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Saturday, April 22, 2017

I May Not Agree with Jenna Bush Hager and Ann Coulter, but I Stand With Them. Let Me Explain.

This is a weird thing to write, for someone like me. But then, the times have changed so much in just a few years. Nothing should be weird anymore.

Recently, Jenna Bush Hager's suggestion that her father, former president George W. Bush, is a feminist was met with controversy. Jenna said that her father taught her and her sister that they could be whatever they wanted to be, and that their parents taught them to be independent thinkers. But some of my feminist friends instead insist that President Bush's policies were anti-women, and he can never be considered a feminist.

While Jenna probably thinks that her father is a great president, I have to say I strongly disagree. Bush Jr. was probably my least favorite US president of all time, to be honest. However, on the aforementioned controversy, I stand with Jenna Bush Hager. While the Iraq War and the staunch opposition to marriage equality were both very horrible policies, there was nothing in the Bush administration that was particularly anti-woman. And no, his pro-life policies don't count there. While most feminists are pro-choice, plenty of women are pro-life too, so you can't fault Bush just for that. Even when you strongly dislike someone, you need to be fair with them. It's something that the New (post-Trump?) Left often forget to abide by.

Meanwhile, UC Berkeley has been forced to cancel a visit by Ann Coulter, invited by the college Republicans. The university said that they were unable to find a safe and suitable venue, due to ongoing security threats. Ann Coulter has said she will still attend, because she cannot be silenced. This comes just two months or so after protesters caused chaos at the university during a visit by another right wing speaker. It seems that, even at the home of the Free Speech Movement, free speech is no longer safe.

Ann Coulter is one of my least favorite authors of all time. I have read quite a bit of her stuff, and to be honest, I think most of it is ridiculous. But as for her point that she cannot be silenced, I stand with her there. Right now, there is a dangerous increase in those who want to limit free speech, to silence their opponents via whatever means possible. To defend free speech, we all need to speak up, no matter where we stand on the political spectrum. I probably don't want to hear what Ann Coulter has to say, but I strongly believe it is important that she exercises her right to say it.

I never thought I would side with Ann Coulter on anything, but in a world where free speech is in danger of extinction, even enemies have to become allies sometimes.