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No Troll Zone: How Our Online Outrage Keeps Ann Coulter in Business

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Another day, another flamboyantly ignorant and hate-filled diatribe from some ultra-conservative pundit. Whether it's Pat Robertson blaming natural disasters on LGBTQ-friendly theme park days or Glenn Beck accusing the nation's first African American President of being a racist, there never seems to be a shortage of cargo on that particular coo-coo banana panties freight train. This is precisely the reason that I was not shocked when Ann Coulter made headlines recently over her ridiculous statements regarding the FIFA World Cup and alienated pretty much the entire globe in the process. What I do find surprising (and more than a little bit frustrating) is the overwhelming amount of reasonable and intelligent people that I know who reposted her drivel in order to express their disgust at her ignorance.

Because as blood boiling as Coulter's rant was, as blatantly bigoted as her statements seemed, I have to wonder who it is that really comes out looking like the bigger idiot here. Is it Ann, who we all know is click bait if click bait was personified and that person looked a lot like Skeletor in a blonde wig and a well-tailored suit? Ann, who is now trending on both Facebook and Twitter and has become a major talking point on countless blogs and news sites? Or is it all of us? The ones who caused her abhorrent star to once again rise giving her a bigger virtual stage with each and every link?

Coulter holds an undergraduate from Cornell and is a former employee of the US Senate Judiciary committee. I have a long list of (admittedly sometimes colorful) adjectives I use to describe her but I can assure you that dumb is not one of them. I don't think for one minute she actually believes half of the blather that comes out of her mouth. Much like the ill-advised Marilyn Manson-listening, dog collar-wearing, angsty goth days of my youth, every reprehensible tweet or bigoted blog post that she writes serves only one purpose: to get your attention. She long ago established herself as the Kardashian of the politico world, consistently shoving herself back into the spotlight every time we think we've finally gotten rid of her. And just like her reality show counterpart she knows that there is simply no such thing as bad publicity when it comes to her brand. Coulter doesn't need us to agree with the vitriol she expels, she doesn't need our Facebook likes to prove any sort of point. All she needs is our traffic. Who needs fans when you have revenue?

Giving people like Ann Coulter time and space only perpetuates their existence and lines their pocketbooks. Instead of constantly pandering to her extreme "Look at me! Look at me!" behavior I suggest we take my Granny's approach and just ignore her until she gets bored and stops. (I personally only lasted until my spiked harness started to chafe at the neck.) If we all quit treating her like an actual journalist making an outlandishly inappropriate statement and instead skip over her attempt at headline-making like yet another Upworthy top ten list, I have no doubt she will disappear into obscurity. A jester doesn't perform to an empty room, after all. Or we can just keep feeding the obvious troll and acting astonished every time it pops its well highlighted head out from under the bridge and eats one of our goats in the name of patriotism and our right to own a semi-automatic. Either way.