I’ll admit that a few years ago I leaned more towards the conservative side of the political spectrum. At that time I was a fan of Tomi Lahren. As I’ve gotten older and matured, I’ve become more of a centrist leaning towards a liberal. My change in political attitude has also resulted in a change of my view of Tomi Lahren. Simply put, I’m not a fan of hers anymore. But, I am a fan of the first amendment— and in my opinion— Tomi’s first amendment rights are being violated.
I realize that I’m not a lawyer and that I may technically be wrong in my belief in terms of legal application. Nonetheless, we have a dangerous trend building in American society. It has become commonplace that employers now have the right to police your speech and actions while you’re off the clock. One screw up and your employer can terminate you and leave you with no income even though you haven’t done anything wrong in terms of your professional relationship. Is society really ok with that trend? Are we ok with our employers controlling our speech and actions by threat of unemployment?
For those of you who aren’t aware, let’s recap what happened. The conservative icon Tomi Lahren appeared on The View last week and expressed her pro-choice beliefs. Within hours, news outlets were broadcasting everywhere that Tomi expressed an opinion contrary to her conservative rhetoric. Also within hours, The Blaze decided that Tomi needed to take a week off from her job. In my opinion, I saw her termination coming the second that The Blaze announced her “punishment” for exercising her right to free speech.
Free speech was meant to be just that, free. Sure, it was originally intended to protect you from retaliation by the government. However, are we going to say that we have “free speech” if we are subject to retaliation by our employers? I’m aware that Tomi’s opinion is not the opinion of her employer and her audience, but how is one single opinion, one single variation from the party line that bad? Is The Blaze not aware that most Americans do not fall on one single side of the political spectrum? There have been studies for years now demonstrating that most American’s are a mixture of both parties’ beliefs.
Let’s not pretend that this is new news, there have been instances of people losing their livelihood for daring to freely voice their thoughts for years now. Once we decide that what someone says is disagreeable, offensive, racist, sexist, etc. we also decide that they should lose their jobs, their incomes, and their livelihood. If we applied this same principle to everyday Americans, there would be a lot of unemployed people walking around.
There are several scenarios that should cost Tomi Lahren her job…If Tomi was on the clock and made obscene comments, if she went to work and made verbal threats, if she accosted someone, if she shouted fire for no reason, she should have lost her job. Freely expressing your opinion while on your own time or on the time of her company (if that’s the case) is not deserving of termination. Free speech isn’t free if it comes with a cost. So the next time you cheer about someone being fired for expressing their personal opinions, think to yourself “am I really ok with that?”