Or spokeswomen for that matter.
So, Canada is now bad because a speech by Ann Coulter was canceled tonight. As far as I can tell the real trouble with Ann Coulter is that she comes across more than anything else as a poor thinker and a clumsy speaker. Look at what all the fuss is over tonight:
“As a 17-year-old student of this university, Muslim, should I be converted to Christianity? Second of all, since I don’t have a magic carpet, what other modes do you suggest,” Ms. Al-Dhaher said, according to the London Free Press. After being pressed to answer the question, Ms. Coulter said: “What mode of transportation? Take a camel.” On CTV, she defended the camel comment, saying she was trying to give a more nuanced answer but was being heckled to respond quickly and so resorted to a quip. Also, at the University of Western Ontario on Monday, Ms. Coulter attacked feminists, gays and “illegal aliens,” saying liberals in the U.S. regularly complain their rights are being attacked in the same manner black Americans once were. “In America everybody wants to be black. The feminists want to be black, the illegal aliens want to be black, the gays want to be black,” she said, according to the London Free Press. But none of these groups have serious grounds to complain, Ms. Coulter said. “There are only two things gay men can’t do. Number one, get married to each other. Number two, throw a baseball without looking like a girl.”
Pure. Dumb. Where is the wit or the insight? Where is the connection to an actually useful political theory? These are just the ramblings of you drunk dopey pal you never liked much mixed with locker room humour. People say dumb things all the time and they are taken for what they are – dumb. People then stop listening to them having identified them as dumb. Why cancel? Why not just laugh if, as would seem appropriate, you disagree?
You see this same sort of thing in quasi-clever conservative talking heads like Mark Steyn who apparently comfortable missed both the British costs in two World Wars and also seems to have forgotten Maggie Thatcher before scotch taping it along with his self-loathing upon what is wrong with America. It is a comically simplistic coating over of reality and he get paid for it…. yet the proper response is pointing and making fun of the gaps. It is not getting all angry or offended over it.
Where are the good voices for conservative thought? They must be out there. Why is it you have to buy into the catch phrases and the overwhelming fear first to then listen to Rush, Coulter or Steyn or even a Stephen Harper and not feel like there is an uncomfortable gap? The gap is, ironically enough, a lack of a virtue. Virtues exist in relation to proper public relationships. The desire to make a compelling argument as part of the public discourse is a virtue. The desire to sway those who are not already in the congregation’s choir is a virtue. Conservatives are supposed to be all about the virtues and other old school ethics. Why don’t they exemplify it in their capacity to explain themselves?
Don’t get me wrong – people at other points of the political spectrum may suffer from the same fault but it doesn’t seem to be an actual job requirement as it does for the conservative talking head? What is the reason for it all? Complacency perhaps? No need given the revenue streams? I don’t know if this is what Frum means by the conservative entertainment complex and I don’t know if I agree with Frum – because it may be a lot of things but complex it ain’t.