I know she’s a grown woman who is entirely capable of making her own decisions and exercising her own judgment, but I can’t help it.
I know she both thoroughly humiliated her former employer and persistently thrives on unnecessary polarization, but it doesn’t seem to matter.
I know her invective is intentionally caustic, her style purposefully provocative, but this problem still eats at me: I feel bad for Tomi Lahren.
And yes, I know she doesn’t “deserve” my sympathy – particularly as someone who believes in conservative principles. Lahren is unquestionably doing immense damage to the credibility of a political philosophy that I think is critical for the survival of our civilization. She and others have hijacked the movement of Burke, Kirk, Buckley, Goldwater, Limbaugh, Goldberg, and Shapiro – thinkers who used their profound gifts to illuminate the power of conservative ideas – and turned it into an unpersuasive sideshow of angry voices, personal branding, and self-promotion.
When young people, millennials and Gen-Zers specifically, think of conservatism, they won’t think of the calm, reasoned opinions of Charles Krauthammer. They will think of Tomi’s finger-pointing, head-shifting, tongue-lashing “Final Thoughts.” Things like her most recent contribution:
Pressing for a Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade would be a big mistake…We lose when we start messing with social issues…Even if conservatives decide to go for the Roe v. Wade jugular, it’s unlikely to succeed. Legal tradition makes it harder to overturn a past decision - unless there are strong grounds for doing so.
And a departure from precedent like Roe - which has since been upheld by other cases - is even harder to come by. During his hearing, Justice Gorsuch made a point of noting the decision had already been reaffirmed several times.
Do we really want to fight for this, alienate Democrats, moderates, and libertarians, all to lose in the end anyway? That’s a risk I don’t think is worth taking.
I’m saying this as someone who would personally choose life, but also feels it’s not the government’s place to dictate.
I once assumed that someone most likely wrote Tomi’s thoughts for her; now I’m fairly convinced that’s not the case. Please don’t mistake that as a compliment. This is a jumbled embarrassment of self-contradiction, ethical ambiguity, and moral relativism.
- Self-Contradiction: Lahren suggests that conservatives lose when we “start messing” with social issues rather than concentrating on economic policies along. Yet, in one recent two-minute Final Thoughts segment alone, Tomi “started messing” with the following social issues: feminism, Women’s March, transgenderism, gender fluidity, American flag respect, national anthem kneeling, the War on Christmas.
- Ethical Ambiguity: Lahren actually laments the prospect of alienating Democrats and moderates by undoing an ethical and constitutional travesty. But it’s no exaggeration to say she owes her entire career to the notoriety she built by mocking and alienating Democrat and moderate “snowflakes.” Alienation for personal gain is permissible, alienation for constitutional fidelity and moral rectitude is not?
- Moral Relativism: After being properly excoriated by legitimate conservatives for espousing the non-sensical “personally opposed to abortion but government shouldn’t dictate” canard (a stance as morally courageous as “I’m personally opposed to slavery but government shouldn’t dictate), Lahren mindlessly doubled down:
“I don’t believe government regulation accomplishes [protecting human life].”
This isn’t just confused thinking. It’s non-thinking. It’s arresting ignorance. Government doesn’t protect human life? That’s fundamentally the government’s one, indisputable, unarguable responsibility – protect people’s lives, liberty, and property. Suggesting that government shouldn’t (or can’t) do that is heart-stoppingly dense and is tantamount to calling for the repeal of all laws against murder, manslaughter, and everything in between.
Still, despite all of that, as much as I want to be angry with Tomi Lahren for the mockery she continues to make of genuine conservatism, I just keep realizing that this young woman is completely out of her league and most likely knows it. She reminds me so much of many of the high school students I teach every year – extremely passionate and idealistic, desirous of fame, but whose intellectual maturity and logical temperament have not yet caught up. It’s why after her first abortion-related spectacle she created on The View several months ago, I publicly begged her: “take some time away from the camera, read and learn what conservatism is, and decide if that’s what you are or what you want to be.”
But before anything like that could happen, Fox News scooped her up and thrust her in front of another camera, behind another microphone. She’s making headlines, she’s making money, but my best guess is she is completely lost, frighteningly insecure, totally overwhelmed, and supremely lonely.
Yes, like all serious conservatives, of course I want this Tomi Lahren charade to conclude. But that desire for me is truly not born resentment or even annoyance, but out of sheer pity.