Most observers would say Ann Coulter is pretty extreme as conservatives go. In the wake of Fukushima, she said radiation is “good for you.” She has said she would tell a gay son that “he was adopted” and then ask him for redecorating tips. She pushes the well-debunked myth Obama attended a radical Islamic madrassa.
So when she says the conservative movement has “a problem with con men and charlatans,” you know things have gotten way out of hand. Yet here she is at a local Republican party dinner in Florida, answering a question about the prospect of a brokered convention:
And just a more corporate problem is I think our party and particularly our movement, the conservative movement, does have more of a problem with con men and charlatans than the Democratic Party…. The incentives seem to be set up to allow people … as long as you have a band of a few million fanatical followers, you can make money….
Barry Bickmore, a geochemistry professor at Brigham Young University, who describes himself as “an active Republican” who “was a County Delegate for the Republican Party” from 2008-2010, agrees with Coulter:
This is nowhere more evident than in the climate policy debate. The Republican Party is beset by “con men and charlatans” whose specialty is to convince people that there is no climate change problem. And why do we believe them? Because for people who think we should try to solve problems with as little government regulation as possible, it’s always easier to deny there is a problem at all….
And so we desperately want to believe that big problems are overblown or nonexistent. Whenever a group of people “desperately wants to believe” something, there will always be someone willing to tell them what they want to hear, whether the opportunists are charlatans or simply nutjobs.
The question is whether the conservative movement can reject the charlatans and embrace science in time to enable us to prevent catastrophic global warming.
- Washington Post: “The GOPs climate-change denial may be its most harmful delusion.”
- National Journal: “The GOP is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones”