There have been some violent goings-on at Donald Trump’s political rallies this month. Most critics have spoken out negatively about it. Shockingly, though, some people on Twitter have been ambivalent or even in favor of the acts of violence. Even more shocking is that one of these people is Ann Coulter, a popular political commentator. But Coulter did not stop at stating that the violence at Trump rallies is a good thing. Rather, Ann tweeted a whole sermon about why even more violence is needed.
Coulter has not been subtle with her support of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign over the past few months. In the past 30 days alone, she has made claims that liberals are using the Supreme Court to stage a “total Marxist takeover of the country,” that Marco Rubio is running an “anti-white campaign,” that Fox News and Ted Cruz are “traitors” for opposing Trump, and that Mitt Romney only attacked Trump “because his father was a Mexican.”
We win or lose with Trump and only Trump.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) March 12, 2016
Obviously, Coulter is a huge Trump fan. And there is nothing wrong with Coulter’s vocally supporting Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign or her disparagement of its opponents; that is her right.
But many sources feel that Ann Coulter’s latest set of tweets, which explicitly insult liberals and advocate for an even higher level of violence towards them from Trump supporters, went a little too far.
I would like to see a little more violence from the innocent Trump supporters set upon by violent leftist hoodlums.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) March 13, 2016
Another tweet Coulter posted just a few minutes later attempted to explain the reason behind Trump fans’ “acts of righteousness” — primal instinct.
Trump supporters exhibiting manly temper--the same manly temper that drives the U.S. Marine Corps that Rubio wants to send around the world.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) March 13, 2016
Many of Ann’s critics think Coulter’s tweets should be considered hate-mongering and are even calling for Twitter to ban Coulter from their platform.
What Coulter wrote does not actually meet the legal definition of incitement, though, and is therefore not unlawful. This is because, as Hit & Run Blog writes, “saying that one would like to see violence happening is not the same as calling on others to commit violence at a specific place and time.”
Twitter has not taken any action against Ann yet, and it is unlikely that they will given that she did not actually violate any laws. Even though the site’s regulations do forbid “promoting violence,” social media sites like Twitter are famous for being very forgiving of their users’ shared content unless it actually violates some law or has the potential to get the site in trouble. This is because, like the reasoning behind Apple’s recent refusal to unlock an iPhone at the CIA’s request, it would jeopardize the freedom users feel when using the service.
Coulter also has plenty of sympathizers, though, most of them claiming that left-wing extremists have been fostering an “anti-free speech mentality” by attempting to silence conservative rhetoric.
This phenomenon was perhaps most clearly demonstrated when Bernie Sanders supporters rallied and successfully shut down a Donald Trump campaign event on Saturday.
Because of the recent audacity of leftists, some people agree with Ann Coulter that the most extreme ones — the ones crashing Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign rallies — should indeed be put in their place through violent means.
Since this is a very polarizing issue, we’d like to know what you think. Did Ann Coulter cross a line? Or was she just speaking a harsh truth? Let us know in the comments below.
[Photo by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images]