"Liberals have been attacking this country for 50 years. Well, now it's time we hit back and hit back hard," exclaimed conservative columnist and pundit Ann Coulter '84 to a capacity audience in Statler Auditorium May 7.
"Liberals are always whining about how oppressed they are," Coulter said. "Well I say: Let's oppress them. Let's burn their books every time they burn one of our student newspapers."
Her talk, "Why Liberals Are Wrong About Everything," was sponsored by the Cornell College Republicans, the Cornell American, the Young America's Foundation and the Cornell University Program Board.
Coulter drew laughs from the audience with her comments about such prominent Democratic figures as former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and U.S. Sens. Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, but by far the major part of her talk dealt with liberals as a whole, and especially her views of liberal attitudes toward conservatives.
"Liberals are always saying we can't generalize. Why can't we generalize? People generalize all the time. It's generally a bad idea to play in traffic. It's generally warmer in the summer than in the winter. Movies starring Jennifer Lopez are generally not very good. And conservatives generally defend the country against the enemy, while liberals generally are the enemy," Coulter said.
The syndicated columnist and best-selling author criticized what she perceives as a widespread culture of liberalism in academia, citing University of Colorado Native American professor Ward Churchill's negative comments about 9/11 as evidence that liberal professors are too biased in their opinions to make good teachers. Liberals are "treasonous," she said, and they should be banned from teaching in American universities, just as someone like former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke is unwelcome on campuses. She urged her audience to "step up the fight," reminding them that "these institutions can be shaken."
On the Iraq war, Coulter was equally critical of liberals. Contrary to popular belief, she said, the war has been "a success."
"It only took a few years for us to be proved right about the Cold War. It only took a few years for us to be proved right about the Gulf War. And now it's only taken a few years for us to be proved right about Iraq, as witness the recent elections," she said.
Coulter compared criticism of the war to "the yammering of schoolchildren" riding in the backseat of a car.
"Liberals won't shut up," she said. "Are we there yet, are we there yet? Yes, our soldiers are being shot at, folks. It's a war. We're not liberating Ohio here."
During the question-and-answer session that followed, one young woman asked if there could ever be any cooperation between liberals and conservatives. "On minor issues, yes, there might be some agreement," Coulter replied. "But when it comes to defending the country or dealing with immigration or questioning the legality of sticking a fork in a baby's skull, we're going to disagree. Period."
Graduate student Joseph Murtagh is a writer intern at the Cornell News Service.