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VACCHIANO: Lahren’s suspension is good for conservatives

Opinions Column: Tory Time

Earlier this week, political commentator and notorious Facebook celebrity Tomi Lahren was suspended by The Blaze after she had appeared on The View and said she was pro-choice. Lahren, who has become famous for taking part in four-minute long rants on Facebook in which she complains and yells about various current events, most famously about Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the pledge of allegiance, was discussing politics on The View. When the topic of abortion came up, Lahren said that it was hypocritical to support limited government and be pro-life, stating that “I’m someone that is for limited government, so I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say … that I think that the government should decide what women do with their bodies.” This was shocking — not just that someone on Glenn Beck’s payroll would sit at a panel with Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar and validate their views on abortion, but especially that Lahren would make this dramatic shift in opinion, after Lahren had called the pro-choice movement “baby killers” in a previous video three months earlier. After making these comments, Lahren was been suspended for a week by The Blaze and her Facebook show remains temporarily inactive. It is unclear how long Lahren will stay at The Blaze and although it was never explicitly stated why she was suspended, it is obvious why.

The Blaze should be applauded for its decision — Lahren’s statements in general reflect a deep misunderstanding of conservatism, especially her comments about abortion. Once one believes that human life begins at conception and thus the fetus deserves the right to live, there is nothing intrusive about the government preventing abortions from happening. In fact, many pro-lifers believe that it is the government’s responsibility to protect those lives. To the pro-lifer, saying that it is “hypocritical” to be pro-life is like saying it is “hypocritical” for the government to ban murder — allegations of hypocrisy misunderstand the beliefs that pro-lifers have, which is that a fetus is a human life and thus deserves the right to live. There is nothing about that belief, when framed with respect to understanding the philosophy behind it, that is hypocritical. Unlike pro-life conservatives, Tomi Lahren has actually been hypocritical. Not only has she explicitly said that the pro-choice movement was made of baby-killers, but for the past several months, she has supported various statist positions while also calling herself a “libertarian.” While she is adamant about the government being overbearing, she has supported President Donald J. Trump staunchly and has not appeared to criticize any of his big-government actions yet.

For the most part, the news of her suspension made liberals (and conservatives alike) relieved. But the few leftists that still support free speech (although they seem to misunderstand it) were quick to accuse The Blaze of hypocrisy for suspending Lahren, although she had evidently polarized her coworkers and brought negative attention upon her organization. Although Lahren has said outrageous, polarizing things like “Black Lives Matter is the new KKK” and even though leftists concede that Lahren’s rhetoric is annoying, there are still complaints from the Left. The Daily Show host Trevor Noah claimed that he was offended by the alleged hypocrisy of The Blaze’s decision, saying that people who criticize “special snowflakes” for not wanting to hear different opinions should not fire one of their own for voicing an unpopular view. But there's nothing hypocritical about Lahren’s suspension. It would be shocking if someone who came out publicly to support something that their bosses equate to genocide then kept their job, and only if Lahren’s commentary was valuable before this incident happened, would it be wrong to suspend her. Even though in the real world, one should avoid publicly implying that their bosses and coworkers are hypocritical, it would be unfair to suspend her only under the assumption that the commentator was intelligent and had thoughtful opinions — which is inapplicable to Lahren.

Tomi Lahren’s suspension will be good for conservatism. When I scroll through Facebook for the rest of this week, I’ll be enjoying the peace and quiet, but I will also be appreciating that more conservatives are beginning to recognize which commentators are best for our cause and which ones are not. From this point forward, hopefully the Right can get more informed commentators to be the symbol of conservatism, much like we had through the 1960s and 1990s with William F. Buckley Jr. There is nothing hypocritical about thinking the government should be small and also that the life of the unborn should be protected, and there’s nothing hypocritical about The Blaze removing (temporarily or not) a commentator for actively damaging conservatism.

Andrea Vacchiano is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore double-majoring in history and political science. Her column, "Tory Time," runs on alternate Fridays.

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