Ann Coulter can be funny and very sharp. At times however, her rhetoric can get in the way of making a valid point. In this case, a word used was excessive beyond warrant and only gives power to those who only care to stifle debate with their own rhetoric.
The remark in question:
"I'd say something about John Edwards, but if you use the word 'faggot', you have to go to rehab." (source)
There are legitimate discussions to be had concerning how rights are defined and what is best for society, regarding gay marriage and other related issues. But when someone on the right uses such a term, it only results in death by "friendly fire" for any hope of reasonable discussion. Even if such damage to civil discourse on these matters didn't occur, it would still be cruel and inappropriate to throw that word around.
While Ann's point about free speech is valid, it's rather poor tactics to think a joke is more important than avoiding empowering those who use their own extreme rhetoric i.e. "homophobe", to suppress discussion. Also, how noticeable is that point about free speech after throwing such a bomb out there? It isn't difficult to realize that it's easily overshadowed and lost in the extreme language.
Ann should apologize, unfortunately the odds are great the she will only turn it up a few notches the next time around. Hopefully, leading conservatives will make it clear that one should not have such an attitude towards the gay community or individuals, even when disagreeing over public policy issues, nor sacrifice common sense in a failed attempt at a joke.
Filed under: NewsPolitics
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