5 Reasons Ann Coulter’s Anti-Soccer Rant Is Brilliant

It began yesterday afternoon. Slowly but surely, my Facebook feed was overrun with angry posts about Ann Coulter’s anti-soccer rant, America’s Favorite National Pastime: Hating Soccer. By late evening, it was everywhere.

In the article, Coulter claimed recent interest in the World Cup could only be attributed to “the nation’s moral decay.” She then went on to mock liberals (obviously), soccer moms, legal immigrants, Michael Jackson’s death, HBO’s Girls, light-rail, Beyonce, Hillary Clinton, and the metric system. It was mean. It was outlandish. It was unfair. At times, it was a rambling mess. In other words, it was perfect.

Any doubt that Ann Coulter is a genius has now been erased. This morning, her name is at the top of Google Trends, and her article is still burning through Facebook and other social media sites like a forest fire. This did not happen by accident. Everything that transpired has done so according to her design. Put politics aside and look at her objectively. She is a master manipulator, and here are five reasons why this latest manipulation was so successful.

5. She Piggybacked On A Trending Topic

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As I mentioned above, Coulter’s rant was a rambling mess that mocked almost everything liberal straw men hold dear. In that sense, it’s the same as any other rambling political rant you can find on the Internet. But Coulter managed to unify her petty jibes behind the trending topic of World Cup soccer, and that made all the difference. If the article had been titled “10 More Reasons Liberals Are Stupid,” no one on either side of the political spectrum would have cared. But because she capitalized on a major current event, she was able to suck everyone in.

4. She Used The List Format

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“God I love lists!”

When it comes to creating viral content, the list format has a proven track record of success. Digital empires have been built on bullet points. Where as a regular essay may seem too daunting or time consuming, the same information presented in a list is far less intimidating, and allows the reader to cherry pick information. In other words, even idiots who can barely read still love lists. Naturally, this format doesn’t lend itself to thoughtful political discourse, but that’s hardly what Coulter was going for. She was trying to provoke an emotional response from people on both sides of the political spectrum. Which leads us to point three.

3. She Played On People’s Emotions

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In theory, headlines should convey a concise yet informative snapshot of what the article is about. But on the Internet, where click through is king, it doesn’t matter if your headline is informative. In fact, sometimes an informative headline is detrimental to getting people to click. That’s why focusing on an emotional response is key, and Coulter’s headline is a perfect example of how to manipulate emotions. Whether you love soccer or hate it, whether you love this country or hate it, you will have an opinion about her headline.

2. She Let Her Haters Do The Heavy Lifting

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As mentioned above, Coulter’s article was all over my Facebook feed. But the funny thing is, without exception, all of my friends who were posting it were liberals. Despite the fact that every share and like helps Coulter, these college-educated individuals could not help themselves from passing her article along. Coulter is blatantly trolling these otherwise intelligent people, but she does it so well that they are unable to resist. It’s been said that the only way to win with a troll is to not play the game. If that’s true, Coulter is winning in a landslide.

1. She Doesn’t Give A Damn About The Blow-back

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The reason trolls are so prevalent on the Internet is because the web provides them with a degree of anonymity not found in most public forums. It’s one thing to sit on Break.com and hurl homophobic slurs at the staff. It’s quite another to do the same to someone’s face. But Coulter does not have the luxury of remaining anonymous. When she writes an article that provokes half the country into an uncontrollable rage, the backlash isn’t aimed at some fake user account with a picture of Grumpy Cat. All that vitriol is headed directly for her. Of course, she’s well compensated financially (Celebrity Net Worth says she’s worth $8.5 million). But it still can’t be easy to walk around in public knowing that 50% of America wants to punch you in the face. Not many people can stomach that sort of hatred, but for Coulter, it’s all part of the game. And regardless of your politics, you have to admit she plays it very, very well. In fact, the only thing that could have made her article better (from a viral standpoint) would have been the use of more pointless gifs. Maybe next time, Ann.