I thought for a long time that the best way to defeat bad, racist, ignorant or wrongheaded speech was by drowning it with good speech; reasoned, open-minded and thoughtful speech.
If someone continually quotes the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as proof of the perfidy of Jews, the answer is to respond often and loudly with the truth. I've always believed that reason, perhaps after some setbacks, will in the end win in this country.
Ann Coulter has convinced me that another approach is in order. The best defense against Ann Coulter is to encourage her to speak. Granted, the vile nonsense she spews does hit a responsive chord in a certain segment of the population. That will not change.
The great unwashed to whom such vitriol appeals are, unfortunately, always with us; from the look of the New York Times Bestseller List there are more of them than one would have thought. However, a constant diet of Ann Coulter and her ilk will surely alienate reasonable people from the positions they scream out.
The woman thinks that semi-literate trashing of 9-11 widows is a position of great courage and wisdom; everyone who does not accept the proto-fascist Fox News party line is a traitor in her mind and in those of her comrades. Are these tunes that will play for very long?
I think not. The more she spews the more people despise her.
It is difficult to understand those trying to silence Ms. Coulter; progressives should be delighted that a leading polemicist of the reaction is a demented gorgon.
In 1951 Douglas MacArthur was back from Korea, touring the country to great acclaim and the right was making a its usual whoop-de-doo about Harry Truman's traitorous ways.
Truman said that it would be best to let him talk; they would get tired of him soon enough. Truman was right; MacArthur kept talking; Americans did get tired of him and he faded away.
The same approach is in order for Coulter.