Lloyd Grove, Daily Beast, May 26, 2015
When it comes to Ann Coulter–the conservative blonde avenger, the loud-mouthed provocateur, the human hot-button of mass-media notoriety who is forever tossing turds into liberals’ punch bowls–people always want to know: Is she for real?
Even the title of her latest book, ¡Adios, America!: The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country Into a Third World Hellhole, is guaranteed to raise many folks’ blood pressure and strain their credulity.
“I don’t know why liberals find this idea about me comfortable,” Coulter tells me over dinner, “but I just had lunch with a law school friend of mine, and I had forgotten–and he reminded me–that at law school I wore mink coats and took up smoking just to annoy liberals, so apparently I’d been like this for awhile. He said, ‘You’re exactly like you were in law school.’
“But I have summer-camp friends–who, when they see people say ‘this is just an act, she doesn’t really believe it’–they would write indignant letters and say, ‘No. She would march up to me on the hiking trail and explain that Nixon was being lied about.’ ”
We are sitting near the kitchen in a quiet Italian restaurant, a favorite haunt in the Upper East Side neighborhood in which she keeps an apartment; her other two homes are in Beverly Hills, Calif., and a wealthy enclave of Florida (unnamed here, at Coulter’s request, so as not to encourage stalkers), where she established official residence years ago in order to avoid state income taxes.
Coulter has been a virtual shut-in, staring at her laptop, writing and Googling, Googling and writing, since the height of Florida’s hurricane season. The occasion for her reemergence in Manhattan–and her ramped-up appearances on Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel program–is the publication of her 11th book (the previous 10 have made the New York Times best-seller list), an often-inflammatory, usually clever, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny screed against immigration, illegal and otherwise.
Coulter’s near-life-size portrait gazes unsmilingly from the book jacket of ¡Adios America!–looking very much like a hard-eyed, flaxen-haired border guard getting ready to send an unfortunate family of refugees back to wherever they came from.
“In order to change this country to one more favorable to crazy liberal policies, Democrats passed–and Republicans were hoodwinked into passing–this crazy 1965 immigration law that has changed the country in shocking and dramatic ways,” Coulter says, explaining her book’s premise and referring to legislation–sponsored by the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy–that abolished long-implemented preferences for immigrants from northern and western Europe over Africans, Asians and other third-world natives.
“This has been our law for 50 years now, and I blame the Republicans for idiotically continuing it,” she continues. “The Simpson-Mazzoli Act of 1986 [creating an easier path to citizenship for foreigners who illegally entered and settled in the United States] was a mistake. As for these idiot Tea Partiers or whichever conservatives are idol-worshipping Ronald Reagan, he was great for his time, but it was a different world. I don’t think he’s going down as the greatest president when he signed an amnesty law.”
Coulter–whose own ancestors arrived here from the Netherlands, England, Ireland and Germany starting in the 17th century, she says–argues that teeming hordes of new immigrants, especially from Mexico, vote overwhelmingly Democratic, so current immigration policy is really “an evil-genius plan to change the country. That’s what the Democrats get out of it. Obama never could have been elected in this country but for Teddy Kennedy’s immigration act. Never, never, ever, ever!”
Coulter’s politically quixotic prescription: a 10-year moratorium on all legal immigration; a complete dismantling of the immigration bureaucracy, not only government agencies and sympathetic elected officials but also outside advocacy groups; the erection of an impassable fence along the entire U.S.-Mexican border (in her book, she praises the Communist East Germans for effectively, sometimes lethally, preventing their citizens from breaching the Berlin Wall); and a return to pre-1965 policies that give preference to highly-educated, usually white Europeans.
“I wouldn’t care if they were white or not; I’m talking about peasants who come from backward cultures,” she says, although she expresses alarm at predictions that by 2050 Caucasians in this country will be a minority. “There are white people from backward cultures. They just don’t happen to come from a country contiguous to the United States. It’s backward cultures that are providing cheap labor and Democratic votes.” (Coulter, however, is unfailingly friendly to our waiter, who identifies himself as “Luis,” an immigrant from Ecuador who came here 10 years ago and is working his way toward U.S. Citizenship.)
Coulter argues that U.S. immigration policies were demonstrably better a hundred years ago. “There was no mollycoddling of immigrants back then. With the Irish and the Italians, and even the Germans–especially the Germans–we were allowed to boss them around,” she says. “We could say, ‘No. No. You can’t do this anymore. You are an American now. Knock it off!’ The only problem with the fact that they [recent immigrants] are brown–well, you’re saying they’re brown, I’msaying they’re peasants–is that they’re piggy-backing on the black experience, and saying ‘that’s racist’ if you tell them to do things our way, and ‘you can just assimilate to us,’ not the other way around.
“Can you imagine the Irish or Italians or Germans saying that to our country back at the turn of the century? ‘No! Fuck you! You came to our country. Learn our ways!’ ”
Using language that many doubtless will find hair-raising if not downright offensive, Coulter speaks of the “browning of America”–a term she says she adopted as a negative after seeing it bandied favorably on MSNBC–and how the country is being ruined by an influx from Latin America, the Indian subcontinent, Vietnam, Nigeria, and other benighted locales.
“In Nigeria, everyone is a criminal,” Coulter claims. “But we take more immigrants from Nigeria than we do from Britain. Don’t react casually to that! That’s madness. The British are just going to other countries. And a lot of these countries, like Spain, are just shitholes now. Young, smart people are emigrating to Germany and they won’t be collecting Social Security immediately. Perhaps we should consider them rather than a Nigerian terrorist.”
In ¡Adios, America! and over dinner, Coulter expands on her belief that when new arrivals from foreign climes are not busying themselves with “browning” the country, collecting welfare payments and swarming to the polls to vote Democrats into office, they are committing Medicare fraud, child rape, gang rape, honor killings and a host of other un-American activities.
She blames politically correct U.S. government census-taking and crime statistic policies–and the media establishment’s reluctance to identify the countries of origin of the alleged perpetrators–on the fact that she doesn’t have generally accepted stats to back up her assertions, merely horrific anecdotes and back-of-the-envelope guesses.
In her assertions about the allegedly low average intelligence of various “undesirable” immigrant groups, she relies on the studies of Jason Richwine, whose work on IQ and immigration was too controversial even for the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation, which dismissed him from his staff job there after his Harvard doctoral dissertation came to light.