With 301,000 Twitter followers, over 315,000 Instagram followers, 3,219,876 likes on her Facebook page, Tomi Lahren is poised to be the Megyn Kelly of her generation, or better yet the John Oliver of the alt-right.
Lahren is a native of South Dakota, a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and currently works at The Blaze, Glenn Beck’s conservative news outlet based in Dallas Texas.
She started a media firestorm with her video about the Chattanooga shooting in July 2015 which resulted in the death of four U.S. Marines. In her “Final Thoughts” video she declared, “I care that our commander-in-chief is more concerned with Muslim sensitivity than the honor and sacrifice made by these Marines.”
Her segments are short, snappy, and strong, which make them ideal for sharing on social media. Even The Dallas Morning News declared that “Lahren is winning the internet.” But the real question is why do people have to care what a 24-year-old has to say?
Research tells us that young, college-educated women like Lahren should, typically, lean Democratic. Yet, Lahren is unabashedly and unapologetically conservative.
Currently, it is more common for a woman to be a Democrat than a Republican pushing a forced gendering of political parties and policies: “[…] even when gender is not explicitly in play, citizens’ ideas about masculinity and femininity may nevertheless shape political evaluations,” according to Nicholas J. G. Winter.
In addition to being a woman, she’s a millennial – another factor that should peg her much farther left on the political spectrum. According to Harvard’s Institute of Politics, 61 percent of her peers would prefer a Democrat in the White House.
In her video “So you want the Millennial vote,” she references her education at a “liberal” public university and “the veil of ignorance that usually comes with being 23,” as reasons she should be liberal even though she is “pretty darn conservative.”
On top of it all, 62 percent of college-educated white women, like Lahren, are Democrats.
But Lahren isn’t just a mainstream conservative, she’s more a part of the alt-right.
Mainstream Republicans, such as Kimberly Ross, are none-too-pleased to have Tomi Lahren as their representative. Ross, in an article for the conservative Red State, repeatedly calls Lahren a “Barbie doll-type Trump cheerleader,” and even says that she represents a GOP which Ross has no interest in being a part of.
— Kimberly Ross (@SouthernKeeks) October 25, 2016
“If she represents the new face of the GOP in a post-candidate Trump world, then I am glad to stand opposite her and the party,” Ross wrote.
Lahren responded to this article with a “finals thoughts video” entitled “RedState Clap back” in which she insults Ross by calling her a “feminist” and “bitter.”
“Southern Keeks started off as all bitter women do, go after my looks and my age,” Lahren said. She then goes on to say that Trump supporters, like herself, are tired of being told what to do by Democrats and even by those within their own party.
At the end of the video she says “you’re welcome” to Ross for retweeting her article, like only a millennial would.
This clap back video is just another example of how Tomi Lahren uses angry to feed her videos; And while she rarely cites sources and often (if not always) yells at the camera, her videos get thousands of shares and hundreds of thousands of likes. Why?
It’s man bites dog, or in this case, a young, beautiful, blonde millennial bites liberal, left wing, Democrat.
The popular media phrase is attributed to John B. Bogart and comes from the quote: “When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news.”
In the instance of Tomi Lahren, her words have so much impact because they are unexpected.
We don’t expect Tomi Lahren to be so heavily conservative, we don’t expect her to yell at the camera or to rank national security over health care. We don’t expect a beautiful, blonde, 24-year-old to call Colin Kaepernick’s contribution to the black lives movement “mouth diarrhea.” We don’t expect her to say the “media is up Hillary’s pantsuit.”
Since the media is up Hillary's pantsuit.. maybe he should do our own thing.. straight to Facebook? RT if you agree!
— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) October 14, 2016
We don’t expect to hear such strong, conservative ideas and opinions coming out of the mouth of someone of her demographic – young, female, and highly educated.
When the conservatives of Facebook hear Lahren say that the Clinton campaign started the birther movement in 2008, they listen because Lahren shouldn’t think that, according to typical societal and political norms. She’s truly a black sheep of her demographic, and she is heralded and criticized as such.
This article has been updated since time of publish to include Lahren’s response to Ross’ RedState article.