Anthropomorphic scarecrow Ann Coulter makes her living by being publicly and gleefully abhorrent. But her hate-cred took a potentially fatal hit this week with one simple revelatory tweet.
On Friday, in response to Senator Marco Rubio’s insistence that the child tax credit in the GOP tax bill be expanded, she released the following statement into the Twittersphere:
We singles live empty lives of quiet desperation and will die alone. Now Rubio is demanding that we also fund happy families with children who fill their days with joy.
Boo-fucking-hoo, you anorexic Gorgon. Too little, too late with the inadvertent humanity that finally found expression in the only honest, albeit whiny and self-pitying public statement you’ve ever made. But I didn’t commence this post for the purpose of taking easy potshots at Ms. Coulter. I am writing this as a reminder to myself and others that no matter how hidden someone’s humanity may be, suffering is always at the root of expressions of bigotry and hatred. This oftentimes subconscious suffering can take many forms: loneliness, self-loathing, insecurity, perceived emasculation, doubt, fear, ennui, etc. Of course, we all feel such existentially uncomfortable emotions from time to time, but those of us who choose to analyze and work through our personal neuroses generally find ourselves reasonably capable of peaceful coexistence with our fellow travelers. Perhaps instead of viewing our comparatively well-nurtured acceptance of human diversity as a virtue, we should see it as a blessing — a fortunate genetic (or even karmic, if that’s your thing) accident. This is the only way for caring human beings to include the worst among us in their field of compassion.
Last night, I watched a documentary about surviving members of the Nazi SS. While a handful of the elderly Germans interviewed expressed remorse for their part in wartime atrocities all those years ago, an equal or greater number of these doddering “Jerries” were as stubbornly anti-Semitic as ever; one of them even began tearing up when reminiscing about a particularly inhumane diatribe from his Fuhrer that he had had the honor of attending as a teen. There is nothing left for these men and their confounding ideology. For decades, they have watched “The Motherland” evolve into a democratic and multi-cultural society while public expression of National Socialist Weltanschauung became encoded as a criminal act. Yet these feeble old men still hate with all of their remaining might, seemingly as confident as ever that institutional hatred is the first step towards a real Germanic Utopia. I suspect that subconsciously, to a man, they are well aware of the fact that the real source of their rabid dissatisfaction isn’t the non-Aryan population of the world but their own deep-seated insecurities.
Many of the Buddhist practices in which I engage are designed to expand one’s compassion to include all sentient beings without exception. I’m sure I don’t need to identify the public figure who more than anyone else has made the nurturing of this mindset dauntingly challenging for me. However, my current inability to feel empathy towards this despicable man-child is a result of my imperfect view, not his loathsome words and actions. When I indulge in willful Schadenfreude towards this man (or anyone I deem similarly “subhuman”), I do so from my own secret reserve of subconscious suffering. If I were to honestly answer the question “would I rather he be free from the suffering behind his hatred or see him brutally punished for it?”, my reply wouldn’t be the one that indicates a willingness to take the high road. In other words, I (and many others, of course) allow his inhumanity to infect and distort my alleged values. All this does is keep the circle of delusion in motion.
Compassion for an adversary is not acceptance of his or her harmful actions. When someone causes deliberate suffering, it is imperative that they be somehow neutralized in as non-violent a manner as possible. But feeling compassion for someone laboring under the yoke of ignorance is a natural reaction to the understanding that egocentric individuality is an illusion.
Ann Coulter made a profound admission of human vulnerability with one little 140 character dispatch. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for T***p to do the same. So in lieu of that, I am going to try to remember the following things whenever my distaste for him rises to the level of unhealthy disdain: 1) He is incapable of feeling love; 2) He is fundamentally unlovable; 3) His entire sense of self-worth is predicated on imaginary things like money and power and victory; 4) He is incapable of seeing the beauty inherent in children and animals; 5) He is frightened at his own inability to escape his self-made prison of malignant ego; 6) He is possibly the loneliest human being in the Western Hemisphere.
Ask yourself: would you trade places with this sad, pathetic man for any amount of money in the world? I’m going to hazard a guess that you answered in the negative. This is all you need to keep in mind if you wish to continue resisting acts of cruelty while simultaneously feeling sadness for the soul-crushing suffering at their core. This is right view. And it’s a son-of-a-bitch. It’s also as radical and revolutionary a mindset as one can possibly adopt. Viva la Revolucion!