Convocation 12/4/17: Tomi Lahren

Wow, that was bad. That was really bad. Move over D’Souza and Ingraham, we may have just found my least favorite political convocation message of the semester (possibly all time). There was so much wrong with today’s convocation message, but I will start by looking at the positive.

At its core, the point of her message was not bad. American culture often does not encourage healthy discourse regarding controversial topics, such as politics. This leads to people either not discussing politics or discussing it in a manner that only creates anger and frustration. Advocating for a healthier and more open discussion of controversial topics and politics should be encouraged.

Now let’s look at the negative aspects of Lahren’s message. First, while the central theme of her message was good, she undercut her own message at every opportunity. She talked about the importance of having healthy discourse with those who disagree with your political beliefs, but never missed an opportunity to insult and deride anyone who isn’t a conservative. Throughout her message she managed to throw insults at liberals, feminists, Bernie Sanders supporters, Hillary Clinton supporters, and plenty more people groups. You can’t preach civil discourse while exemplifying the very epitome of incivility. Doing so is not only disingenuous, it is downright hypocritical.

Second, her entire speech was riddled with straw-man fallacies and misrepresentation. Throughout her 25-minute speech, she grossly misrepresented every political and ideological position other than her own. Feminists are not man-haters who were pink hats who just want free stuff. Bernie Sanders supporters are not people who just want free stuff and can’t do math. Liberals do not want to get rid of free speech. Lahren misrepresented all of these positions in order to denigrate those who disagree with her politically and earn “argument points”. However, you are not making a valid argument when arguing against a position that a side is not taking. Misrepresenting an opposing viewpoint to attack them is not just poor rhetoric, it is intellectually dishonest. Why would anyone who disagrees with you want to have civil discourse with you if you misrepresent and lie about their beliefs and goals?

Let’s just be honest, Tomi Lahren’s message was not really about the importance of people of all political beliefs coming together for open discourse  (or if it was, it did a really bad job of showing it). If that was the real purpose, she would not have gone out of her way to undercut her own message and attack her political opponents so much. Today’s message was just another political hit piece, like all the other we have seen this semester. Lahren knew who her audience was and how to get applause, and wow did she receive applause. But applause does not determine the quality of one’s message, the content does. And her content was not good. She attacked and misrepresented groups and people who were not there to defend their position and will probably never be invited in order to do so. When she wasn’t doing that, she was declaring conservative talking points to be objective, universal truths. Her convocation message may have earned the approval of those who already liked and agreed with her, but it definitely did not sway anyone who was on the fence or who already disagreed with her.

But hey, at least Charles Billingsley was good.

Lightning Round:

  • Why did so many people request Tomi Lahren? There are so many other better people we could have invited to speak and we chose her? Also who is asking for more political convos?
  • Honestly, my biggest suprise was that Jerry Jr. wasn’t on stage with Lahren. I didn’t think he ever missed a political convocation.
  • If you lost friends because of politics than you got rid of some toxic people in your life? I think she found the one way of looking at this phenomenon that avoids any  level of personal responsibility. If you lost a lot of friends during the election season, you might want to take a moment of introspection to consider why.
  • Honestly, listening to Tomi Lahren’s convocation was like watching an hour of Fox and Friends. I could have done that from the comfort of my own dorm (I wouldn’t).
  • Be prepared for me to write the exact same thing about Friday’s convocation. I am not expecting a lot from the last political convo of the semester.

Bible Verses quoted: 0

Verses quoted all semester: 77

If you like what I do, consider following me on twitter at @skepticalpyrrho to get notified whenever I post. If you don’t have a twitter, you can follow me on the website and receive an email when I post. If you liked what I said or absolutely hated it, consider leaving a comment. I would love to hear what you think.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Liberty University leadership or administration in any way. This post is solely a matter of personal opinion. The opinions expressed here are solely my own and should be not be taken as the opinion of the University, its staff, or the student body.

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