SHARE
Kathryn J. Lopez of National Review Online, speaks Thursday at 8 p.m. Courtesy.

Kathryn Jean Lopez is a nationally syn­di­cated columnist and the editor-at-large of the National Review Online. “K-Lo,” as she is known online and on talk radio, is most known for her com­mentary on faith and public life, human dignity, and fem­inism. She serves on the Arch­diocese of New York’s Pro-Life Com­mission and is a graduate of the Catholic Uni­versity of America in Wash­ington, D.C. Lopez speaks Thursday at 8 p.m. in Lane 124 for the Dow Jour­nalism Program.

How does faith play a role in pol­itics?

What I’ve been struck by over the election is the level of insta­bility in the country right now, including among people of faith. We didn’t have good can­di­dates to choose from. But for those with faith, whoever’s in office, pray for the guy. Pray for the people in office, whether you agree with them or not. Yes, let’s have sub­stantive debates, but let’s have them with love. Weirdly, this sit­u­ation — the bipar­tisan unhap­piness with pol­itics — has given us the oppor­tunity to be more cre­ative with coalition building.

How can Trump promote faith and love?

That’s not nec­es­sarily his job. It’s the job of everyone else. He is trying to strike a more opti­mistic tone, though. After he was elected, people were imme­di­ately either for him or against him. That’s not how it should be. We shouldn’t be losing friend­ships over who is pres­ident. We have this dis­or­dered rela­tionship with pol­itics where we want the person in office to be our savior. We don’t need that. Rather, we all need to step up. Our imme­diate reflex when some­thing goes wrong is to look for a law to fix things, but you can’t undo evil and the poisons in the human heart.

What do you think about Trump’s rela­tionship with the press?

I think one of the fas­ci­nating things is that it seems like a large part of the pop­u­lation is watching a reality TV show. As I tune in here and there, there’s this enter­tainment aspect that the press is playing into. Trump is the villain, Bannon is the villain, Kellyanne Conway is the villain. That all makes for good TV — sub­stantive policy dis­cus­sions don’t. But pol­itics should be hard work, not enter­tainment for the pop­ulace. Everyone needs to take a few breaths and be more reflective on what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.

What are some things that can be done to fix Trump’s rela­tionship with the press?

The main­stream media has exag­gerated the press’s limited access. Not all news orga­ni­za­tions are going to be allowed into press con­fer­ences. That’s just the way it is. So the media is feeding into this mis­un­der­standing, and it isn’t helping any­thing. Everyone needs a reality check and even an edu­cation on how the press works. If we don’t under­stand that, we’ll never fix it. The trans­parency of this admin­is­tration is very helpful, though. The con­stant cameras fixated on Trump and those around him can be seen as a good thing.

What are your thoughts on Trump’s pres­i­dency thus far?

I’m grateful for some things Trump has done, but I’m also uncom­fortable with his use of exec­utive orders. National Review famously didn’t endorse Trump, and we received lots of grief and con­grat­u­la­tions for that decision. The important thing to remember is people weren’t given the freedom to really make a choice. We didn’t have good can­di­dates to choose from, but that doesn’t mean Trump won’t be able to do some good things. There is nothing com­fortable about pol­itics right now. This is a good oppor­tunity for us to get beyond our normal par­tisan comfort zone.