Let Coulter speak

Behind Enemy Lines

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As liberals brace for the trauma that Ann Coulter’s appearance at UC Berkeley is going to unleash on their favorite victim groups, the few intellectual grown-ups among their ranks have been formulating the “not intellectual enough” argument to justify their visibly ideological opposition to her. Caiden Nason, a spokesperson for the Cal Berkeley Democrats (a fine person by the way), issued a statement to this newspaper that said: “Her claims have been disproven over and over again, and she’s just another conservative sensationalist.” Meanwhile, it is very likely that far-left groups are organizing in the dark to cause the same kind of violence at her speaking event that has turned Berkeley into a national embarrassment.

The Daily Cal Editorial Board, a group famous for continually sniffling about how mean and insensitive conservatives are, put out an editorial Friday moaning about how Coulter’s visit to campus will “not be productive” and how she has “shown an unwillingness to partake in intellectual discourse.” If the Editorial Board ever decided to step out of its ideological confines, it would realize that Coulter’s impact on politics, especially in light of the recently concluded presidential election, cannot be overstated. Her book “Adios America” was the intellectual backbone of President Donald Trump’s stance on immigration, a stance that was then adopted by other Republican candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio after they comprehended just how popular her stance was with the Republican base. Getting your views translated into the policy platform of a major candidate who is now the president is an intellectual achievement that very few people get to experience, and she deserves credit for that.

A sane human being would think that the mastermind behind the immigration stance of a sitting president of the United States would be someone possessing the requisite qualifications to present the conservative view on the subject of immigration. Wouldn’t any rational liberal who opposes the president’s immigration policy want to question the woman who was behind its formulation? But sanity is an attribute that seldom manifests itself in the opinions of the Editorial Board.

The editorial goes on to contrast the qualifications of Maria Echaveste, who will be presenting the liberal view on this subject, with those of Coulter. It reads: “Echaveste’s experience as an academic and in policy work puts her in stark contrast with Coulter, whose only qualification is stirring the pot.” A little research would have shown the Editorial Board that Coulter worked in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she handled issues of crime and immigration for former senator Spencer Abraham of Michigan. She has also clerked for Honorable Pasco Bowman II of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The complete omission of her political credentials and the minimization of her impact to a mere “stirring of the pot” sheds light on how blindly partisan the Editorial Board was and how poorly it served the campus community.

The editorial also attacks the BridgeCal, the nonpartisan organization that is co-hosting the event along with the Berkeley College Republicans, by saying that the group uses “the same misguided rhetoric used by Berkeley College Republicans when they invited Milo Yiannopoulos to speak on campus in February. We all know how that ended.” This is where the editorial group makes the transition from biased to morally obscene. The implication in the above mentioned speech is that BCR somehow brought the Yiannopoulos riots on themselves. The idea that BCR should be blamed for leftists setting the student union on fire, beating up its members, pepper spraying innocent bystanders and then hurling rocks at the police just because they invited a “troll” is preposterous.

Coulter’s speech comes at an important time for Berkeley. Just a couple of weeks ago, David Horowitz’s scheduled appearance had to be canceled because the administration was only able to provide him with a speaking venue a mile away from campus during class time, citing security concerns. Even if we believe that the administration was entirely honest about those concerns, it raises the very disturbing possibility that, going forward, even the mere threat of violence by far-left groups would be sufficient to shut down speakers. Coulter’s appearance will be a litmus test for whether liberals can tone down their hysteria long enough to ask her a coherent question. She will conduct a long question-and-answer session at her event, and I would invite everyone who disagrees with her to get in line and try to stump her.

Even the least substantive trolls serve the purpose of exposing the areas of discourse that are off-limits in society, and hence, there is inherent value in letting them speak. But Coulter is not a troll. She has policy positions that are based on legitimate concerns in the minds of many Americans, and she deserves to be heard. Those who despise her will have the chance to take her on, and those who can’t stand the sight of her are free to stay home. But if your disgust compels you to resort to violence aimed at shutting down the event, I suggest you acquire a pacifier and immediately seek pediatric care.

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