The Blaze’s Tomi Lahren is known for the edgy and pointed “Final Thoughts” segment of her show. Her messages are clear, controversial, and on the extreme side of conservative rhetoric. Unfortunately, instead of providing a compelling argument that could bring others to her side, Lahren is an expert at preaching to the choir.
A recently unearthed quote is no exception:
“Americans stand up and fight for faith, family, and freedom. Syrians run away.”
Honestly, guys. This is why people think conservatives are heartless. Stop it. Bad. pic.twitter.com/OrUyrI9NqM
— Danielle Butcher (@DaniSButcher) 26 January 2017
Admittedly, the quote is an old one; Lahren originally posted it in October of 2015, but it recently resurfaced, along with many of her other quotes from her college days.
“For the many who already had preconceived notions that conservatives are heartless, this message is damaging to the broader conservative movement.”
However, unlike the quality content from her glory days, this quote isn’t that different from the rhetoric that Lahren employs daily on her show and through her social media accounts. It’s a message that resonates with some on the far right; those who insulate themselves in so-called “bubbles” with Fox News and Drudge.
But for those who don’t subscribe to such a black and white view – those who understand the value in being decent people – this message does not stick. In fact, for the many who already hold preconceived notions that conservatives are heartless, this message is damaging to the broader conservative movement.
Let’s address the subject at hand: the Syrian refugee crisis. Lahren seems to be claiming that Syrian refugees are trying to run away from their problems. Meanwhile, according to her, Americans would never do such a thing because they value faith, family, and freedom too much. That is quite the charge.
As Peter Chan wrote earlier this month, the situation in Syria has become insane. It has “killed over 300,000 people, displaced millions, and physically and psychologically maimed countless Syrians,” Chan wrote. “As we know all too well, the conflict has helped jumpstart the worst refugee crisis since World War II.”
But yes, let us pretend that Syrian refugees are just weak individuals who can’t possibly compare to Americans…
Or we could act like decent humans.
It is clear that Tomi Lahren is a smart woman who understands what her audience wants. But what she is not, however, is a conservative hero. She may have great ideas, but the rhetoric she employs to promote those ideas is antithetical to the notion that they are even worth listening to.
For conservatives who truly wish to build coalitions and bring people around to our way of thinking, perhaps it is time to reevaluate how we communicate our values and beliefs. Instead of focusing on “triggering snowflakes,” Lahren and other conservatives should place an emphasis on having thoughtful and informed discussions. We may be surprised how much we can achieve.