Reading Ann Coulter’s newest polemical masterpiece brings to mind one of her previous ones.  I don’t mean her sparkling In Trump We Trust, published just before the 2016 election (and reviewed in this magazine), in which she predicted that the unthinkable would happen.  Rather I refer to her 2011 book, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America.  Previously, I had thought the first part of her title overwrought.  I believe now she should have saved it for the new book.  Her subject here is a deep and enormous one, whose history continues, of course, to unfold.  Yet her book’s narrow focus and empirical concentration make it an unqualified success.  The title, which seems to promise an overview and critique of the whole anti-Trump “resistance,” is really mainly about its media enablers.  Perhaps, therefore,  the subtitle should have been “How the Trump-Hating Media Lost Its Collective Mind” (or rather, whatever mind it ever had).  Coulter focuses specifically on the media’s promotion of the fraudulent “Russian collusion” narrative (17 out of 21 chapters), which the press clearly believes is real.  That it’s not real but essentially based on disinformation propagated by high officials in the national-security bureaucracy (FBI, CIA, NSA) and the Justice Department, all of which are allied with the Democratic Party establishment, is obvious to anyone whose career is not dependent on believing this enormous lie, or who is not possessed with obsessive hatred for Trump and everything he represents.  Why, then, does the press believe it?  For just those reasons, of course.  But—again—why should it hate him with such fury and unreason?  Coulter does not say.  What she does do is demonstrate, page after page, that journalists and pundits are not interested in finding the truth, investigating criminality, or exposing political corruption, but only in destroying Trump.

That is their self-appointed mission, and in pursuit of it they will peddle any lie, however absurd or demonstrably false, while suppressing any fact or logical inference, however reasonable or evidentially true, that contradicts it.  Pertinent adjectives leap to mind as one reads on through Coulter’s devastating exposé: lazy, unread, dishonest, partisan, stupid, vindictive.  Were there such a crime as journalistic malpractice, virtually the entire press corps could be in jail.  The conclusion (“For Democracy to Live, We Must Kill the Media”), while true enough, will only confirm their ridiculous persecution complex.  They are trying to bring down Trump’s presidency and reverse the result of a democratic election—yet when he defends himself and calls them out on their relentless hostility, they charge that he is “attacking” them, endangering the freedom of the press, and undermining democracy.  As Coulter demonstrates, by example after example, the media and their allies in the governing class are guilty of the same charges they level against the President: treason, lying, corruption, collusion, and disregard for the facts.  Yet they are clearly unaware of this, which only makes the situation worse.  The media have long since passed the point where they could correct themselves, or anyone who is a Democratic partisan, a RINO, a Deep State actor, or an Antifa terrorist and who believes anything they “report.”  Coulter thinks this a good thing, and concludes that “if we get nothing else from his presidency, at least the media will be totally discredited.  He brings out the best in them!”

True enough.  But what if the Republicans should hold Congress this fall, and Trump cleans house by firing Sessions, Rosenstein, and Mueller, as he has the constitutional authority to do?  What if he is reelected in two years?  Will the media accept their defeat gracefully?  Or will they become even more hysterical, irrational, and desperate than they are at present?  Might they start hinting at the necessity for a military coup (“To save democracy!” of course) and begin calling for national civil unrest (“civil disobedience”) to resist “the autocrat”?  I think it more than likely that they will do so.  Indeed, such is already happening.  What is the false Russian-collusion narrative but a domestic regime-change operation?  And what is Antifa but a band of insurrectionists?  Coulter says that Trump is “like chemotherapy for the country: it’s unpleasant to go through, you vomit, your hair falls out—but it kills cancer cells and you live.”  Let’s hope that’s all that happens, for there is another possibility.  The title of Richard Slotkin’s book Regeneration Through Violence springs to mind.  But even should the country not experience a second civil war, it might well not survive as a unitary state—arguably, a good thing.  Regardless of what the future holds in store, however, there is no doubt that Trump represents a resurgent right and that he has caused the left to drop its liberal mask and reveal itself for what it is.  The media’s increasing mendacity and malevolence bring to mind God’s counsel of patience in Genesis 15:16: because “the iniquity of the Amo rites is not yet complete.”

In closing, I must praise Ann Coulter’s strategic vision in grasping that “the number-one enemy of Western civilization today isn’t Russia.  It’s Islam.”  She points to Angela Merkel’s treason (another previous Coulter title): the Chancellor’s seamless transition from territorial communism to open-borders globalism.  The American left’s hostility toward Putin’s Russia is more than opportunistic (i.e., a way to get to Trump): It is existential, and possibly even spiritual.  It sees in the new Russia—a nationalistic, Orthodox, conservative, and politically and militarily resurgent Russia—a formidable enemy capable of frustrating its goal of destroying Western civilization, the nations and peoples who created it, sustain it, and defend it.  Who are the most dynamic, charismatic, successful, and popular leaders in the Western world today?  Are they not Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orbàn, and Donald Trump?  That fact, in the end, may explain why the left is “losing its collective mind.”


[Resistance Is Futile! How the Trump-Hating Left Lost Its Collective Mind, by Ann Coulter (New York: Penguin Random House) 288 pp., $25.00]