This is a departure from what can usually be found on this blog, but a friend of mine recently asked me to write a piece on political commentator Tomi Lahren. It brings me back to my newspaper journalism days, but instead of expressing my opinions on news and government in an editorial, I will be expressing my opinion on someone who is now doing what I used to.
I have watched many clips of her show and public appearances on YouTube. I have not watched them all, nor do I care to. It is not that her views differ from mine. At one point in time, I was a liberal Democrat. These past few years however, I find myself drifting more toward an Independent because the party politics have started to make me ill.
Lahren is a conservative Republican - at least she has the leanings of one. She stated that she does not like to be put into a box, so she does not consider herself to be a conservative. Well, if she does not like boxes, she should jump out of the one she put herself in. I understand that someone in their early 20s who is trying to make a connection with the viewers may feel reluctant to label her or himself. People are either drawn toward or repelled by labels - depending on what that label is. But, there comes a point in time when you need to have the stones to admit and accept who or what you are. Lahren has not reached that point . . . yet.
She has displayed opinions that are not Extreme Right, for which I commend her. That shows some bravery on her part, to go against what is expected.
Now, the Big One: I have a suspicion that Lahren's opinions are not her own. In an interview (which can be seen on YouTube), she dodged questions searching for her opinion on a broad subject - distribution of wealth . She wanted to dwindle it down to a discussion of ObamaCare. The interviewer would not allow that, so Lahren backed down, stating that her network would not allow her to answer. She either is afraid to express an opinion that the network does not approve of, or she has none because her opinions are fed to her by a teleprompter. She has also had time to memorize those opinions. I suspect the latter.
Lahren is also giving the same opinions that other conservative commentators - like Sean Hannity - provide. I would listen to Hannity every day as I drove home from work. Listening to Lahren is akin to listening to Hannity, but without the finesse of the more experienced host. The originality that Lahren is desperately trying to convey is not there. This can attributed to her age and her rookie status.
But that might not contribute to her downfall. You know what might? Her arrogance. It oozes out of the screen. America does not like arrogance - unless it is in a entertaining and humorous form (a la Dr. House). She is to be commended for attaining what she has at such a young age, but it would do her good to keep some humility. If she can do that, I expect that she might make better connections with her audience. Granted, I will probably not be in that audience, but it will give her some stronger staying power.