Whether you love her or hate her, you’ve probably heard of political commentator Tomi Lahren. Lahren is known for her extreme conservative views and controversial remarks, frequently expressed on the “Final Thoughts” segment of her television show, “Tomi.” Although I’d seen some clips from her show and some of her social media activity, I never really delved deeply into Lahren’s commentary … until now.
One of Tomi’s greatest targets is the Hollywood elite. After Meryl Streep’s anti-Trump speech at the Golden Globes award show in January, Lahren took the time to criticize Streep because this speech demonstrated, in Lahren’s eyes, “just how out of touch Hollywood is with the rest of the country.” The funny thing about that is, Donald Trump himself is a member of the Hollywood elite. His fame bases itself on his former reality television show, “The Apprentice.” If Meryl Streep doesn’t understand the qualms of the middle and working class because of her elite status, then how can Donald Trump?
Lahren praised Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl performance for its lack of political agenda, an interpretation that some have disagreed with. Her approval of Lady Gaga included the statement: “what a concept: an entertainer actually sticking to entertainment.” Lahren has continously criticized celebrities for voicing any type of political opinions. But aren’t celebrities American citizens as well? Shouldn’t they have the right to discuss politics as voting members of our nation? Yes, they do have a larger platform and the potential to influence, but couldn’t you argue that social responsibility comes in to play here? That using their platform to discuss issues is actually important, and yes, valued, by many Americans?
Ironically, soon after this, Lahren applauded Joy Villa’s fashion choices at the Grammys: a “Make America Great Again” themed dress. Interestingly, this performer did make a very obvious political statement, but since it was in support of President Trump, Lahren saw no problem with it, and was even “pretty freakin’ ecstatic.” Funny how that works, isn’t it? Lahren did address how this was different from her “just sing” pleas toward Lady Gaga, claiming that anti-Trump celebrities’ actions are mean and nasty, while Villa’s dress was simply an act of honoring the president. Regardless of how you interpret it Tomi, this was a political statement from an entertainer, something which you have so strongly been against. You only respect Joy Villa’s political statement because it aligns with your political views — simple as that.
In her coverage of the Super Bowl, Lahren also took time to discuss some advertisements which she found offensive. One in particular was from Audi, addressing gender inequality and pay gaps. She classified the commercial as “Audi’s equal pay BS,” calling the pay gap “misleading at best.” Yes Tomi, you’re right, of course there are other factors regarding gender, employment and wages, but there still is a pay gap in the United States. Whether you want to believe it or not, gender inequality does exist. Tomi continued to remark, “don’t let reality get in the way of your man-bashing,” which proves her own disconnect from reality. Equality does not base itself on man-bashing, no matter how much this narrative tries to make itself legitimate. Maybe if you looked a little more closely at what feminism and the fight for gender equality is all about, then you would change your tune. Would you even be able to have this platform, Tomi, if individuals before you didn’t fight for equality?
While we’re talking about debates over equality, let’s take a look at Tomi’s opinions on LGBT+ rights. After President Trump revoked the protections against transgender students, Lahren entitled her “Final Thoughts” segment, “Bathrooms go back to normal and the leftist mainstream media lets the fake news flow.” Calling this a return to normalcy is not only cruel and offensive, but solidifies that both Lahren and Trump care about protecting their own privileges rather than protecting others. How is saying this goes against the LGBT+ community “fake news”? That is not fake; it does go against the rights of transgender people. The previous rule did not make bathrooms “free for alls,” Tomi, it made them areas where transgender students could feel more comfortable. The “safety concerns” you aren’t focusing on the actual safety concerns, which is the real violence enacted against transgender individuals. No, Tomi, this isn’t about “creeps and pedophiles;” this is about ensuring the safety of marginalized students. It is not “ignoring the biology in your pants,” Tomi. Please educate yourself on what it means to be transgender and the discrimination these people have faced.
On the topic of education, let’s see what Lahren had to say about Trump’s new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. Lahren called this a “win for poor kids in poor neighborhoods,” applauding DeVos’ favorability of school choice. However, school choice does not actually necessarily help poor children, and, with these funds, schools “don’t have to follow the state curriculum, don’t have to participate in testing, don’t have to hire certified teachers. They don’t have to follow the same rules.” DeVos’ educational stance relies on her rejection of public schools, yet Lahren attended a public university, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Yes, giving children access to better education is important, but this isn’t what DeVos’ policies focus on, especially since she has no educational experience. Lahren addresses the two Republican senators who did not vote to confirm DeVos, Senator Susan Collins (ME) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK), citing their “betrayal.” Because they voted against President Trump means they have betrayed the Republican party? Shouldn’t we be trying to unite as a nation, and shouldn’t our elected officials work to check one another? Lahren criticizes politicians who say they care about education while sending their own children to private school, but that is literally what Betsy DeVos has done.
But what about Trump’s extremely controversial immigration ban? Yes, of course Tomi Lahren had some thoughts about this. She claims this is not a Muslim ban, yet this phrase comes directly from Donald Trump himself, as he continuously has called for banning of those who identify with the Muslim religion. And the ban from Obama’s administration was actually not the same, Tomi, as that 2011 legislation only slowed immigration, and banned no one. You’re right, these aren’t great countries to live in, which is why many are attempting to come to the United States. Also Tomi, you forgot to include that countries with business ties to President Trump were left out, as well as the fact that citizens from these banned countries have not been a part of any terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, and countries where the 9/11 attackers were from were also excluded. Any thoughts on that?
The last “Final Thoughts” segment to discuss focuses on, what else, Donald Trump’s love of Twitter. Lahren criticizes the mainstream media’s coverage of Trump’s tweets. You don’t think Donald Trump’s tweets are important, Tomi? You ask for conversation about immigration, job security and so on, yet Trump tweets about these things. The President of the United States is using a social media platform to talk about his political opinions and issues occuring nationally and internationally, so yes, they are important points of discussion. They are elements of actual news because he is our president and these are the views he is expressing, and the platform on which he is doing so. Lahren claims Trump can tweet “whatever the heck he pleases,” and, if you don’t like it, “don’t follow him on Twitter.” So, please do not educate yourself on political issues in the country which you reside in. Great Tomi, thanks, I’ll keep that in mind.
These are just a few analyses of Lahren’s thoughts, but we could discuss her controversial opinions for hours. Unfortunately, the only thing I found that I could applaud Lahren on was the sheer magnitude of her wardrobe, as I never saw an outfit repeated. Congrats Tomi, your closet must be well-stocked. Oh, and please Tomi, could you not include an advertisement for Super Beets before every one of your videos on your website? We get it, you like beets.