Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dan Gardner on true believers

... The world is not complicated for the True Believer. It is Manichean. Binary. There is liberal and there is conservative. There is free speech and there is hate speech. Bright lines divide the hemispheres and what fits where is never in doubt. Indeed, the True Believer never suffers any doubt for all is certain. They have the answers and the answers are true. There's no need to examine their beliefs, to think hard, to seek out and consider alternative views and contrary evidence.

If a question is asked for which the True Believer has no answer -- like "why is this speech you loathe not protected by the right to free speech?" -- there's no need to reconsider and reflect. The True Believer simply moves on to the next slogan.

It is this quality -- not her outrageous language -- that makes Ann Coulter a blight on public discourse. But many of her critics can't see that. Because they are no different.

Well, that's not quite true. They sought to stop Coulter from speaking, and others from listening. Whatever Ann Coulter's sins, she's never done that.

Dan Gardner, Even if Ann Coulter is a villain, she isn't the villain of this piece