Book Review: Demonic

 

Demonic, 2011 by Ann Coulter, Crown Forum.

It has often been said that God moves in mysterious ways, and I have often said it myself.  So it is that I find myself immersed in study of Jefferson, the great flip-flopper of revolutionary days, just as I also break the covers of Miss Coulter’s rather ominously titled book.   Once upon a time I purposed to read her just because I wanted to see how much of a fringe radical right winger she was.  I had, after all, heard all the stories.  Upon coming out the other side of her 2003 writing, Treason, I discovered that I had immense respect for her well-researched and level-headed opinions.

Funny thing is, since I read that book, and, as I have continued my path of personal enlightenment, I have found myself squarely walking in the footsteps of Jefferson myself–never able to pin down just where practicality and idealism meet.  I still call myself a libertarian, but no longer with much enthusiasm.  For, as the study of the implementation Articles of Confederation has taught me, the libertarian ideal is quickly overcome by a tendency toward anarchy.

In my zeal to stand squarely for a legalistic interpretation of the Constitution, I have quickly even thrown Abe Lincoln under the bus, he the first man of Republicans, and so have even found myself attacking, perhaps, from the left.  This zeal was thrust upon me by the very same Thomas Jefferson, he the great speaker of all things inherent to the rights of the individual.

Now, suddenly, the fog is starting to clear.  And the once hated enemy of the small man, Alexander Hamilton, is starting to rise in my estimation.  For Hamilton was not, as it turns out, the antithesis of Jefferson, but, rather, his containing force.  Jefferson was capable of great things when his mind wasn’t allowed to wander.  As it turns out, I, too, am a wanderer.  And , for that reason, it is good that people sometimes come along to help me regain some focus.  And so I am brought to a watershed moment in the pages of Demonic.

Yes, Ann, the world is a constant battle of good and evil, rational and irrational, peaceful and productive assemblies and lynch mobs.  And, yes, Ann, the roots of the Republican party are peaceful and productive, while the Democratic party has become the party of the lynch mob.

Those who don’t read  history are destined to repeat it.  In Coulter’s brilliant analysis of the American and French Revolutions, we see that they are also destined to equate fact with fiction.  The anarchic revolutionaries of France managed to wrest the crown from an acquiescent king without hardly needing to fire a shot.  Yet the French revolution managed to still slaughter ten times as many people as died altogether in the American war for independence.  For such is the mob mentality that it tends to eat its own.  The lawless pursuit of the French independence from itself resulted in  one French dictatorship after another for more than half a century and the decimation of Europe.  Fortunately, the founders of America knew a train wreck when they saw if and ran from any complicity..  Unfortunately, the Democratic party never read history and have mistaken the French story for the American one.

Enlightenment is a tricky subject, because those who are blinded to the truth can’t see that they are blind.  To prove they are not blind, they go around flailing their arms and yelling wildly, swinging at wind mills in an attempt to look like they know what they are doing.  Those who know the truth are set free from such pedantic pratfalls.  But, as Miss Coulter warns, one must never mistake the urge to stay calm for a hesitancy to act when confronted with mob mentality.  Even as the liberal masses brutalize the sensibilities and even life and property of sensible people, those same sensible people are vilified if they try in any way to defend themselves.  They are shouted down, sometimes beaten, vandalize and excoriated in the media (or on Twitter for the oh-so-clever of the idiots).  Failure to stand up to such abuse, to “go along to get along”, won’t have any better results that it did for Louis XVI, or for those who opposed Hitler, or Stalin, or Mao, or Pol Pot.

What the title tells us is that nothing good drives a mob.  What the book give us is a fantastically well thought out and researched historical background for America’s current political landscape and its historical origins.  I sense that, in a real way, I and Miss Coulter are arriving at the nexus of a long intellectual journey.  Her earlier books were great.  This one is masterful.  Thanks for clearing up a lot of things for me, Ann.

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