Doran Barton's Reviews > Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism

Treason by Ann Coulter
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's review
Jul 20, 2008

really liked it
Read in June, 2004

I finished reading another “right-wing conspiracy nut” book. This time it’s Treason by Ann Coulter.

After reading Useful Idiots by Mona Charen, I initially found Coulter’s book to be a lot more off-the-cuff and sardonic.

Coulter loves to mock liberals and she does a great job of setting up the figurative bowling pins of historical facts and knocks them down again and and again.

Treason spends a good deal of time in the 1940s and 50s examining the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and the now-famous U.S. senate “McCarthy hearings” about government infiltration by communist spies and operatives working for Russia.

The history lesson in the book is exceptional. It would be easy for someone to discredit Coulter by saying, “There was never any real proof the people accused of being communist spies were really spies,” except now there is proof.

Since the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet state, information has leaked out about who was working for Soviet intelligence. In addition, a top-secret U.S. intelligence project operating in the 40s and 50s named Venona carefully monitored and logged encrypted cable transmissions sent to and about Soviet operatives. The Soviets didn’t know it, but the U.S. had cracked their cipher early on. The material captured by the Venona Project was declassified in 1995 and contains scathing evidence that incriminates many of those accused of being communist operatives 50 years ago.

Well that’s all interesting and fascinating, but Coulter is really just using history to show us a pattern of behavior. When these accused spies were being paraded about by patriots intent on exposing an enemy infiltration in the midst of everyday government operations, liberals were blindly leaping to defense of the accused. The media and liberal democrats either ignored evidence or flat out said it was preposterous.

Coulter goes on to show this behavior didn't stop there but carried into the Vietnam War, Cambodia, and Reagan’s campaigns against communism in Grenada, Nicaragua, and Russia.

Coulter’s book spends 292 pages basically telling you that fifty years of history can not be ignored: liberals hate America. They want nothing more than to see the country turned into a socialist, atheistic state where wealth is a thing of the past.

She does a remarkable job, but her snide and cutting remarks about Clinton, Carter, JFK, FDR, and others make her seem almost immature and petty compared to Mona Charen who maintained a composed—almost textbook —feel throughout Useful Idiots.

Here’s some excerptage:


European barbarism baffles Americans, since they look like us. But what defines Western Europe — as well as the American left — is its aggressive secularism. Though cathedrals abound, Christianity is a thin membrane over the cultural and political institutions of Europe. By contrast, from the time the pilgrims landed in the New World, Americans have been defined by their belief in God. In Democracy in America, written in 1835, Alexis De Tocqueville observed that Europeans practiced religion from a “barren traditionary faith which seems to vegetate in the soul rather than to live,” but Americans “combine the notions of Christianity and liberty so intimately that it is impossible to make their conceive of one without the other.” America disproved the canard from the French Revolution holding that religion and freedom were incompatible. To the contrary, de Tocqueville said: “There are certain populations in Europe whose unbelief is only equaled by their ignorance and debasement; while in America, one of the freest and most enlightened nations in the world, the people fulfill with fervor all the outward duties of religion.”

De Tocqueville pronounced religion “the foremost of the political institutions” in America. He said there exists no country in the world “where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America.” As a result, “while the law permits the Americans to do as they please, religion prevents them from conceiving, and forbids them to commit, what is rash or unjust.” And then one day, an entire political party defended a lying felon on the grounds that “everyone does it.”

...Feminists led the way. In 1998, CBS This Morning cohost Jane Robelot cheerfully reported on the wonderful world feminists had wrought: “The women’s movement brought change and power to millions of American females. Virginal brides surrendered to the sexual revolution. Modern fashions exposed body parts previously reserved for the bedroom. Entering the workforce meant the old ways that women met men were ancient history [video clip of a milkman]. And a pleasure leads some women to shop [video clip of sex toys] and some to stray. . . . And experts say many husbands and wives can become stronger individuals, and on rare occasions, might even find that cheating recharges their marriage.” Exhibitionism, promiscuity, sex toys and adultery. This is women’s liberation.

Interestingly, de Tocqueville attributed the strength and character of America to its women. While European women were fainting in the parlor with the vapors, in the New World women joined their husbands in conquering the American frontier. The strength and independence of American women are legendary. Most important, de Tocqueville said, women were the keepers of religious faith. “No free communities ever existed without morals,” he said, “and morals are the work of women.” Not anymore. A large segment of American women have traded faith in the Supreme Being for faith in gun control laws and day care centers. We live in an America in which soccer moms swoon over Bill Clinton, and Larry Flynt is a cultural icon. Feminists get enthusiastic about the war on terrorism only when they think we are fighting to redeem Western licentiousness. Our men are up to the job of protecting us from foreign enemies, but our women are losing the war at home.

...The fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives is: Conservatives believe man was created in God’s image; liberals believe they are God. All their other behavioral tics proceed from this one irreducible minimum. Liberals believe they can murder the unborn because they are gods. They try to forcibly create “equality” through affirmative action and wealth redistribution because they are gods. They can lie, with no higher power to constrain them, because they are gods. They adore pornography and the mechanization of sex because man is just an animal, and they are gods. They revere the U.N. and not the U.S. because they aren’t Americans — they are Gods.
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