Charlie Vogel: Ann Coulter is hateful

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I commend Christopher Lohmann for sticking his chin out and expressing his opinion on the publication of Ann Coulter's column in the Steamboat Today. It comes across, to me, as the most clear-headed of all the letters that have been printed regarding Ms. Coulter. There is a crystal clear distinction between opining on news and politics and calling a whole cross-section of the United States' population criminals, which Ms. Coulter clearly has been doing with her vitriolic invective. I defy you to find any syndicated columnist who has appeared in this paper who criminalizes millions of people solely based on their political and social leanings.

I have read passages of Ms. Coulter's books, available at Bud Werner Memorial Library for checkout (free, by the way. How's that for censorship?) and, contrary to my better judgment, I've read every one of her columns since they are now published every Thursday in our daily newspaper. And all I can ascertain is that this is a woman with hate in her heart, and if she was in a position of power, say President Coulter, I have a sinking feeling that all people with shoulder length or longer hair, all people who aren't clutching a King James Bible everywhere they go, all "liberals" would be stuffed in box cars on the way to some fenced-in encampment in Nevada to be "cleansed."

I know that sounds pretty harsh. I'm just trying to understand what Ms. Coulter's mind must be like, using ad hominems to try to get people to think a certain way.

This is, indeed, a quality issue. There are any number of columnists who can further the political and social discourse, both of left- and right-wing persuasions, much further than Ms. Coulter. I am what they politely call a "moderate." I think liberally on some issues (I'm pro-choice, and I'll gladly pay more taxes for social services and schools) and conservatively on others (I'm pro-death penalty, pro-gun). I know this newspaper strives for "balance" on the ViewPoints page, so I suggest a couple of replacements for Ms. Coulter. Print Robert Novak's column in place of hers, or print Michelle Malik's column.

At least those people don't accuse a massive portion of the U.S. population of treason. Heck, even one of TV's most conservative voices, Bill O'Reilly, called Ms. Coulter's words "over the top rhetoric." That's saying something, and I and a good section of Routt County readers are saying something about Ms. Coulter. Here's what I have to say: Scott Stanford, pull this woman's column - it's hate speech, pure and simple.

Charlie Vogel

Steamboat Springs

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