Donald Trump Debacle: Ann Coulter and Charles C.W. Cooke Get In Heated Debate
Donald Trump Debacle: Ann Coulter and Charles C.W. Cooke Get In Heated Debate
Politicians have a way of splitting conservatives and creating war within the party, but very few have caused a commotion quite like Donald Trump. I’ve found myself scrolling through Twitter only to feel a little like a kid watching their parents get divorced; Hannity and Coulter on one side, Michelle Malkin and Dana Perino on the other. On Thursday evening, Charles C. W. Cooke – author of ‘The Conservatarian Manifesto’ and reporter for National Review – appeared on Sean Hannity with Ann Coulter. What began as a conversation about securing the border, in which Hannity and Coulter hopped down a rabbit trail to shower Trump with accolades, quickly became something very different. After the detour, which involved the praise of Donald Trump’s various witty comebacks, Cooke shot back.
Cooke stated, “I’m just astonished by the collective insanity that seems to have marked the conservative movement over the last month.” After host Sean Hannity jumped in to ask, “What’s astonishing about it? Haven’t they been saying secure the border for years and years and years?” Cooke answered, “I don’t mean secure the border. I mean that Donald Trump, who has put forth no plan whatsoever, except to pretend that Mexico’s going to pay for a wall is being taken seriously.
Cooke blasted Coulter and Hannity further:
Cooke then argued, “I think the objections are, that you have a man in a Republican debate who praised single-payer. You have a man still talking about planning — funding Planned Parenthood. You have a man who has flip-flopped perhaps, on the wealth tax, on gun control. A man who in any other circumstances, would have been laughed out of the primary. If you look back to when Mitt Romney was running, flip-flops that were not remotely as substantive as Donald Trump’s –.”
Coulter felt that due to Trump’s lack of participation in the political world, he should be excused for changing his positions so frequently, arguing that it isn’t a change, but simply him evolving. She continued:
“He seems very clear to me and consistency, I don’t think voters go out and think, ‘Well, he’s been consistent for 20 years on this.’ He has certainly been consistent on caring about illegal immigration. He has long before now. It isn’t a flip-flop on Planned Parenthood. He’s not a politician. He’s not familiar with all the deceptive with the ways Planned Parenthood will sneak through funding for abortion. And so when he said, look, I’ll fund the other things Planned Parenthood does but I wouldn’t fund the abortion part, people pointed out well they just segregate the funds. He said, OK fine. If they do any abortions no funding for Planned Parenthood. That isn’t inconsistent, that is a slight change to a position,”
I’ve never been a politician either, but I’m fairly confident in saying Planned Parenthood should lose their funding, as are the vast majority of conservatives. Well, pretty much all of them. Cooke decided to remind her that a complete 180 is not a “slight change.”
“Hold on, hold on,” Cooke said. “First of all, it’s not a slight change when you go from being pro-choice to being pro-life when you run in the primary.”
He then continued to attack Trump’s various flip-flop positions:
“But he actually changed his mind this week,” the National Review reporter continued. “He said on this show … that he was fine with the progressive income tax. … The day before he suggested was in favor of a flat tax. Literally 24 hours before. He’s making it up as he goes along and we are all falling it for some reason.”
Coulter then argued that Trump has been a Republican since 1988, and Cooke countered by challenging her on how he could be a Republican while supporting Democrat positions, as well as financially supporting Democrats themselves. Coulter gave the usual answer by stating that Trump was a businessman, and donating to Obama, Reid, Clinton, and various other Democrats was simply business as usual. I personally don’t understand how this argument is still being used – it reeks of crony capitalism. More importantly, in using this argument, you are telling me I should vote for a man who you insist knew better – was a Republican at heart – but consistently put the needs of the country behind the needs of his personal gain. That’s not a well constructed argument. Ever.
I don’t have any hatred for Donald Trump, nor do I have a profound dislike of Ann Coulter, I do expect fellow conservatives and Presidential candidates to answer for their record, policy, and questionable statements. I expect that from Democrats, why shouldn’t I expect that from Republicans?
The conversation eventually turned to guns after Coulter attempted to find a consistent Trump position:
“He’s pro-gun,” Coulter claimed. “As far as I know, he’s never been anti-gun.”
“Hold on! Hold on! Is pro-assault weapons ban now pro-gun?” Cooke asked. “He was in favor, on the record, of an assault records ban. Is that now pro-gun?”
Coulter eventually got in the last word after Hannity tried to silence the debate.
Coulter thought for a second, then replied, “No, but a lot of people — so were Republicans in Congress. So was John Kasich. Why aren’t you all denouncing John Kasich?”
Kasich is barely showing up on the polls, and if we’re being honest, as of right now he has virtually no hope of winning anything in the next year… unless he’s dabbling in scratch-offs. Trump, however, is leading the party. Why are people deflecting when asked about his positions?
Watch the full exchange below:
Of course, Twitter erupted in well thought out opinions on the exchange…
— Rebecca (@masspolitica) August 14, 2015
He even received a few pointed emails:
"You yob." pic.twitter.com/N5RbWpBna2
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) August 14, 2015
Just a little background: Charles C.W. Cooke studied modern history and politics at Oxford. He describes his love for America as almost irrational, and decided to move here after studying the founding documents. He will eventually be a citizen by following stringent immigration laws while others disregard them. He writes on the subject of being an alien here.
America being as much an idea as a people, citizenship here implies a great number of virtues, among them patience, love, fealty, commitment, respect, reverence for tradition, and a willingness to agglutinate oneself to a set of timeless, almost empyrean values. I do not wish to see my position as an “alien” elevated above its rightful station for precisely the same reason that, in three years, one month, and seven days, when I will finally be eligible, I will not wish to see my position as a “citizen” diluted. Words have meaning; ideas need words; and the integrity of the beautiful American project relies heavily upon them both.
I have followed Cooke closely since his opinions usually align with mine quite accurately, and it is rather sad to see him attacked for his accent without even the slightest respect, nor rebuttal, for the solid arguments he has made. Just as Megyn Kelly was attacked for her gender, Cooke has been attacked for his nationality, both of which are not – even in the slightest – a solid argument, but simply a sign of straw grasping. This is not my push for people to be politically correct; on the contrary, it’s my encouragement that we start discussing the issues, not the physical traits of those who bring them up. However, the brutal take-no-prisoner wars between conservative commentators and their following will continue for the remainder of the GOP run, you can count on it; sit down, buckle up, and prepare for a bumpy ride.