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From Solar Energy to China: Laura Ingraham comes to the Cowan Center

Updated: Oct 25, 2019

By: Marcuz Valenzuela


Fox News television host Laura Ingraham spoke to the Tyler community on October 10 as part of the Cowan Center’s Distinguished Lecturer series. The conservative TV personality delivered her performance through jokes, criticisms and rhetoric catering to an audience predominantly middle-aged and white.


“Texas is not a purple state,” Ingraham said. “It will never turn blue.”


The event was like a live-audience showing of The Ingraham Angle, Ingraham warmed up the crowd by giving Texas praise for its preservation of conservative values. She approved of the movement against solar energy investment, criticized Senator Elizabeth Warren’s economic policies and made a jab at former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and his current polling among other Democratic presidential hopefuls.


“Usually people protest me as I’m on my way to the restroom,” Ingraham said. “But here, I’m protested for not being conservative enough.”


Ingraham recounted how she tested her public image within the Tyler community. While on the hunt for parking on campus, she rolled down the window of her car and pranked an unsuspecting couple by saying “how about that Laura Ingraham” in an antagonistic tone.


“Everyone enjoyed what they came to see,” Nathaniel Hornea, junior civil engineering student, said. “If you came to see her you most likely came for a political reason.”


Ingraham’s main talking points included impeachment, the 2016 election, white supremacy, China and fake news. The evening transitioned into the speaker’s analysis when she brought up the recent Ukraine scandal, where President Donald Trump allegedly withheld military aid from Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into Joe Biden’s son. Because of new developments in the case, the House of Representatives seeks to accelerate the presidential impeachment inquiry.


However, Ingraham states the ongoing impeachment process launched by the Democratic majority House is misusing how impeachment was defined and calls the effort polarized and political. 


She also dismisses concern about white supremacy and hate crimes. She argues the word “bigot” has been weaponized against conservatives and directed crime-concern to immigrants.


Ingraham reported, without evidence, that most substantial crime is conducted by immigrants. In a Federal Bureau of Investigation study, hate crimes between 2013 and 2017 rose by 22%, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated two-thirds of hate crimes go unreported. Between 2013 and 2017, Texas hate crime rose by 36% according to Safe Home.


Ingraham reassures the crowd she cannot be labeled a bigot because she adopted her daughter Maria from Guatemala. 


To Ingraham, the real threat to the United States and its moral fabric is “fake news” and the People’s Republic of China. She described Trump’s trade war between America and China as one of his “strengths,” and criticized how Chinese President Xi Jinping would rather have trade negotiations with someone like Senator Warren. Ingraham pointed to news reports of farmers suffering economically from tariffs on aluminum and steel as “fake news” trying to discredit US leadership.


Further criticizing the PRC, Ingraham mentions the persecution of Uyghur Muslims committed by the Communist Party of China and how strong leadership like that of President Trump is necessary to combat totalitarian ideology.


While Ingraham’s talk leaned on her conservative views, she tried to leave the crowd with a sense of patriotism: all Americans truly stand “one and indivisible” before radicalism and totalitarian regimes.


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