By now you might have had the displeasure of hearing about Ann Coulter's latest shocking attention grab, the use of the r-word in reference to President Obama during the last Presidential debate.
Oh, Ann. Ann, Ann, Ann. Just when we forget you exist, and go to that happy place in our minds where we don't have to think about how unadulterated evil can simply cough and Fox News will bring it on as a special guest, there you are again.
Of course, giving Ann Coulter this attention is what she wants. There are people who hate Ann Coulter and always will, and then there are people who think she's funny and smart and always will. This is just how things are. She says stuff and a bunch of people tell her she's great while a bunch of other people call her the devil (reasonable!) and wish she'd go away.
The upside of Ann Coulter opening her vile mouth is that we often get really intelligent and thoughtful responses from decent human beings. Special Olympian John Franklin Stephens wrote her an open letter, and it's really beautiful:
I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.
I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.
Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.
Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.
Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are – and much, much more.
So, if you're tired of feeling pure rage toward Ann Coulter, I recommend you grab a Kleenex and read the rest of Mr. Stephen's letter.