter has authored seven New York Times bestsellers, and while liberals will babble on about her “outrageous statements,” the truth is that she backs up every claim with at least a dozen footnotes.
Then again, the left would actually have to read her books to realize this concept.
Her newest book, “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America” traces the mob mentality of the left throughout the course of history. While supported by extensive research, it’s unlikely that it will ever find its way onto your textbook lists simply because most professors wish to ignore these aspects of past and recent history.
Hmm, I wonder why?
In addition, Coulter is an empowering figure for women.
She has become successful by virtue of her intellect and has emerged as a strong voice for the right. She attacks corruption where she sees it and has something provocative to say about any and every issue. Whether you completely agree with her or not is irrelevant; she is guaranteed to spark discussion among faculty and students, thus reaffirming Cal Poly’s commitment to liberal (open-minded) education.
Finally, liberals denounce the event as a waste of school funds. In fact, the event was largely fundraised by the Cal Poly College Republicans, who generously decided to make the event free and open to the public. Where is the problem in this? Shouldn’t every club on campus have the equal opportunity to fundraise for dynamic speakers? Isn’t that one of the reasons to form a club in the first place?
Coulter’s visit marks a step in the right direction for Cal Poly. Our university cannot continue to ignore the conservative side of issues without contradicting its core mission.
I was wondering why Cal Poly didn’t make her speak with “a neutral panel” just like how it made the even less-controversial Michael Pollan speak with one back in 2009
If Ann Coulter is the best of the “republican intellectuals”, then the Republicans are up shit creek. There is nothing that woman says that holds up to the tiniest bit of scrutiny, when she isn’t lying outright, she’s distorting the truth. She is nothing more than a comedian and the Republican club should be embarrassed that they, like the Republican party, can not stand to be represented by the best of conservative thought but must instead degrade themselves and the rest of us with the nonsense of Ann Coulter and Co.
Well said Brendan, Hoping to be there. If liberals did a quarter of the research that Ann does, they’d be conservative.
Complete and utter nonsense Jessica. This kind of shallow thinking represents everything that is wrong with the current political climate.
I don’t think you realize what you said, but you are correct: If liberals did a quarter of the research Ann does, they would be conservative, but fortunately, they do considerably more, and are not.
Congratulations to the Cal Poly College Republicans for bringing Ann Coulter to speak to the campus. You should also try to get Mark Lavin, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, even Rush Limbaugh to speak on campus too. Many of these would speak without compensation I believe, just to get their points heard. Cal Poly used to be a very conservative college. We need a diversity of thoughts and views in our classroom teaching on campus as well as a diversity of races and nationalities on campus.
I am assuming that your name is not actually your name — and for that I am deeply offended. I quite honestly have never been so troubled by what I saw tonight.
The Cal Poly College Republicans chose not to bring a classic conservative figure, but instead someone who knows little else but hyperbole and insult.
Her speech consisted mostly of political jokes and extreme extrapolations — she essentially prophesied what the future holds for America with little political fact or evidence.
This is a university. This is the place for inquiry. We deserve to be treated with respect. To call an audience member a ‘spoiled brat’ for asking a genuine question is childish. This event also alienated conservatives on campus who are rational rather than extremist.
I suppose I do have one thing to thank her for: I can now say with confidence that I am completely committed to the progressive measures that have helped move this country forward.
So proud to be a former CPCR member. I wish I could have been there. Mr. Pringle, you are doing great things and making a difference. I always knew you were going to be something special!
Ms Coulter’s misinformed manipulation of Christianity as some kind of a basis for a politics of selfish hatred is doing a great disservice to the religion–the real criticism should come from her fellow Christians. And, to be fair, it sometimes does. Still, I find her popularity, despite her glaring backwards logic of molding Christianity into a platform backwards from her own mean-spirited and selfish opinions–in blatant disregard for Jesus’ actual teachings–to be reprehensible, dangerous and troubling. Words mean things and to pretend that one can say anything one wants in total disregard for what others’ words mean, what history has established, or what philosophers and writers have attempted to proclaim, attacks the very foundations of my chosen metiers as a writer and teacher so I censor her on that basis. She very literally does not know what she is talking about and, in the process, betrays not only the teachings of her savior but the very nature of logos in the process. Such non-thinking disguised as thinking will, in unchecked, eventually destroy our ability to think, to speak, and to write at all.
I meant the verb “censor” in its older, original Latin sense of “assess” rather than the more common “expunge” or “officially delete.” perhaps a better word to have used would have been “admonish.” Of course I meant “if” in my last sentence rather than “in.” Sorry to have weakened my argument through poor proof reading. Still, to have called any aspect of Ann Coulter’s work “intellectual” is to misuse that word in order to justify her irrational misrepresentation of ancient Roman values (i.e. violence, nationalism, xenophobia, selfishness, the morality of force and coercion, the white man’s burden et. al.) as Christian values. Such misrepresentation through fallacious argumentation is, by my definition, radically anti-intellectual. Such concepts are rooted in prejudice pure and simple. her arguments all come from a stance that America is infallible, that Christianity is infallible and all other points of view are irrational and wrong and then she twists America and Christianity into unrecognizable forms in order to attempt to justify her a priori prejudices. In the end this is sloganeering–a far, far cry from thinking.
First of all, if what you report is accurate, let me deplore any actions taken to deface your posters publicizing this event. I am a liberal and take the First Amendment seriously … and it is the speech that we do not agree with that most needs protection, even a speech by someone so insulting as to imply that my political beliefs make me a minion of Satan. Suppressing speech you find unpleasant is un-American and contemptible.
That said, I find your premise confusing. How can Ann Coulter contribute to intellectual diversity when she isn’t an intellectual? This isn’t to say that she hasn’t the mental horsepower to be one, or hasn’t ever done intellectual work … she had to do an original research paper in history as a fifth-year senior at Cornell to qualify for her cum laude degree. It is just that none of her eight (not seven, as you suggested) best sellers was a scholarly work, but were all polemics, written by a self-described polemicist with a wish to stir things up. Calling yourself an intellectual (which she does not do) requires, among other things, intellectual honesty … a willingness to put your preconceptions aside, and never ignore evidence contrary to your hypothesis … or God forbid, make things up out of whole cloth to support your argument. A polemicist is free to ignore those strictures, and it is undeniably a sound business plan … I doubt a scholarly work on mob psychology would have been a best seller for seven weeks last year.
On the other hand, the central premise of her latest work, that mobs are exclusively confined to liberals, is so ludicrous that it could be demolished in five minutes by anyone with more than a superficial knowledge of American history. Even allowing her starting point of the French Revolution (rather than the American Revolution or the English Civil War) I can think of five instances off the top of my head that contradict that hypothesis, and I am no expert … so you needn’t “wonder why” it doesn’t get picked up as required reading any longer. If you want to wonder anything, you might question why anyone with a first-class education in history (like Ann Coulter the person) might advance so ludicrous a hypothesis (like Ann Coulter the public persona) unless there was some sort of disconnect between the two entities.
You really weren’t seriously suggesting that the number of footnotes is somehow related to the truth of a statement in any publication, without regard to the quality of those footnotes? Pardon me if I think that as absurd as considering literary merit by weight.
It is your dime, and if you wish to invite an unabashed elitist who gives you a secret tingle by saying things you often think but would never say (since your parents taught you manners) go right ahead. I am not in the least worried about her changing any minds on any subject … that isn’t what she does, as a female political Andrew Dice Clay.
Oh come on, seriously. Her appearance tonight was entertaining (not enlightening), and I’m no fan. The questions were weak to say the least, and she acted on them being weak. If there were people on the left that wanted to put her on the spot, they should’ve chosen better, more articulate speakers to ask more difficult questions. Or at least prepared something! If they were orchestrating the printing off of anti-coulter fliers to be posted over her speech advertisements, I assure you they should’ve been able to prepare something better than what questions she faced tonight. It was easy for her to have her way with them, she IS a professional speaker after all!
That said, I think both sides of the party line look too far in to what she’s actually saying. She probably actually believes a fraction of what she says, she’s been doing this for years! The weak questions only allow her to capitalize on her opposition, and as a result she can sell more books. I do give her credit for that, by the way. She’s an effective saleswoman apparently. Her views don’t particularly mean anything to me, but her act tonight was definitely entertaining.
I say get over it and move on, she’s not worth your time if you’re on the left.
Please elaborate on what you believe to be “the conservative side of issues”.
And why you think the university (who is the university? the students? the faculty and adminstrators?
Putting Ann Coulter aside (her only intention is to stir people up. Which is why she’s more of a “comedian” then someone enlightening in anway way).
I’m very curious to see why you think Conservatives are being ignored. My understanding is that Cal Poly aligns more conservatively as a whole, although my general experience is that our campus is not very politically active. We aren’t protestors, we don’t get wryled up. Maybe we enjoy life too much?
Of course, when you bring someone to campus with hate speech, people are finally going to speak up.
Oh, dear. Did I really just read that this journalist believes “Coulter is an empowering figure for women”? My friend, anyone who claims that women’s right to vote is damaging to this country, is absolutely not “empowering to women”. Sensationalists like Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and Ann Coulter are not symbols of feminine strength just because they are females who have found a place to stand in the political spotlight.
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