On Friday on “The View,” the show that made conservative firebrand Elisabeth Hasselbeck a household name, The Blaze host Tomi Lahren declared she is pro-choice—and not in spite of her conservative views, but because of them.
Lahren and the panelists discussed President Trump, Russia, wiretapping, and feminism. Despite being a vocal Trump supporter, Lahren’s comments on abortion were the most surprising:
“I’m pro choice, and here’s why. 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.”
At this the audience applauded and the Internet exploded.
— The View (@TheView) March 17, 2017
Rule another label out. I am NOT a "constitutional". I believe in LIFE, liberty and property. Just an old fashioned "constitutionalist."
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) March 17, 2017
Even Hillary Clinton didn't call pro-life conservatives hypocrites.
— Kaitlyn Schallhorn (@K_Schallhorn) March 18, 2017
There is no "my truth." There is only the truth. pic.twitter.com/dDdItnPDbp
— Kate Scanlon (@kgscanlon) March 18, 2017
Your Rights End Where Another Person’s Rights Begin
Let’s take her arguments, such as they are, one at a time. “I’m a constitutional,” Lahren began. Sweetheart, I know those blonde locks are gorgeously real—right?—but let’s at least feign an attempt at grammar: I think you mean constitutionalist. She claims that since she believes in limited government, the government should let her do what she wants with her guns and her body.
This is not only the most illogical reasoning I’ve ever heard, but stupid, even dangerous. Coming from pretty television personalities, it damages conservatism and the influence it seeks to have on the public.
There are conservatives who are pro-choice, and many libertarians espouse this view, but it’s never been logical or compelling. Abortion is and always has been first and foremost a moral issue. Lahren’s statement is not only a complete misrepresentation of the Constitution and the concept of limited government but a defense of abortion that’s both implausible and immoral.
The Constitution certainly dictates the United States keep a limited government. For one, the Tenth Amendment reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” But that doesn’t mean people have an unlimited powers.
— Julie Borowski (@JulieBorowski) March 17, 2017
Limited government doesn’t mean no government; that would be anarchy, which culminates in a “Mad Max” scenario where the powerful rule the weak based on their desires rather than enduring principles of right and wrong that apply equally to all people. In fact, that’s precisely what legalized abortion does: enables the powerful (grownups) to prey on the weak (unborn babies those grownups created, in almost all cases in a consensual act). This kind of predatory tyranny is exactly what a constitutionally limited government that guarantees equal fundamental human rights to all is supposed to prevent.
Under a system of limited government based on fundamental human rights, particularly the one guaranteed Americans by our Constitution, one person’s freedom ends where another’s begins. When an action adversely affects another human being (i.e. ending the life of an unborn baby) society and (hopefully) the law deems it wrong or unlawful. Abortion is precisely not only about a mother’s body, as Lahren asserted, but also about the body of another human being.
Apply Lahren’s logic to any other misuse of one’s body, and it falls flat. Would Americans support a government that “stayed out of my body” on the issue of theft? The correct principle is not the unlimited power to do whatever you want with your body, which would allow for theft or assault, but to have the freedom to live your life so long as your use of that life does not involve impinging on another person’s rights. In the case of abortion, another person is present. The question is, does he or she have rights? Tomi Lahren apparently says no. That’s not constitutional; it’s anarchist, or at least a utilitarianism that says people’s rights depends on their socially determined worth.
But this is all probably a little too complicated for a young lady who says she has “a short attention span” and doesn’t like to read books. Far easier just to memorize and angrily spew bumper stickers, talking points, and Internet memes.
Who Is Tomi Lahren?
Who is Tomi Lahren, and do her viewpoints matter? One America News Network offered Tomi her own show fresh after her college graduation because she had strong conservative views, sounded articulate, and looks attractive. “On Point with Tomi Lahren” first aired when she was 21. It wasn’t because she held advanced degrees or had vast amounts of life experience. Even she admitted she’d gone to the network looking for an internship, not to host her own show. Eventually, she moved to The Blaze to host “Tomi.”
Since then, clips of Tomi’s show that typically involve a yelled monologue frequently go viral. She’s not necessarily an anomaly in the conservative world, unfortunately. With bleach-blonde hair and a penchant for wearing attire that looks more like lingerie, she’s a prettier, less-educated, slightly less unhinged but just as caustic version of Ann Coulter.
We’ve seen this movie before, but some people can’t stop watching. Her savvy use of her platform to attack prominent figures and memes has prompted an invitation to “The Daily Show” with Trevor Noah and, after one appearance on Fox News, President Trump called to thank her for her “fair coverage.”
Yet, as “The View’s” Sunny Hostin said to Lahren in soft-pitching her the opportunity to make headlines by skewering Lahren’s own fanbase with a triumphant smirk, if “68 percent of conservative Republicans think abortion should not be legal across the board,” what does Lahren gain from these comments? It’s certainly not credibility with her current audience, or even with the majority of Americans, which supports at least highly restricted abortion access.
Why Tomi Lahren’s Views Matter
Not only is her current position on abortion confusing, just three months ago, Lahren was adamantly against abortion. With her contract at The Blaze up in the air and frequent passes at Fox, this entire gambit smells of opportunism.
— Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) March 17, 2017
Of course, people can change their minds, and Lahren is certainly entitled to shift from pro-life to pro-choice. But it doesn’t do the conservative movement any favors. Lahren wouldn’t have a show if someone didn’t watch it. She has a platform that obviously can influence men and women, particularly younger generations who identify with her. What does this teach them about logic, persuasive argument, and morality?
Not only because killing innocent people is always wrong but because her logic in embracing her newfound belief is so sophistic, conservatives should expect better. This is ultimately the problem with Barbie-style talking heads with little specific expertise or experience. Lahren might have culled a fanbase for her vocal opinions and spaghetti-strapped tops, but she’s flip-flopping on important topics and opining with little heft to back up her views.
It would be nice to see the Right’s public representatives armed with intelligent information, persuasive beliefs, and solid principles. You know, beauty and brains?