In Defense of Tomi Lahren

To say I am not a fan of Tomi Lahren is putting it mildly. Throughout the past year Lahren has garnered a great deal of attention from both sides of the isle as a fresh face in the young conservative movement. I remember the first time I sat down and really watched her speak. She was a guest on The Daily Show, during which she and Trevor Noah had a tense debate about race relations in the United States. It was infuriating to watch not only because I fundamentally disagreed with everything she said, but also because she is exceptionally well spoken and carries herself in a very calm and collected manner. Watching Noah become exasperated on his own show while she sat calmly and grinned at her handy work drove me up the wall. Just thinking about it still makes my fists clench.

Lahren’s rise to fame was fueled largely by viral videos condemning liberals and praising the likes of Trump and Rubio. This has made her a sworn enemy of young progressives. While I agree that Lahren perpetuates harmful and often times blatantly false sentiments, I feel compelled to defend her from the most recent round of outrage she’s incited from the left. I may not like her, but I have to call a spade a spade.

Earlier this month, pictures of old posts from Lahren’s Twitter account began circulating the internet. The tweets, some of which are five years old, were plastered on any and every left leaning media outlet with click bait headlines such as “Proof that Tomi Lahren is a Complete and Total Fraud” and “Tomi’s X-Rated Tweets Uncovered.”

The first couple of times I saw these stories pop up, I scrolled past them. I try not to make a habit of reading about Lahren too frequently because it’s bad for my blood pressure. When I finally caved and read the “controversial” tweets my first reaction was frustration and surprise. These feelings weren’t geared towards Lahren, but rather at the young liberals who made this a story in the first place.

After combing through all off the supposedly scandalous tweets and the reactions they solicited from my peers, I identified two different types of attacks being made against Lahren.

The first type of attack is strictly political. There are a range of posts made by Lahren during her college years that seem to contradict the radically conservative sentiment she spews on her show. Someone even found a video of Lahren reporting the news for her college journalism program. In the 5-year-old video, she acknowledged the fact that scientists had reached a consensus on the reality of climate change and seemed to accept their findings. Recently, however, she has been outspoken in her belief that climate change is “just weather.” Similarly, old tweets complaining about working during summer vacation were juxtaposed with very recent tweets admonishing anyone who is unemployed.

I understand where the impulse to call Lahren a hypocrite comes from. Her views used to line up closer with the people concerned about this “scandal.” Now that her tune has changed and become more adversarial, why wouldn’t we use her secret liberal past against her? I see the thought behind that position and can understand it, but I just can’t support it.

Tomi Lahren hosts a talk show on the Blaze Source: Wikipedia.

Tomi Lahren hosts a talk show on the Blaze Source: Wikipedia.

If you go far enough back on my boyfriend’s social media accounts, you’ll find him posting about being an ex-gay. It took him a long time to embrace homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle because he was raised in a very traditional and deeply religious family. Using the logic employed by liberals against Lahren, doesn’t that make him a hypocrite? Or is evolving in thoughts and beliefs only acceptable when the evolution is more favorable to the views of progressive bloggers? We can argue and criticize Lahren’s opinions as much as we want and should. But what point are we trying to prove by printing out her tweets from 2012 and waving them in her face? She could just as easily do that to most progressives, or at least the ones in my house.

The second attack I identified is more personal in nature. Tweets between Lahren and college friends about going out to bars, “popping that p,” dancing, taking shots and meeting boys were mercilessly made fun of and used as ammunition against her character.

Come on, progressives, really? I do not understand the concern over a 21-year-old woman talking about drinking and dancing and popping consonants with friends. Do some of these old posts from years ago seem to contradict her emphasis on “family values?” Perhaps. I guess I’m just not offended by a self-proclaimed Christian going out and partying during her college years. Far be it from me to tell a woman what she should and should not have been doing in 2012 in order to live up to my idea of her current personal morals. I’m much more concerned with what she’s doing and saying now, because that has real implications on our cultural and political climate.

I can’t help but feel that this invalid, ad hominem and unnecessary Twitter fueled “scandal” somehow relates to the petty actions and rhetoric employed by our new president. If this is evidence of Trump’s impact on our national dialogue, we’re in for a long four years.

 

sdanley@unews.com

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