The Trouble With Tomi (And Her ‘Conservatism’)

She doesn't understand what conservatism means.

Tomi Lahren on the set of Tomi during a "Final Thoughts" segment.

By Liberty McArtor Published on March 23, 2017

Talk show host Tomi Lahren is a polarizing figure. Conservatives who have long rolled their eyes at her talking point tirades aren’t surprised at her apparent flip-flop on abortion. Many right-wing fans are disappointed that she came out as pro-choice. Some liberals are laughing at her recent suspension from The Blaze. Others find themselves conflicted between old hatred and newfound affinity for the platinum-haired pundit.

The mixed reactions may leave some thinking what’s the trouble with Tomi, anyway? The trouble is that she doesn’t understand what conservatism means.

Tomi Doesn’t Understand Conservatism

Let’s start with Tomi’s pro-choice moment on The View last week. When the topic turned to abortion, the 24-year-old said (watch below):

I’m pro-choice, and here’s why. I am a constitutional, you know, someone that loves the Constitution. I’m someone that’s for limited government. So I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government but I think the government should decide what women do with their bodies. I can sit here and say that, as a Republican and I can say, you know what, I’m for limited government, so stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well. (Emphasis added.)

Yes, conservatives are for limited government. But Tomi doesn’t get what that means.

The Founders intended American government to protect citizens’ rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Life is the most basic of these rights, since none of the other rights can exist without it. How does government protect these rights? Mainly by staying out of them. The government only steps in when one person uses their own rights to threaten someone else’s. 

Believing that a woman should not be permitted to harm the separate body living temporarily in her womb is in no way hypocritical for conservatives.

That’s why it’s good for government to protect babies’ right to life by preventing abortion. Unlike gun owners, babies in the womb cannot defend themselves from people trying to kill them. Tomi supports gun rights, but doesn’t seem to get the connection. Which is why her “stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well” line doesn’t hold up.

If you think a woman doesn’t have control over her own body in America, think again. A woman is free to have as many kids as she wants (unlike in China). She’s also free to prevent pregnancy with birth control. She can even have a sex-change operation. So it’s not hypocritical for conservatives to believe that a woman shouldn’t be allowed to kill the baby in her womb. It’s actually consistent with the idea of limited government.

Tomi Represents a Bigger Problem With the Modern Right

Tomi responded to the backlash Saturday night by tweeting, “I speak my truth. If you don’t like it, tough. I will always be honest and stand in my truth.”

Tomi’s tweet represents the individualism of modern culture. It does not represent the constitutionalism of the Founders. For limited government to survive, society must share an absolute moral code. How can we respect someone else’s rights to life and liberty if we do not agree on what life and liberty even mean?

Tomi isn’t alone in her “my truth, your truth” universe. She’s joined by a growing number of people who value unrestricted freedom above any moral standard.

Tomi’s views represent the individualism of modern secular culture.

Stream contributor Joshua Charles reflected on this after the Milo Yiannopoulos uproar. He wrote, “Conservatism without virtue is not conservatism.” For some this statement may be obvious, but to a growing number of people it isn’t.

That’s because people aren’t taught what “conservative” means anymore. Radio host Steve Deace addressed this in his Conservative Review column, “I Know Why I’m a Conservative. Do You?” He writes:

Many people calling themselves conservatives don’t know what “conservatism” means. … This is why we fall for the likes of provocateurs with troubled souls or flat-out charlatans provided they produce anti-Left click bait. Conservatism is merely defined by opposition to the Left these days, simply because conservatism itself is undefined these days.

What to do About the Tomi Problem

The trouble with Tomi is that she’s not a fluke. She’s a product of a conservative movement that no longer understands itself. 

However, there’s good news. As long as we value true conservatism as the best way to protect to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we won’t be doomed to a movement of Tomis. But we must become better at educating ourselves and the next generation about what conservatism truly is.

As the Intercollegiate Review wrote last fall, the concept of conservatism can be hard to grasp since there are so many factions today. But Deace’s column and Charles’s commentary would be good places to start.

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  • Autrey Windle

    It’s a shame Tomi hasn’t looked seriously at what abortion truly is. I believe she values human life and I find it troubling that she, and so many other women who otherwise seem to value human life, have forgotten to remember all the girls and boys who will never have the opportunity to have a voice as she does because they were killed for the offense of being inconvenient to their parents. I bet she and all women who favor abortion are glad their parents didn’t find them only worth killing. There is nothing conservative about destroying babies and there is nothing constitutional about allowing it. I don’t care what the Godless murdering abortionists say to the contrary. Tomi, read everything you can find at the library about Margaret Sanger and then get back on your soapbox and back up your opinion about abortion. I dare you…

    • Wayne Cook

      Well said.

    • Litty Thum

      Unless you are a woman w/ a child in an unfortunate circumstance, you have NO right to say if a woman should keep her child or not. Unless you have walked in her shoes…it;s HER right – not yours.

      • Autrey Windle

        I certainly qualify according to your description so why don’t you open your one-sided, left-sided mind just a little bit.. The light is calling to you…

      • Royce E. Van Blaricome

        That is what would commonly be called a load of horse pucky. It’s also flatout intellectually dishonest. How many things would you like me to list that I’d bet the farm you have an opinion on and have NEVER walked in their shoes!

        Wise up!!

  • Freedom Guy

    Kudos Liberty! You are correct. Here’s my response to all the Tomis out there: God, Country, Family. If a policy doesn’t serve these three purposes, it’s an illegitimate policy. Abortion on demand and federal funding of abortion violates God’s commandment, America’s respect for life and the establishment of family.

  • Gary

    I have to wonder how smart someone could really be who thinks that an unborn baby is a part of a woman’s body. Whenever I hear someone try to justify abortion with that silly argument, I usually just ignore anything they say from then on.

  • Triple T

    Conservative and pro-abortion should be considered to be mutually exclusive positions.

    • Litty Thum

      Why? As Tomi says, conservatives are against govt interference into our lives in any way, so why should the govt be meddling w/ abortion? Stay out. I think the same way of gay rights. Conservatives are anti-govt and want people to live free and yet conservatives spend a vast amount of time and money trying to create laws to thwart any gay rights amendments.

      Do you want oppressive govt or do you want people to live their lives????

      • Triple T

        I want people who haven’t been born yet to also be able to live their lives. On a side note, gays have all the same rights that everybody else has.

  • Royce E. Van Blaricome

    Good article with many valid points. I don’t have to wonder why, but let’s be honest folks, if she wasn’t a young good-looking “platinum-haired pundit”, does anyone really believe she’d have the following she got? If she was some ugly, old broad or some so-so due, do ya really think she’d have gotten where she did?

    That said, I’m one of those who was not surprised by this at all. Her constant profanity-laden “Final Thoughts” and tweets followed by her little finger-wave and “god bless” showed her to be the hypocrite she finally came out as.

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