Friday, March 11, 2005

Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism, by Ann Coulter

Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism, by Ann Coulter

This is one of those books that when I mention I’ve read it people either laugh or groan. If you aren’t familiar with Ann Coulter, she is the exact opposite of Michael Moore: as conservative as he is liberal, thin instead of fat, well-groomed instead of scruffy, you get the idea. What they do have in common, though, is a seeming belief that offending your opponents is more important than having your message heard. Treason is no exception; there are several interesting points in his book but the manner in which they are presented is so offensive that they almost don’t register. For instance: Coulter writes, “Whether they are defending the Soviet Union or bleating for Saddam Hussein, liberals are always against America. They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America’s self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant.” There is some truth in this; Roosevelt was friendly with Stalin (the man who conducted purges that killed and imprisoned tens of millions of USSR citizens), and there is no shortage today of people that feel that we should not have gone to war in Iraq despite the massive human rights violations overseen by Saddam. However, Roosevelt was friendly because he honestly believed that this was the best way to obtain a post-WWII peace, not because he was an idiot. Calling modern peaceniks traitors because they don’t fully support the Iraqi war isn’t fair either; you can certainly protest the war without committing treason. (One could argue that causing internal conflict over the issue is traitorous in itself, but doing so seems to go against our basic freedom of speech. I liken this to flag burning—very unpatriotic but not outright treason.) This book overflows with exaggerations and hyperbole just like this example.

While I agree with a lot of the underlying points the author was trying to make, this book felt a few chapters too long. At first I found the style amusing, but as the diatribe continued it began to wear on me. Reactions to this book are going to be very predictable: if you lean to the right, you will probably enjoy this attack on everything left (I did) and if you lean to the left you will be offended and march to your nearest lawyer demanding that somebody be sued for libel.

First Sentence:
Liberals have a preternatural gift for striking a position on the side of treason.

2 comments:

Doojie said...

If what you are saying about the book is true, then Ann Coulter is committing treason against the very cause she supports. Using irrational arguments and ridiculous innuendo, such as Moore loves to use, creates a credibility problem and drives people away from any decent points the source may be tring to make.

Klobetime said...

Exactly.

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