Demonic by Ann Coulter

November 13, 2011

Summary (from the publisher): The demon is a mob, and the mob is demonic. The Democratic Party activates mobs, depends on mobs, coddles mobs, publicizes and celebrates mobs—it is the mob. Sweeping in its scope and relentless in its argument, Demonic explains the peculiarities of liberals as standard groupthink behavior. To understand mobs is to understand liberals.

In her most provocative book to date, Ann Coulter argues that liberals exhibit all the psychological characteristics of a mob, for instance:

Liberal Groupthink: “The same mob mentality that leads otherwise law-abiding people to hurl rocks at cops also leads otherwise intelligent people to refuse to believe anything they haven’t heard on NPR.”

Liberal Schemes: “No matter how mad the plan is—Fraternité, the ‘New Soviet Man,’ the Master Race, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, Building a New Society, ObamaCare—a mob will believe it.”

Liberal Enemies: “Instead of ‘counterrevolutionaries,’ liberals’ opponents are called ‘haters,’ ‘those who seek to divide us,’ ‘tea baggers,’ and ‘right-wing hate groups.’ Meanwhile, conservatives call liberals ‘liberals’—and that makes them testy.”

Liberal Justice: “In the world of the liberal, as in the world of Robespierre, there are no crimes, only criminals.”

Liberal Violence: “If Charles Manson’s followers hadn’t killed Roman Polanski’s wife, Sharon Tate, Clinton would have pardoned him, too, and he’d probably be teaching at Northwestern University.”

Citing the father of mob psychology, Gustave Le Bon, Coulter catalogs the Left’s mob behaviors: the creation of messiahs, the fear of scientific innovation, the mythmaking, the preference for images over words, the lack of morals, and the casual embrace of contradictory ideas.

Coulter traces the history of the liberal mob to the French Revolution and Robespierre’s revolutionaries (delineating a clear distinction from America’s founding fathers), who simply proclaimed that they were exercising the “general will” before slaughtering their fellow citizens “for the good of mankind.”

Similarly, as Coulter demonstrates, liberal mobs, from student radicals to white-trash racists to anti-war and pro-ObamaCare fanatics today, have consistently used violence to implement their idea of the “general will.”

This is not the American tradition; it is the tradition of Stalin, of Hitler, of the guillotine—and the tradition of the American Left.

As the heirs of the French Revolution, Democrats have a history that consists of pandering to mobs, time and again, while Republicans, heirs to the American Revolution, have regularly stood for peaceable order.

Hoping to muddy this horrifying truth, liberals slanderously accuse conservatives of their own crimes—assassination plots, conspiracy theorizing, political violence, embrace of the Ku Klux Klan. Coulter shows that the truth is the opposite: Political violence—mob violence—is always a Democratic affair.

Surveying two centuries of mob movements, Coulter demonstrates that the mob is always destructive. And yet, she argues, beginning with the civil rights movement in the sixties, Americans have lost their natural, inherited aversion to mobs. Indeed, most Americans have no idea what they are even dealing with.

Only by recognizing the mobs and their demonic nature can America begin to defend itself.

Liked:

  • I absolutely loved the chapters about the French Revolution. That is one of my favorite periods in history (though I’m not an expert by any means), and I have always been baffled as to why the event is often held up as something to be admired and applauded. It was bloody and brutal, with tens of thousands of innocent people murdered by the mobs. I enjoyed reading Coulter’s interpretation and analysis of the events, and found myself agreeing with her often.
  • The stuff about the Central Park jogger was fairly frightening. That event happened when I wasn’t yet old enough to care much about what was happening in the outside world, so a lot of what I read from Coulter was new to me. What a travesty that the perpetrators — all part of a mob that descended on the park that night — had their convictions overturned based on the completely unreliable confession of an inmate who had nothing to lose and a lot to gain by coming forward.
  • The chapters in this book weren’t merely rehashes of Coulter’s past columns. Even if you’re a regular reader of her weekly work, this book will be entirely new to you (as it was to me).
  • I LOVED how Coulter stuck up for Sarah Palin throughout the entire book. Admittedly, I was surprised by this since Coulter has blasted Palin on various talk shows recently, but I definitely enjoyed how she took the time to dismantle many of the unfair attacks against Palin in this one.
  • I liked the amount of wit and sarcasm in Demonic. I’ve complained that sometimes Coulter goes a bit too far with her insults, making her sound more juvenile than anything else. But think she showed a little more restraint here. Her cutting remarks were well-placed and made me laugh out loud more often than not.

Disliked:

  • Just about the only thing I disliked about Demonic was that it was too short!! I was left wanting way more, because goodness knows there are plenty of additional examples of liberal mob mentality out there.
  • Sometimes Coulter focused too much on specific individuals (particularly Obama’s pals and advisers) instead of sticking to the mob theme. Although I certainly agree with her in principle, I don’t know that small extremist groups qualify as perpetrating mob action. Ditto for Janet Reno and all her massive blunders as Attorney General. Yes, Coulter was talking more about how liberals in general (i.e. the mob) supported Reno; but still, it felt like a departure from the theme of the book.

Rating:

I’m not a knee-jerk conservative, so I don’t automatically like books just because they’re written by right-wing authors. In fact, Ann Coulter’s books have always been hit-or-miss for me. But I found Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America to be an excellently argued, well-written “position paper” on how group think has harmed and continues to threaten society. I give the book 4 stars out of 5.

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