Bill Maher’s first guest on his program on January 25 was Ann Coulter. She is one of the far right Republican talking heads that Donald Trump periodically takes orders from.
Coulter’s shtick is sensationalist anger and hate and she does it quite well. The point of mentioning this is to direct you to watch that segment of Maher’s show (here) and observe Coulter’s tactics. Here’s a short list:
She talks non-stop, refusing to pause to allow for a normal back-and-forth. She specifically talks over others, appearing to attempt to overpower any opposition with her machine gun mouth.
Her immediate response to a valid criticism is ”whatabout-ism,” where instead of addressing a question or comment, she attacks someone in the opposition to make them seem worse. She never deals with the hard question she’s been asked or she just dismisses it as irrelevant.
She name calls. She demonizes. She revels in her verbal cruelty. That brings her attention, cheers from fellow haters and she gets the satisfaction of knowing she’s angering progressives.
I’m not a professional, but I’m guessing she just might have some control issues, some anger issues and even some daddy issues. And no, that wasn’t snark.
Remember that this is one of the people Trump listens to and whose bidding he sometimes does. Ann Coulter is one of the mean girls whom Mom told you to stay away from. Mom was right. Coulter and Trump are wrong.
Not unrelated to Coulter and her mean spirited far right media friends is the issue of The Reason. I’m talking about what’s behind all the Trump cronies lying to Congress, the FBI and anyone who will stand still and listen. Most of what they lie about isn’t illegal stuff on the surface, which begs the question, then, of why they would lie. What’s the reason for their apparently unnecessary dishonesty? What are they protecting?
Rachel Maddow has done a nice job of exploring this and she’s right to do it. Almost certainly getting to the bottom of this will take the release of Robert Mueller’s report. But you can be sure that all those felons were lying for a really important reason and it’s next to impossible to avoid believing that The Reason doesn’t have to do with protecting Trump and themselves from the exposure of a very large conspiracy involving some truly terrible crimes.
As I’ve cautioned many times before, keep your eye on the ball. Let no distraction, however bright and shiny, divert your focus from The Reason. That includes you refusing to react to the hollow sensationalism of Ann Coulter or any other Trump rationalizers.
Finally, we end this post on an important story. The reason that it’s important is because it declares to ourselves and to the world who we are and puts the lie to the terrible things people say and do to divide us.
Joseph Walker was 72 years old when he died of natural causes. Mr. Walker had served in the Air Force in Vietnam from 1964 – 1968 and received an honorable discharge. There doesn’t seem to be much record of him beyond that time. He had no family and no known friends, so when he died it looked as though his funeral would be unattended.
News about Mr. Walker spread on social media and a call went out for people to come so that he wouldn’t be buried alone. And over 1,000 people showed up at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery for this man they didn’t know. There were veterans and active duty military. There were people of various ages and races. There was even a flyover.
Marc George of the Christian Motorcyclists Association officiated. George said,”Today, we give him honors, [this] man whom no one apparently knew, but whom no one wanted to forget . . . once upon a time, like a lot of us other vets, he signed a blank check for our nation.”
And so we relearn who we really are. Over and over, we show that we care. On Monday we honored Joseph Walker and, in the process, we honored one another. Keep Mr. Walker in mind the next time you hear one of those hate mongers spewing vitriol. We’re way better than that. We show up for one another. Kudos to the 1,000 for reminding us who we are.
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Copyright 2019 by Jack Altschuler
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