Ken Collins: Missed opportunity
January 30, 2012
Political historians have often called the last several years in politics the most divisive since the period leading up to the Civil War in the 1840s and '50s. The differences now are at a chasmic proportion. Of course, there have always been rocks thrown back and forth, but things took a steep incline with the "swiftboaters" back in 2004. And the ridiculous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court added gas to the fires by bringing the advent of the "super-PACs," that have no accountability.
So I find it unfortunate what is about to happen in Steamboat. Consider young Republicans or independents who have not participated in our democratic process yet. They, like us years ago, have hopes of making a difference. They might like to think that they could help slow down the vitriol between the two parties. They probably look to their local party leaders for, well, leadership. What they get instead is Ann Coulter, one of today's biggest symbols of discord in America. She's coming here, I suppose, to gather the troops and bang the drums of enthusiasm. But Coulter is someone who epitomizes the problems.
The event's organizer laughs that those who don't like her are probably the ones on the receiving end of her barbs. That pretty much includes everyone to the left of Genghis Khan. The most common words you'll hear from the guest speaker are "stupid," "ignorant" and "idiots." I realize Anne Coulter is an entertainer and a bookseller who thrives on contention. That's fine for her dark and narrow world. But to bring her here at a time when we're trying to inspire people to do their democratic responsibility is a head-shaker. What will she do for the new Republicans and the fence-sitters? Is she really the one who the local GOP thinks can inspire the voters to try and heal our country? I can't remember when hatred was a positive asset. I guess Rush Limbaugh was busy. Too bad. I would think there were many other respectable Republicans who would have been a better choice. Looks like a missed opportunity to me.