Erstwhile conservative icon Ann Coulter can be charming and engaging, yet her inner sociopath often erupts in Twitter tirades, employment of elimination rhetoric, attacks on the recently deceased and bereaved, and vilification of whole swaths of humanity.
Yes, Ann Coulter can be – and often is – cruel!
Degrees of Sociopathy and Psychopathy
There is often a correlation between narcissism and sociopathy and/or psychopathy.
Coulter registers at the high end of the Sociopath Scale and is probably mid-range on the Psychopath Scale.
I have never seen Ann express or exhibit guilt over hurting people, whether personally or professionally. Indeed, she takes delight in provoking people, enjoys employing elimination rhetoric, and loves attacking the recently dead and grieving.
Ann experiences no guilt over anything and exhibits no shame in attacking and wounding others. But she does experience shame when it comes to herself. She hates criticism of herself, hates being viewed as a liar, racist, or fool. She feels shame when she fails to measure up to her various self-identities, such as beauty, brains, and balls. She feels shame when her jokes fall flat, her witticisms are proven witless, and her credentials are credibly challenged.
In other words, any shame Ann feels is because of how people view her as opposed to how she treats others. Her shame in inward-oriented, not outward-directed. The world could end tomorrow and she would be fine with that as long as the world loved her.
Twenty years ago, Ann boasted that she was obsessed with biographies of serial killers (“studies of serial killers”), saying, “I actually am sort of interested in it.” Would she, herself, kill anyone? I doubt that. Does she take pleasure in the death of other people? Quite often. Did she, as a child, exhibit cruelty toward animals or insects? I don’t know. But, throughout her career as a journalist, she has exhibited cruelty toward her fellow human beings.
Was Ann Coulter raped? Perhaps in college? (That could certainly be a causal factor.)
If so, that would explain her three-decade-long enmity toward feminism and ire over rape hoaxes as well as her zeal in advocating for and owning guns. As she emotionally vented on MSNBC, “Men’s hands are lethal weapons. … Every male I walk past, every male I walk past, I look at him knowing with his bare hands he could kill me, and I can do nothing. … But I have no option. I can’t kill somebody with my bare hands.” (It is noteworthy that she was off-the-clock for that segment; she stayed longer to express her views, without being paid for her time.)
It might also explain her repeated claims of being raped not just as political allegory but, perhaps, as a means of subconsciously admitting to actual rape.
It might also explain her desire for rough sex (in which she wins or takes revenge). The Internet is populated with images of Ann as a dominatrix (created by fans and foes alike).
A psychologist clarified this for me (emphasis added): “Personally, she’s functional and most likely doesn’t kill people and animals by some driving need to do so, but her ideation probably veers in those directions. … Think fatal attraction material without the actions. … One can o learn to hide it if they aren’t committing violent acts. Many people who are sociopaths or psychopaths are very successful in life, but they aren’t serial killers or criminals, but they think like one. They restrain their darker impulses, however.”
While Coulter is certainly not on the violent/homicidal end of the Psychopath Scale, she is certainly well positioned mid-range on that scale.
Simply put, she enjoys hurting people. Her words wound. They are calculated to do so with maximum effect. She wants her foes to be sputtering in rage. Coulter is certainly a narcissist with a strong sociopathic streak and psychopathic tendencies.
There is an interconnectedness among narcissism, sociopathy, and psychopathy. The following chart compares and differentiates among them.
Another important aspect I’ve discovered is this:
Guilt is relational; shame is image-based, identity-based.
We see throughout Coulter’s life that she fails to express or exhibit guilt over her wrong behavior toward others. Guilt is utterly absent. But she does feel shame – shame over public exposure of her behavior and shame related to credible challenges to her own, deep-seated, self-identities.
The Clinton Affair
The 20th anniversary of Bill Clinton’s impeachment generated a slew of documentaries, some of which featured Coulter. Among them, Scandalous (FNC) and Truth and Lies: Monica and Bill (ABC).
Naturally, Coulter considered ABC’s to be the best of many such documentaries, primarily because she was heavily featured in it with close to a dozen segments featuring her.
Notable in ABC’s documentary were the number of Coulter soundbites in which she laughed as she was talking about the various ways in which Clinton harmed his female victims. I was reminded of some of Coulter’s appearances on MSNBC in early 1997 when she would gleefully recite from memory various portions of Paula Jones’ legal brief against Clinton, laughing at the accusations against Clinton – not caring that a real human being had experienced such pain and anguish.
Quadriplegic Lady or Dead Dog?
Sociopathy could have developed as early as infanthood when Ann was in an incubator for several weeks. Sociopaths have little to no empathy, but they can learn to fake empathy and thereby manipulate other people.
The real Ann Coulter was on display during a 2015 radio interview which demonstrated, like Animal Farm, that some people are more equal than others and that Ann is more equal than everyone else.
At the beginning of the interview, Ann was told the heartbreaking story of an innocent woman who was struck during a high-speed car chase, becoming a quadriplegic. Utter silence from Ann. Shortly thereafter, she made jokes about car chases and joked about a suicide.
Then Ann was told about a tragedy concerning a dog. She asked, “What happened to the dog?” Hearing that he died (burned to death on live television), she replied in shock, “Awww!”
Moments later, Ann said, “I feel sorry for the quadriplegic lady, too. I don’t want you to think I’m only worried about the dog [laughs]. That was just kind of a surprise ending.”
Coulter is so intellectually agile that she immediately recognized the disparity in her reactions to two very similar tragedies and she knew the audience would take note at well. So, she instantly went into justification mode, trying to put out the flame before it became a raging fire.
Note that Coulter is more concerned with what people think of her than she is about the tragedies which have befallen others.
That segment of that interview strongly reinforced my conclusions that, for Ann, most people are worthless (worthless = worth less than Ann). To her, they are invisibles. She cared far more about the deceased dog than about the quadriplegic lady – but doesn’t want us to know that.
[Much more on this subject can be found in Character Study: Narcissism in my new book, Joker: Ann Coulter Unplugged.]
Joker: Ann Coulter Unplugged provides an in-depth, detailed analysis in this holistic exposé of how and why Coulter has become the polemicist whom people either love or hate.
Joker addresses the physical, mental, emotional, psychological, familial, sexual, and spiritual dimensions which have shaped the Ann Coulter that we know today and it highlights both the positives and the negatives of Coulter’s life and career.
 Ann Coulter, Rivera Live, CNBC, 7/28/99.
 See Lydia Cornell’s harrowing experiences at the hands of a wrathful Coulter (The Wrath of Ann) in her Foreword. Consider Coulter’s approval of attacking President Obama’s daughters!
 Ann Coulter, MSNBC, 11/10/96.
 Author interview.
 Ann Coulter, The Drive Home with John & Jillian, KABC, 9/2/15.