Before we get into the Greta Thunberg story, allow me to explain my position on using school-aged children as props for political advocacy.
I do not like it.
Students still in K through 12 school systems are on the absorption side of learning. They are totally ill-equipped to take political leadership on virtually ANYTHING. That is why we ease them into adulthood responsibilities with laws that restrict when they can drive a car, buy cigarettes or liquor, serve in the military and sign legally binding contracts. Rarely do we prosecute kids as adults. Hell … we do not even let them vote.
As a society, we understand that these kids lack the life experience, knowledge and critical thinking to make personal judgments on the complex matters faced by adults – and even some adults fall short in that category. The underage generation is infused by rote education. Their thinking is shaped, motivated and controlled by adults – whether it is a schoolteacher explaining the Civil War or political activists inculcating kids with political viewpoints. The kids’ opinions are certainly impassioned but not intellectually grounded of their own making.
It is more or less a characteristic of free democratic societies that protect children from propagandization and manipulation. Rather, it is the authoritarians who weaponize children for maintaining power and to produce a future generation of political drones.
We saw that in Hitler’s youth corps – and how he even sacrificed their lives in the hopeless defense of Berlin as the Allies were closing in. We saw how China’s Mao Zedong used the youth to carry out his murderous Cultural Revolution. We saw it with ISIS, training young boys to be killers of the proclaimed infidels.
Outside of candidates’ photos with their offspring — or an iconic baby-kissing Kodak moment – the civilized world has traditionally avoided making children the focus of strident and controversial political movements. Unfortunately, that tradition has gone by the boards in contemporary left-wing advocacy.
We saw it in those #MeToo marches where children were paraded alongside adults dressed as vaginas, wearing “pussy hats” and screaming profanities. We saw it again with the young people of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida who were co-opted, manipulated, scripted, financed and provided platforms by adults in the most radical segment of the anti-gun movement.
We are now seeing the use of children all over the world as props of the most extreme voices in the climate change dialogue. New York City declared a school holiday so that the kids could take to the streets. Only a progressive authoritarian like Mayor Bill de Blasio would send the kids under his care to the streets instead of the books. We can rest assured that the Mayor would not do the same for kids protesting abortion.
The personification of the ugliness of the hide-behind-the-kids strategy is a pretty little Swedish girl named Greta Thunberg.
It was adults who groomed that young Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, to express seemingly her personal opinions on climate change. In reality, it was adults who provided the platforms and publicity to elevate her to the international stage. It was adults who gave her permission to skip school to be a puppet performing before the cameras – which were eagerly provided by left-wing media advocates.
The public Greta is the product of very prominent, wealthy, powerful and motivated parents. Greta’s opinions are nothing more than the messages of her parents. She is a human recording device.
In terms of her spokesmanship on an issue as complex and controversial as climate change, Greta is one phylum above a trained monkey. Her rise to prominence was not the result of genius or an exceptional intellectual passion. She is not a child who naturally rose out of the wildness of humanity or had the good fortune to ride the viral express on the Internet. No. No. No.
Greta is a child of privilege with the resources of her parents behind her to promote, orchestrate and promote her pubescent performances. She is essentially the child of stage parents who had the resources to rent the state and hire the audience. Her father, Svante, is a prominent author, actor and producer and her mother, Malena, is an opera singer. Her 94-year-old grandfather, Olof, is also an actor/producer. Looking at her pedigree, one gets a bit of insight into Greta’s acting ability and stage presence.
Greta reached the (hopefully) pinnacle of her acting career with that melodramatic performance at the United Nations. She was one of those children cast into an adult role that we have seen in other arenas. We need only recall the precocious Honey Boo Boo or the tragedy of adult attired JonBenet Ramsey.
Martin Luther King’s moving oration in front of the Washington Monument has become known as his “I Had a Dream” speech. Greta’s over-the-top scolding screed can be dubbed as the “How Dare You” speech. Her dressing down of the entire international community may have played well in the Thunberg home – and with the most rabid of the climate change extremists – it should not get rave reviews from those engaged in serious dialogue and those concerned with child abuse. Any loving parent who has guided children through the volatile teenage years knows what is going on – and we do not like it.
And shame on all those – especially those Democrat presidential candidates – who took on the roles of enablers by praising and endorsing Greta’s pathetic performance.
Her hyperbolic claims of imminent destruction – and the similar sentiments heard by kids around the world – should not be given any credibility. Rather, we should address their handlers – STOP SCARING THE KIDS!!!
If Greta were to be given the center stage and a script, she should be to play Heidi at the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm.
So, there, ‘tis.