Finding the good in Coulter
Those of you who glanced at Wednesday’s issue of Student Life most likely noticed that there was a number of columns discussing Ann Coulter’s Assembly Series lecture on Wed., March 3. In some of these columns, Coulter is criticized for being disrespectful toward students and making unsubstantiated arguments. The columns either stated or implied that Coulter should not have been invited, let alone paid, to speak on campus.
While Coulter was indeed disrespectful, there is one facet to Coulter’s visit that has not yet been addressed. Though she insulted almost everyone in Graham Chapel, including her supposed conservative allies, she simultaneously ignited in students a desire to talk about politics. Let’s face it, many may call her obnoxious, but Coulter knows how to push people’s buttons. That morning in the midst of prejudicial comments, she managed to push the ‘apathy button’ off.
That’s not to say that we should give Coulter a bonus. Most student discussions involved a refutation of her insulting and frequently incorrect arguments. However, on a campus that is notoriously politically apathetic, the fact that these discussions were even taking place was somewhat miraculous.
The content of these discussions revealed something important about students: it’s not that we don’t know about politics and global affairs; we merely choose not to discuss them on a daily basis. Coulter’s biased tirade contrasted with the deliberative and well-informed conversations in which many students were participating at Holmes Lounge following the lecture.
It is sad that the presence of an extremely rude and offensive speaker such as Coulter elicited more intelligent political conversation from students on this campus than if a more educated speaker had been invited. However, though her means were unarguably despicable, as least we can appreciate this one end of her visit to campus.
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