Who’s the Con: Trump or . . . Ann Coulter?

As long ago as April 2011, I argued Donald Trump would stand a good chance of winning if he decided to make a serious run for the White House. My “excitement over the prospects of a Trump presidency” was “mounting” back then. Yet from that time and throughout Trump’s 2016 campaign, I have been at pains to remind readers that they could expect only so much from a President Trump. We all know—because we heard it ad nauseam during the Republican presidential primaries— the man had never been a traditional conservative or libertarian. He was never going to make “all of your wildest dreams come true.”

It isn’t just that Trump had spent most of his adult life contributing the bulk of his political donations to Democrats.

It isn’t just that he had never lifted a finger to decelerate the culture’s movement to the Left, much less to advance any recognizably conservative cause.

It isn’t just that he derided such principled men of the Right as Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan.

Another reason I specified for qualifying conservative support for Trump is his background as a businessman, and a Big Businessman at that. Republicans have long held—mistakenly—that success in business can translate to success in politics. In reality, the more successful the businessman in today’s highly regulated, crony-capitalist economy, the more likely he is a political failure—or, at least failure as judged by the liberty-lover’s benchmarks of success.

None of this is to suggest that conservatives didn’t have good reasons for supporting Trump. But legitimate, realistic reasons for supporting him shouldn’t be confused with reasons that were and remain illegitimate and unrealistic.

While Trump’s rhetoric on some key questions was music to the ears of millions of conservatives, anyone who pays close attention to American politics knows talk is cheap.

And as NeverTrumpers were only too happy to point out, Trump had no record that would suggest that he had any intention of doing all that he claimed he wanted to do. Besides, those who are even remotely familiar with federalism, the Constitution, and gridlock know all too well that the president is neither king nor God. As powerful as the president has become, his powers are not unlimited.

So Trump’s pledge to deport illegal immigrants and build a wall was never, in itself, reason enough to back him. Nor was the fact that Trump was preferable to Hillary Clinton. Similarly, the likelihood that he would appoint “conservative” Supreme Court Justices was also a gamble and not, by itself, a reason to move any fence sitter.

Trump, as I argued more than once, deserved support not because of what he promised to do in the future, but because of the single most important thing he had already achieved as a candidate and seemed likely to  continue achieving as president (whether he planned on doing so or not):

The Donald blew the lid off of the whole government-academia-media-entertainment (GAME) complex. He assumed the role of a human bomb that detonated right in the heart of the regime, a party making space for itself within a party.

Trump, in short, revealed the underground ocean of corruption in which The Big GAME is saturated. As a result, American politics will never be quite the same.

Trump was a “disruptive force” in the 2016 election and many of us voted, not necessarily for the man himself so much as for “the Trump Process,” as the paleo-libertarian author Ilana Mercer characterizes it.

Evidently, Ann Coulter was not among our number. The woman who as recently as last summer published In Trump We Trust now says that she voted for “a loser” and, along with some of her hard-Left counterparts, has even gone so far as to call for Trump’s impeachment.

Such a dramatic turn of events provokes one to wonder: How could a seasoned and presumably savvy political analyst like Coulter be genuinely disappointed or surprised by Trump’s performance, given he is only eight months into his presidency?

More to the point: How could any experienced pundit have gotten as enthusiastic as Coulter did over Trump?

Unlike those of us who supported a “process,” Coulter apparently thought that she had found a messiah. To hear her tell it now, she pinned her hopes for national salvation on a Big Business, Big Government, liberal-Democrat from New York.

What else should the impartial observer make of Ann’s metamorphosis from enraptured Trump cheerleader to betrayed, vengeful Trump critic?

While basking in the attention that the leftist press has showered on Ann since she expressed outrage over Trump’s DACA-centered meeting with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Coulter insisted to The Daily Beast that she had not been conned by her man. But if she hadn’t—if she always recognized Trump for who and what he is—then one would think that she wouldn’t be so surprised or outraged now.

And maybe she isn’t really shocked at all.

Coulter’s about-face on Trump does not reflect well on her. If she is genuinely surprised that Trump has eight months into his presidency failed to make good on his promises, then she is incorrigibly naïve and incompetent in her field. Twitter memes notwithstanding, the vast majority of American patriots voted for a mere mortal politician, not a political savior or “God Emperor.”

If on the other hand, Coulter is only now feigning shock and outrage, then she is showing herself to be a fake, a cynical opportunist.

Those who followed Ann’s advice and placed their trust in Trump may need to recalibrate when it comes to their president.

They may also need to rethink things if they’ve ever placed their trust in Ann Coulter.  


About Jack Kerwick

Jack Kerwick earned his doctorate degree in philosophy from Temple University. His areas of specialization are ethics and political philosophy, with a particular interest in classical conservatism. His work has appeared in both scholarly journals and popular publications, and he recently authored, The American Offensive: Dispatches from the Front. Kerwick has been teaching philosophy for nearly 17 years at a variety of institutions, from Baylor to Temple, Penn State University, the College of New Jersey and elsewhere. His next book, Misguided Guardians: The Conservative Case Against Neoconservatism is pending publication. He is currently an instructor of philosophy at Rowan College at Burlington County.

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44 responses to “Who’s the Con: Trump or . . . Ann Coulter?”

  1. Reagan put his faith in the American people.

    Trump said only he could … whatever it was he said only he could, I forget exactly.

    The American people voted for a guy who was an Alinskyite for president. Twice.

    If you have not read Rules For Radicals, let me give you a brief synopsis; Alyinsky dedicated the book to the devil … and two other people, forget their names.

    The alternative last time was hrc. Her senior thesis at wesselie was on the book ….
    Rules For Radicals.

    Hmmmm …. am I the only one wondering how deeply in trouble this nation is ?

    • We don’t need to wonder anymore. We are definitely in serious trouble. The next few years is vital in supporting a sea change away from the Leftists and back to the Constitution.

      • People running for office say all kinds of crazy stuff. Fiorina talked about trying to impose a “no-fly zone” over Syria – and Ted Cruz STILL picked her to be his VP candidate.

  2. coulter is a barren bitter old bag. she is just in it for the money. fukk her and her bitching about trump.

  3. Great article. Ann Coulter fooled a lot of people. I think she’s been bought off.

  4. Coulter had one overriding and existential political issue – immigration. I bet she believes her only shot at nudging him back to immigration hawkishness is by slamming him rhetorically. I’m kinda glad she’s doing that actually. I think yesterday’s Alabama election sent the same message. The only thing Coulter has ever done that really mystified me was her passionate endorsement of Mitt Romney back in 2012. He was never going to get tough on immigration. So maybe you’re right in the sense that she develops political “crushes” on these guys which later leads to necessary disillusionment. Ha…I’ve talked myself into your position! So there:)

    • Ann has said she’s mystified too about her support of Romney. She explains it as the lesser of two weasels.

      • I have not read a word that Ann Coulter wrote after she repeatedly argued how Mitt Romney was a conservative. Even a conservative’s conservative. After something so abjectly stupid, her opinions can no longer hold any weight with me.

      • I have not taken any of her advice since she wrote a book selling all of Trump’s lies.

  5. This article is unfair and wrong. Trump has delivered on many of his promises, and he alone among elected Republicans is fighting the culture war. Congress and the judiciatry are blocking the agenda.

    Beat Hillary – only one who could. Killed TPP, approved pipelines , nominated Gorsuch, rolled back Obama anti-energy and transgender and labor regs, deporting criminal illegals, has talked tough enough that number of illegals entering way down, is shrinking size of government by not filling vacancies, pulled out of Paris and is killing EPA climate change programs, got NATO members to start upping their defense budgets, is renegotiating NAFTA, just told UN to reform, got Russia and China to agreement to N. Korea sanctions and may have strategy to get China to rein in Kim, apparently very good federal responses in two massive hurricanes, took first action against sanctuary cities (blocked by court), did not renew DACA – put it in hands of Congress (where it belongs), issued Muslim ban (blocked by courts).

    Any comment on the immense amount he has actually done in only 8 months? Who else would have done any of that? Ok, had he managed to get elected (an impossibility), Cruz would have nominated a Gorsuch. Cruz was also gung ho for TPP, which in my opinion disqualified anyone from being president of the United States.

    Exactly how is Trump not being conservative? He backed Strange, apparently a quid pro quo for Strange’s vote on healthcare Trump tries to keep his word. We also don’t know what other quid pro quo there might be. So get specific. What is your beef? What else do you want him to do, which is in his power to do? And it’s only 8 months in.

    • Trump is more conservative than any of those backstabbing GOPe. He has more principles and integrity too.

      • The backstabbing GOPe, like Mitch McConnell, who spent $9 million to get Luther Strange nominated (and failed) and Trump backed Mitch 100%. That backstabbing GOPe?

      • You’re obviously not an America firster. McConnell spent 30 million, thinking he could buy votes.
        Trump was displaying loyalty to Strange for voting on the “repeal and replace” scam. You got one thing right, Trump backed McConnell 100%. Now McConnell will be an even bigger backstabber if he doesn’t reciprocate.. If you really understood the dynamics you would know this contest was a referendum on McConnell not Trump. But I imagine you’re one of the anti-American globalists who supports open borders, cheap labor, bad trade deals, and disastrous foreign policies.

  6. Even Trump’s “get that SOB off the field” quip at the Strange rally and his subsequent tweets hectoring the NFL for supporting players who hector NFL customers is one of the bonuses of the Trump presidency.

    Facts remain though and can be summed up in a name: Neil Gorsuch. The sole reason for voting Trump into the presidency is generational control over the Supreme Court.

    A Hillary win would have meant libby / proggy control of the SCUSA. A liberal court likely would rule the Bill of Rights as group rights. Gone would be free speech (since groups would be protected) and individual gun ownership.

    Egghead Jack Kerwick simply doesn’t get it.

    See my Tuesday, February 16, 2016, work:

    • Considering his support for the “drug war” and his reported friendship with RBG I have already forgotten him.

    • Yeah, Kerwick didn’t even mention how Trump solved the cold case of the century – Ted Cruz father killed JFK. Trump said so.

  7. Lil’ Jack, the philosopher. Hates everyone, but always right, no? No.

  8. Your hate for President Trump shines through loud and clear….Might want to get over that won’t be a great life filled with all that hate.

    • You like the guy who tried to shove Luther Strange down the throats of Alabamans. Fortunately they told him to go to hell.

      • You mean how we elected Moore? Trump had to nominate Strange so he could get the tax reform votes moron…..We wanted Moore all along and we got him…..

  9. Well, well, well, having been the only person criticizing Ann Coulter for months now in comments, (although her fans savagely attacked and blew me off in the beginning, I notice they have gone strangely quiet), I am pleased to see someone do this devastating critique of her “officially”, even if it is an apparent NeverTrumper or SometimeTrumper. I read her latest article today and was surprised the focus was not on President Trump although she did manage to get in a disrespectful “Trump” sentence. Now I know the reason why. Thank you Jack Kerwick, for belling this particularly nasty cat. PS. President Trump has actually managed to achieve quite a lot if you were to look.

  10. The Bible says put your faith in the Lord as the Princes of the world cannot save you.
    You miss the mark just like the rest of the anti-Trump GOPe. That’s because you want to politicize everything.
    It wasn’t Trump who revealed the underground ocean of corruption, it was the GOPe’s betrayal of their base.
    And anyone who thinks Trump being head and shoulders above hillary wasn’t a good enough reason to vote for him are seriously deficient in judgement. The backstabbing GOPe were repudiated in the primaries because they are dishonest and disingenuous. Trump won by acknowledging the legitimate grievances of the working and middle classes. Trump won because he had a long track record of getting things done, something foreign to the GOPe.
    What you seem to miss about Ann in your rush to disparage her is that the America first movement transcends Trump. What you also miss is who gets the blame for not getting any of Trump’s America first agenda done. Again it’s the backstabber GOPe who supported hillary in the general. Why don’t you address why they did that? The GOPe are running dog lackeys to the global plutocracy. They support open borders, cheap labor, bad trade deals, and disastrous foreign policies. They were making tons of money running their “repeal and replace” scam. They supported hillary because it would have allowed them to continue on with their scam. They could blame her for not doing anything, just as they blamed obama.
    “Unlike those of us who supported a “process,” Coulter apparently thought that she had found a messiah. ”
    This is typical of the anti-Trumpians. You want to disparage voters who supported Trump. You wouldn’t know process if it bit you on your hind quarters. Ann supports the America first movement and supports Trump when he is working on fulfilling his promises. Sarah Palin said it best in her support for Roy Moore. You must have been napping when she talked about the America first movement.
    The GOPe continue to stab the American people in the back. They continue to Delay, Obstruct, and Sabotage the America first agenda. The special elections are demonstrating that the base is holding the GOPe accountable for blocking the agenda Trump was elected to implement. Strange was the latest but not the last. Corker is going of his own free will because he knew he would be “cantored”. We’re in the midst of an unCivil war, with the GOPe, dems, administrative state, and their media poodles arrayed against Trump and the American firsters. I think Trump has done more, with less, than any other President. The smug backstabbers think they can bring our President down and then swoop in to pick up the pieces. The reality is that the GOPe has destroyed the repub party and are going the way of the whigs and for the same reasons.

    • Did Jesus said to vote for a man who falsely accuses an innocent man of killing a President?

      • Liars never prosper. Why not name names? Crickets.

  11. “Nor was the fact that Trump was preferable to Hillary Clinton”

    You should have written this piece for Time possibly HuffPo. Even if Trump did exactly the same things that the Hidecreature would have done, he doesn’t have the press constantly felating him. When Hillary dropped like a sack of potatoes at the 9/11 memorial, they didn’t even pause for a second to admit the obvious, that she has some real health issues.

    Trump being “not Hillary” CONTINUES to be reason enough to support him.

  12. Nope. Swing and a miss with this column.
    Ann Coulter (and many like me) loved the PROCESS of Trump…………true. But we always liked the guy himself. Had solid positions and seemed to mean it. THAT SAID, did we BLINDLY trust him?? Not on your life. We are over the age of 15. We have studied political history and especially as it relates to past Republican nominees and Presidents. We fully knew and know that they almost always end up being mediocre or worse. SO nope, not shocked at Trump’s weakness in several key areas at all. We ARE mad as hell at him and making it clear. Do we want him “impeached”??? My God, has the author never heard of hyperbole, sarcasm, or piques of fury?? Now, if Trump continues to break important campaign promises, then we might be okay with the Dems impeaching him. Hell, it would only be fair if he pays a high, high price for any treachery.

    It’s funny……..I never used to read Ann’s stuff or follow her Twitter until the last few months. I kind of liked her. I REALLY liked Trump and wrote him checks. Nowadays, I am down, down, down on Trump (BUILD THE WALL!). And I follow Ann religiously. She is spot on. (Oh, and I donate to American Greatness, too……………you’re welcome!)

  13. Coulter is just one of the innumerable tribe of grifters than regrettably infest the conservative movement. I call them “Buy my book!” conservatives.

  14. Pretty ignorant article. Coulter believes quite strongly and correctly that the most successful intervention of the left in their attempt to wipe out the ideas of Conservativism, the philosophy of Classical Liberalism that America was founded on (limited government, free enterprise, freedom of thought, speech and belief, empowerment of the individual not the state) was to flood America with tens of millions of people who grew up in failed socialist states, had no idea of the ideas America was founded on, and could be counted on to vote for the people who bought their votes with state money. Hillary was all in on this leftist strategy. Trump was not. Hence Coulter was with Trump. Had Hillary won, the massive immigration continued unfettered and amnesty inevitably passing, it would have been game over for the America of Classical Liberalism and limited government.

    Trump is pragmatic in many areas where true big C Conservatives are principled. He is willing to compromise oh higher taxes for the super-rich in order to get a much more impactful lowering of taxes on capital gains, corporations and the middle class. He is willing to reverse one-sided trade treaties allowing our competitors to sell unrestricted into US markets while obstructing US companies selling into theirs and allowing them to steal US intellectual property. He will never please the ever so precious pure Conservatives for whom the Perfect is the enemy of the good like Rand Paul. Ann is at root a conservative and will get irritated by that. She is even more likely to get irritated when Trump gives any ground on immigration as he appears to be doing with the DACA issue.

    But let us remember that Trump is brilliantly Conservative compared to the person who would have been elected had he not run. Gorsuch is a gift. And let us remember that some of his populist positions, especially on trade and repatriation of industry are actually spot-on right for the long term strength of the US. An America that is deindustrialized will have no chance of defending itself when it can no longer manufacture its weapons and will lose the ability to win the next frontier of the internet of things (integrating software with manufactured devices).

  15. As an earlier post stated, it’s all about illegal immigration, period. The remaining question is why. Why her sole passionate focus on illegals?

  16. Everything in this article is perfectly true and, for the most part, completely beside the point.

    Elitists hate her guts, but most ordinary working folks (like myself) understand Ann Coulter perfectly well. She was a big Trump supporter from very early on in the process, and she worked hard to help get him elected. Now she is doing everything she can to hold Trump’s feet to the fire and force him to keep, not some, but all of his campaign promises.

    Ann Coulter has been down this road before. Like a lot of us, Ann has been burned by Republicans time and again, particularly by the Bushes, but also by the McCains and Romneys of the world. Even the great Ronald Reagan sold us out to some extent.

  17. Ann is a bomb-thrower, which is one reason I love her. I read her regularly and, at times, I’m not quite clear about her intentions. When she tweeted impeachment, I took it as sounding the sirens. It was meant to be a wake-up call for Trump. If he goes against his voters on immigration, it is game-over for him and for the rest of the country. On that, she is clearly correct. To me, she was trying to pierce the DC bubble that is working hard to insulate the president from the people. And, she was telling him, if you betray us on this critical issue, we’ll not only let you go down, we’ll join the opposition.

  18. Umm, did you read “The Flight 93 Election”? People at AG act like they never heard of it! Including Michael Anton!

    If this is really the last chance to save the country, then Trump needed to do EVERYTHING HE PROMISED. He cucked, just like Bush.

  19. I think Ann is just indulging in some Trumpery of her own, trolling him to get him back on track and remind him who “brung him to the dance”. We cannot let America go the way of Europe!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. “It isn’t just that Trump had spent most of his adult life
    contributing the bulk of his political donations to Democrats.”

    Your comment about the bulk of Trump’s donations being given
    to Democrats doesn’t seem to be borne out by the facts, if the source linked
    below, said to be based on data from OpenSecrets.org, is accurate.

    It cites his total since 1989 as $584,850. If the numbers gods are with me, that’s an
    average of a little more than $22,000/year.
    (The piece appeared in August 2015 ).
    Repubs got $961,140 over the same time period. (As an aside, the amount he gave to Hillary,
    if not a thinly veiled insult, was certainly chump change for the league they
    played in.)

    More details are provided at:


    Not also that, as is typical of Coulter’s books, the above-pictured
    slender volume (182 pages of actual text), includes 223 footnotes, and an
    appendix of over 65 additional, fully referenced quotations. It’s a safe bet the majority of her readers
    are looking for factual information and analysis rather than “advice” to “follow.”

  21. Coulter has always been a gadfly. She’s a politico groupie that flits from one superhero (in her mind) to the next as the winds change. In a nearly evangelical way she has championed Christie, Romney, and Trump; three men that couldn’t be more different in demeanor, policy, and ability. My opinion, as a woman, is that Coulter has always done more damage to the Republican Party in terms of recruiting women supporters and candidates because the hyper-loudmouth Coulter is ‘the face’ of female conservatives.

  22. Trump IS making good on his promises. He has done everything that is in his power to do. He is not responsible for Congress or the judiciary. He did kill the TPP, pull out of Paris, appoint a conservative Supreme Court justice, roll back Obama regs and is naming conservative federal judges, deported violent illegal gang members. He’s not yet a year in, in a period spent battling Congress, the media, the judiciary and the whole federal burearacy. And I heard him say during the campaign he would deport violent felons and then we would discuss the rest. Deportation was neveff politically or logisticaloy feasible. His