For fifteen years, I was an enthusiastic, unapologetic Ann Coulter fan. I’ve expressed my share of disagreements with her, but on balance have supported and defended her many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, times—from Left and Right alike—as one of the most fearless and principled assets to the conservative movement. Her books were defining influences on my own political development. She regularly raised devastating, critical points that more than a few conservatives were too meek to say or too conventional to notice. Meeting her in 2009 (above) was one of the biggest thrills of my political career, and I counted my autographed copy of Slander as one of my most prized possessions.
So when I say that Ann Coulter has officially lost me, know that I didn’t reach this conclusion lightly.
For the better part of 2015, Coulter’s aggressive support for Donald Trump has been a source of major consternation on the Right. Contrary to what some demagogic charlatans would have you believe, her underlying rationale is entirely correct: the next president’s level of conservatism on other issues will be irrelevant if he allows mass immigration and amnesty to give the Democrats enough new voters to guarantee them a permanent national majority. If this were, say, a two-man race between him and Marco Rubio, it would be perfectly reasonable to conclude that Trump is more likely to do the right thing on the issue.
Where Coulter’s conclusion breaks down is that Trump isn’t the candidate with the most credibility on fighting amnesty—Ted Cruz is. Conservatives don’t have to make a last-resort choice between an immigration hawk and a conservative; we can get both. Continue reading