In order: Climate, Guns, 3rd-Wave Feminism, and Immigration Mascots. Greta Thunberg, David Hogg, Defiant Girl, Alan Kurdi. Screenshots: YouTube
The Cynicism of Brandishing Children
“You all come to us young people for hope. How dare you?”
Children have become avatars for leftist causes. Monday, we witnessed the latest in a string of examples when Swede Greta Thunberg, 16, recited a few emotional lines at the United Nations climate summit. The world reaction was manifold: swoons, tears, eye-rolling, apathy, disgust.
The swooning/crying lot are comprised of people who accept what they are fed by mass media and seek to incorporate it into their lives:
“Oh look, a Swedish teen really cares about the climate, so she somehow figured out a way to speak truth to power, what a great example! Why aren’t my kids more like that? I should try to make them more woke! “
Others–perhaps you, dear reader–take time to consider such spectacles, and wonder what kind of parents allow their child to fall into the hands of activists:
“Who the heck is backing this nonsense? That kid isn’t old enough to comprehend the debate over the science or ramifications of proposed solutions, nor has she fully developed her critical thinking skills. This charade could damage her for years to come!”
Pimp Parents + Ravenous Media = Damaged Kids
It begins at home. A child’s first line of defense against bad actors are his parents. A central tenet of child psychology is to let the child engage with the adult world gradually. Provide a safe home until he is old enough to thrive independently. This is why, as a society, we seek to forgive many teenage indiscretions and use them as life lessons. This is why we have an age of majority, and minimum ages for vehicle operation, military service, alcohol consumption, and the like.
What happens when parents ignore this received wisdom? Look to Hollywood as a microcosm. Parents seeking vicarious fame and the scraps of imagined fortune proffer their offspring to an exploitative and morally suspect industry. We hear about the child stars who implode, but what about all the others, the majority who fail to land the part? The young victims of venal parents and the vicissitudes of the casting couch?
That’s but one example of the bad parent/evil media equation.
The variation that deserves more attention than it receives: politically motivated parents + news media. The cases of Alan Kurdi, David Hogg, and Greta Thunberg share some parallels worth studying.
Life’s a Beach, Then You Die: Alan Kurdi
Abdullah Kurdi, Alan’s father, is responsible for the death of his child. Not smugglers, not the elements, and not, as Abdullah ridiculously claims, Canada. To summarize, little Alan was born in Kobanî, Syria in 2012. ISIS attacked the village, so the Kurdis fled to Turkey. They returned a short time later, ISIS attacked the town again, so they fled back to Turkey. Thus far, it’s a desperate, sad story, but the Kurdis are alive and healthy.
Abdullah arranged to make the illegal 5-mile passage across Gökova Bay from Bodrum, Turkey to the Greek isle of Kos. He chose to put his family in a rubber raft built for 8, when the total number of passengers was 16. He chose to do so late at night. Against familial advice, he chose to go. He was, or was made, the captain of the boat.
Three survivors claimed that Abdullah proceeded at a rate unsafe for the conditions, and the raft flipped after five minutes. He abandoned the boat and the others in the water, including Alan. Abdullah survived, changed his story, and ultimately placed blame on Canada for not approving the family’s visas.
The photo became a political football in the 2015 Canadian national election, helping Justin Trudeau win a liberal majority. Following the release of the photo, conservative leader Stephen Halper called for resolve in the fight against ISIS. Trudeau called for 25,000 Syrians to be immediately resettled to Canada.
In this case, reprehensible parenting met a sensationalist press after hope for the child was already lost. A photo that purports to capture the plight of refugees is in fact documentation of an incredibly reckless and stupid father.
It would be virtually pointless to stir up the conspiracies that swirled around David Hogg when he became an overnight media sensation on Valentine’s Day, 2018. The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and Hogg’s subsequent video recording of its aftermath ignited his journalism career.
What is salient: Hogg’s parents. His father, Kevin Hogg, spent 14 years in the FBI. That proximity to an intelligence agency notorious for its school shooting missteps–especially during the Obama administration–raises questions. Combined with the discovery that one Kevin Hogg was employed by the nearby Cubic Corporation, a firm that specializes in military support for special ops and unconventional warfare groups, the ingredients were in place for conspiracists. The connection of the father to Cubic Corporation was later debunked, but his FBI-under-Obama career was confirmed.
Immediately, warm-fuzzy pieces about from the likes of Heavy.com began to dominate searches on David’s dad. He’s a Republican! He’s pro-2A! He walks the dog every day!
For our purposes, the heart of the matter is Hogg’s celebrity. Instead of erring on the side of caution and keeping David out of the spotlight for a few days–he had just survived a mass shooting, after all–the Hoggs allowed David to give and conduct a multitude of interviews. Without a single day’s rest, he launched into his new career as a traveling gun control activist, almost as if it had been planned.
The Hoggs: another case of parents with questionable backgrounds and motives giving their son as a gift, or a sacrifice, to news media.
Saab Story: Swedish Puppet Greta Thunberg
She blew into town on a sailboat. Rather, a 60′ “racing yacht” that sails out of Monaco and is owned by a wealthy German property developer. The craft is built for speed, so it has no toilets or shower. Blue plastic buckets are used for waste and bathing. The voyage took two weeks on hurricane-stirred waters. The implicit message? To go green, one must sometimes look green. Poor kid.
As historian Niall Ferguson points out, “Rather than flying, she sailed across the Atlantic…to spare the Earth’s atmosphere the exhaust from a plane that was flying to New York anyway, with or without her.” [Emphasis added.]
Thunberg fits snugly into the bad parent/news media rubric. As this article from the Washington Examiner points out, Thunberg is the sad result of what happens when activist parents, a PR hired gun, and mainstream media join forces. The casualty: Greta.
Thunberg began suffering from depression as a child, by her own admission, in part because she learned about climate change at age eight. She was later diagnosed with autism and obsessive compulsive disorder and gradually became despondent as she obsessed over her fear of climate change. She developed mutism and an eating disorder so severe that she once went two months without food, and she stopped going to school. Her only sibling, a sister named Beata, also suffers from Asperger’s and OCD, as well as ADHD.
Now tell me, does it seem healthy to place a child with this many mental illnesses under the spotlight of public scrutiny, with a sole focus on the very phenomenon and associated alarmism that triggered her in the first place?
If you’re a fading opera starlet married into a family of fame, and your only two children are having exceptional trouble even attending school, then I suppose you can secure a bit more fame by milking your child’s clinically diagnosed obsession. But given that Greta’s mental struggles and triggers actually led her to the brink of death, the whole thing smacks of child abuse.
Conservatives shouldn’t mock her. They should worry for her. Social media has made it too easy to prop up children as moral authorities — even children especially predisposed to crack under the pressure.
So her parents terrified her with climate change stories as an eight year-old, and now we have a teenager yelling at world leaders, “I should be in school!…Shame on you!” Is anyone surprised? No. Is anyone on the left calling out Thunberg’s parents? No.
Most parents wouldn’t send a child to school if she had a mere chest cold. Not to be able-ist, but Thunberg’s parents sent a daughter with a history of depression, autism, OCD, mutism, and a world-class eating disorder to the U.N. “I should be in school!” Indeed.
There is a theme here. The left loves to use the most malleable among them to promote their own adult agendas. Queer Story Hour, 5 year-old kids claiming trans status, surgery on healthy children–these are but a few instances of adults influencing children–then claiming it was the kids’ idea–in efforts to normalize their own deviant behavior.
If you think Greta Thunberg has the intellectual clout to truly parse the complex subject of climate change, or even the mental ability to convincingly hold forth on mankind’s effect upon the environment, you haven’t read many essays written by 16 year-olds. Developing a cogent argument, researching and citing relevant work, and drawing reasonable conclusions are not the strong suits of kids her age.
Drama, and hollering about what’s unfair, is.
What’s more, the drama is orchestrated. As the Daily Mail notes, a PR consultant, Ingmar Rentzhog, was hired to assist Thunberg. They have since cut ties, but not before it came out that Malena Ernman, Thunberg’s opera singer/climate activist mother, admitted to being a “youth adviser” for the climate activist group “We Don’t Have Time.”
Leftist parents: raise your children, don’t use them as test subjects for your work. That’s to say nothing of letting your child interrupt her education to sail across an ocean during hurricane season, with literally only a pot to piss in, in order to scream at fully-grown scientists, diplomats and camera crews.
In the end, Greta will likely get into Harvard. The Ivy League: it’s a gift the left gives to its youngest soldiers regardless of academic merit. She should arrive just in time to share the campus with David Hogg during his senior year.