The US Report enthusiastically welcomes new contributing editor for books, Gene Retske.
If you don’t read any other political book this year, or even this decade for that matter, read Ann Coulter’s Demonic. In fact, read this book even if you don’t read any other kind of books at all, ever! This book, written in the teasingly sassy style that Coulter readers have come to know and appreciate, is the culmination of all the other Coulter books; it is the epitome of all recent political books.
A bold claim? Yes, but I can prove it. This is a book that answers the most burning question of the past 300 years: What is a liberal?
Whichever side of the political divide you fall, the definition of a liberal is the most elusive question of all. Just when you think you have a handle on the underlying philosophy, something inexplicable happens, frustrating any attempt to define what ‘liberal’ means.
Skimming through Demonic, you are immediately struck by the fact that there are 33 pages of footnotes, in a 300 page book. Why is this important? Because most political opinion books contain a lot of statements to make their points, but may not offer any facts to prove the statements they make. If you tend to agree with the premise of the book, you will nod in approval, if not, you will shake your head in disbelief. Ms. Coulter makes Demonic powerful by proving everything she says, by way of facts and sources.
Does she play with the reader? Of course, it would not be Ann Coulter without the occasional snarky comment. OK, frequent, but relevant.
She lays out her case in the first part of the book, then spends the second part of a four part book detailing the French Revolution. Huh? Yes, Coulter traces the roots of modern liberalism to the French Revolution, and its mob violence, in which 600,000 French citizens were killed, and 145,000 fled the country. She then connects this violent mob behavior to the violence of the left in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Using the mob mentality analogy, she explains the frequent hypocrisy of the left, maintaining that leftwing mobs are led by demagogues, instead of leaders using independent, critical thinking.
Now, I have no illusions that liberals, upon reading this book, will come to an awakening and change. Although liberal conversions have been known to happen, notably David Horowitz and Irving Krystal, so it could happen again.
Here, then, is my suggestion to conservatives – read Coulter's Demonic, enjoy it and learn from it. Next, give it to one of your liberal friends. But, be careful. Remember Coulter’s warning about the violent tendencies of the left, so better either mail them the book, or hand it to them and run the other way.
(Commentary by Gene Retske/June 21, 2011)
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