On Thursday, May 20th, Fox News host, Laura Ingraham criticized Democrats for supposedly wanting to “take power and money from the American people” to complete their goals of stopping climate change. She introduces the idea that Democrats want to use the lockdowns used during the COVID-19 pandemic to achieve this climate goal.
Throughout her argument, controversial ideas are presented in a way used to engage the viewer emotionally with actually providing evidence for her position. Instead of making a logical argument, Ingraham instead tries to scare the viewer into believing that a coming “climate lockdown” is on the horizon.
What was said
Ingraham starts by stating that Democrats want to “control almost every aspect of your life.” Then, beginning with a video of the former President, Barack Obama, she attempts to prove her point when he says, “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes at 72 degrees at all times,” without giving much context to his quotes.
The sound bite comes from a campaign speech when Obama was running for his first term. In the address, then-candidate Obama gives examples of what the American population should do if other nations are where to take them seriously to fight climate change.
Continuing, Ingraham shows more clips of prominent democrats “continuing Obama’s mission” to control the American population’s everyday life. However, she then brings up a very controversial topic, that of systemic racism throughout American history. Without any context, introduction, or supporting information, she says, “now remember, the left believes that America isn’t exceptional, it’s systemically racist. And that means we shouldn’t be any better off than the rest of the world.”
Somehow, Ingraham attempts to tie together the climate “controls” proposed by Democrats with another entirely different topic to connect the viewer emotionally. The monologues begin by talking about “controlling,” then out of the left-field, a random sentence about systemic racism is thrown to complicate the presented arguments. Just as unexpected as the thought was introduced into her speech, the idea of systematic racism and critical race theory would not get another sentence until the end.
Ingraham moves on, stating that climate activists “ignored or dismissed the human suffering caused by these draconian COVID rules.” She continues by showing videos that highlight the effects the COVID-19 lockdowns have had on the environment. While Ingraham’s monologue correctly shows that lockdowns could have had a positive impact on the environment, she states twice that activists ignore the human costs. She specifically shows two CNN journalists, Christiane Amanpour and Fareed Zakaria, talking about the effects on climate.
This leads to the idea that these “activists” do not care about the impacts of the lockdown. While not directly talking about the lockdowns, Zakaria does seem to care about the human impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in this tribute he gives to his mother.
Moving on from COVID, Ingraham states that the conditions present during the lockdowns will be similar in the coming years to achieve energy reform. She points to a report from the International Energy Agency that shows how government actions can produce results that limit climate impact coming from energy. The report highlights a plan that nations could use to reach net-zero emissions, a goal of climate activists.
She acknowledges that an actual lockdown may not be in place but states that other forms of “lockdowns” could be used, such as a gas shortage. This specific phrase is important because the East Coast is recovering from a cyber-attack that led to a gas shortage where people had to wait in line for hours to fill up the tank. Ingraham tries to emotionally tie the viewer by implying this tactic could be used to implement energy reform.
Ingraham continues to list measures that could be used to limit environmental impact, such as phasing out gas-powered vehicles, carbon and fuel taxes, declaring climate emergencies, and other “tactics” that are “abuses” of authority. She claims that Democrats lied to the American people to exert control, take away liberties, and force lockdowns. Ingraham sums everything up by saying that Americans need to resist every energy reform as fiercely as the governors of South Dakota and Florida did mask mandates and lockdowns.
Breaking it Down
There are problems within the monologues presented by Laura Ingraham. She misrepresents much information and attempts to tie many topics to prove a point about her views of the left. Her argument in a simple form seems to be this:
- Democrats since Obama have wanted to reduce climate change and see controlling every aspect of your life as the only way.
- The COVID lockdowns have reduced the impact of emissions on the environment around the world.
- Democrats will therefore lock you down to achieve their goal of stopping climate change.
The first and second points of her argument are generally correct. However, the idea of Democrats focusing on climate change goes back further (Al Gore held a congressional hearing about the topic in 1976). The problems begin when she compares energy reforms to a pandemic lockdown. She says that the “left isn’t so straightforward” and therefore will not actually force people into their homes but will instead use taxes, limit air travel, and phasing out gas vehicles which is “comparable” since liberties are being taken away.
But, unfortunately, these things are not comparable at all. It’s an apples to oranges comparison. Limiting public crowds and wearing masks to save lives during a pandemic does not seem to be the same thing as a car company phasing out gas vehicles to help reduce climate change.
Throughout the entirety of her diatribe, Ingraham uses the controversial idea to try and provoke an emotional response hoping to persuade the viewers that they are all connected: Obama, Climate Change, Systemic Racism, Biden, Trump, Critical Race Theory, Covid-19 Lockdowns, Gas Shortages, Taking Away Liberties. Unfortunately, it seems that so many ideas were woven together and introduced to the viewer at once to create confusion in a desperate attempt to push an unorganized argument.
Ingraham intentionally uses misinformation to sway viewers, saying that President Biden’s attempt to take credit for the vaccine is “notwithstanding” since President Trump helped produce it. However, she does not include the fact that mask mandates and lockdowns happened during the former President’s term, albeit from the state level.
She ridicules Dr. Sanjay Gupta for wiping down groceries, saying, “none of that was true, right, but he did do a good job of cleaning,” though studies show that the COVID virus can live on glass, paper, plastic, and other materials.
Lastly, Ingraham praises governors who failed to quickly implement COVID controls as heroes who were “resisting,” presumably the media or Democrats. She specifically praises South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem for not ordering “any business to close down,” though the state had one of the worst “deaths per 100,000” rates in the United States.
In the end, Laura Ingraham’s argument for a coming “climate lockdown” should not be taken seriously as it does little to provide a logical argument and instead tries to rally emotions to engage the viewer. It spreads misinformation while simultaneously stating that the “other side” lies to maintain control. Ingraham argues that the left will use fear-mongering to achieve an agenda. However, her argument seems only to be fear-mongering for views.
Kristopher Hernandez is a native of West Texas. He spent four years serving in the United States Marine Corps and graduated from Campbell University, earning his BS in Political Science and History. In his free time, Kris likes to play golf, workout, and travel with his rescued pup Otto von Bismark.