If word hasn’t gotten around by now, Ann Coulter is coming to NMU. After receiving an approval for nearly $23,000 from the Student Finance Committee (SFC), the NMU College Republicans announced that Coulter, the infamous conservative political pundit, will come to campus for a speech in early April.
The price of Coulter’s speech represents about one-third of this semester’s SFC budget, which is composed exclusively from the Student Activity Fee. In other words, Coulter is coming to NMU and the student body is picking up the tab.
Coulter is known, among other things, for calling names and hurling vicious insults at anyone she deems fit. Racist, sexist, generally bigoted and reliably self-serving, she is the most recent incarnation of the shock jock, willing to say anything to draw attention and get ratings.
She is so far outside the political norm that it would be almost pointless to attempt to juxtapose her ideas with those of the conservative party. Despite claiming to be a political commentator, Coulter has proven that she is, above all else, an entertainer.
At this point, Coulter’s entertainment value should be understood. However, a student-run political organization, the NMU College Republicans, is sponsoring the event.
And that sponsorship lends her speech an air of political credibility that it frankly doesn’t deserve.
Many people unfamiliar with Coulter may automatically assume that she will be espousing the views of the Republican Party.
However, the majority of Coulter’s political views are not widely accepted among even the GOP, and her narrowminded, vicious opinions and ideas are certainly not representative of that party as a whole.
Clearly, this is a lose-lose situation. Coulter is sure to have a packed house in April; people will attend to hear her say outrageous things, and to become outraged themselves.
Those who belong to the groups Coulter targets-and the list is long-will doubtless be offended. Even thoughtful Republicans in the audience are bound to be embarrassed, at the least. And the College Republicans stand to lose face by bringing such a polemic speaker to campus.
But we, the students, will lose the most. In footing the bill for Coulter, we sacrifice not just our money, but also our respect for diversity and our desire to foster genuine intellectual inquiry.