No Room for Shills

Tomi Lahren is pro-choice. This information is not new, but the internet was reminded Friday after her appearance on The View:

“I am a constitutional, y’know, someone that loves the Constitution. I’m someone that’s for limited government,” she said. “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.”

Allow me to preface by saying, there is certainly room in the conservative movement for those who are pro-choice. The Republican Party is a big-tent party, and an individual needn’t adhere to each plank in the party platform to have a space to stand. If you believe in limited government, free market capitalism, and fiscal responsibility by all means consider yourself a conservative.

There is not, however, room in the Republican Party for shills.

Lahren’s acceptance of abortion would not be so outrageous were it not for her implied rejection of it. As OUTSET Contributor Kareim Oliphant tweeted, “Tomi Lahren lambasts abortion with righteous indignation only to reveal she’s pro-choice. This is your “principled conservative leader?”

This is a keen observation, as Lahren has previously tweeted, “Illegals have rights in the USA but not the unborn?” and included segments in her show ranting and raving against Hillary Clinton’s support for gun control, comparing gun deaths to the life that is ended during abortion procedures.

While Lahren may not have come out and explicitly supported the pro-life movement, she absolutely led her audience to believe she stood with them in protecting the unborn.

Looking past the blatant to attempt to misguide her fanbase, Lahren’s argument in favor of the pro-choice stance then falls flat. Conservatives recognize that government has a role, they simply advocate for the belief that government’s role is limited.

As OUTSET Contributor Caleb Franz recently pointed out, the pro-life position is the limited government position. Both conservatives and libertarians can agree, “the right to self ownership is inherent and the right to life inalienable,” a memo that Lahren seems to have missed.

Parading herself around as a voice for the millennial right has garnered Lahren plenty of attention. Unfortunately, the 24 year old Blaze host, known for her brash commentary and reactionary rants, has traded real principles for notoriety and fame.

Sure, being pro-choice isn’t exactly a popular position on the right, but where she could have defended her true beliefs or simply stayed quiet, Lahren touted the pro-life movement’s values around for as long as it was advantageous to do so for her own personal gain.

Lahren’s career undoubtedly thrives on such deceitful punditry, and this instance isn’t the first time such a discovery about her click-bait conservatism has been made.

“When we allow people who are in politics only to build their own careers to speak for us, we delegitimize the sincerity of our cause.”

In 2014, Lahren hosted a political roundtable show called The Scramble, in which she advocated for lawmakers to address the issue of gun violence and acknowledges that climate change is real.

“Despite this cold snap, scientists have reached a consensus: climate change is occurring,” Lahren said. “What are we going to do about it is the controversial question we will address here today.”

Her 2016 persona offers quite a different picture, whereas Lahren would once have said “climate change,” she now says “weather.”

Despite it all, the error here is not in Lahren holding unpopular opinions, changing her mind on issues, or even in deceiving her audience. The ultimate mistake belongs to the right as a whole: our mistake is in sensationalizing our values for what is flashy, attractive, and will bring in page views.

Abortion is a complex, messy, and often times uncomfortable issue. As a movement we cannot pretend that a two minute rant will change minds and win people over in sharing our belief that life is precious. This sentiment expands to all issues and goes further than Lahren and abortion. It is seen with Milo, Richard Spencer, and even recently with Rep. Steve King.

When we allow people who are in politics only to build their own careers to speak for us, we delegitimize the sincerity of our cause. There is no room for self-serving provocateurs in a movement that wishes to make a real difference.

About Danielle Butcher

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Danielle Butcher is a conservative political consultant who aides organizations in communicating their big ideas and empowering leaders. She specializes in areas of marketing, mediation, digital strategy, public relations, development, and management. In addition to her work at OUTSET, she is involved with Future Female Leaders and the American Conservation Coalition.