I don’t have any serious interest in Greta Thunberg or her climate protests. I don’t see much value in polling teenagers about their public policy opinions in general. Or Millennials that are still financially dependent on their parents, for that matter. Your teenage years are about getting an education, not telling adults how to make important decisions.
When it comes to government, I am with Aristotle: Until you have copious real world experience, your thoughts on government should not matter. Until you reach that point, you are indiscriminately parroting the opinions of the authority figures in your world. Not all adults are worth giving more than one vote to.
In developed countries that now infantilize college students, where “kids” remain on their parents’ health insurance policies well past the time they are old enough to birth their own children, the scope of people who fit that criterion is rather large. It would be no mystery to Aristotle why a nation that allows such people to vote has a young electorate that believes the government should function in loco parentis (which, frankly, is the best description of socialism and pseudo-socialism there is). Don’t ask someone who still goes shopping with Daddy’s credit card to explain why entitlements are bankrupting the country.
What I find somewhat fascinating, however, is how many people on the left have been disturbed by her performance. For some reason, they can’t see their own behavior in her behavior. This is the kind of kid your village produces when they exist in a vacuum of contrarian influences. Your nihilism creates freaking miserable children. People who are given nothing to believe in are not happy, healthy, or well-adjusted. Anthropologists have been offering this up as the purpose of shared mythologies and traditions for as long as that discipline has existed.
Ever since Trump announced he was running for president in June 2015, folks on the left have become both intolerant and intolerable. I have met kindergartners on the playground who talk about their feelings less than your average Democrat does now. I’m not kidding about that, either. There are only so many times you can watch someone light their hair on fire over nothing before you don’t want to be around them anymore (and you don’t want your kids around them anymore). It truly has become a form of mental illness at this point.
Listening to Democrats talk about Trump is a lot like listening to a woman who found out her husband was banging her best friend and then was given full custody of the kids by a judge. They feel so personally wronged by someone who, for all practical purposes has no idea they are even alive, that they have become obsessive in their hatred. They are incapable of separating humor from earnestness (e.g., Trump proposed a moat full of alligators at the border … *hyperventilates* This is public policy now!). They fact-check parodies. They still believe conspiracy theories that were debunked in a two-year-long investigation. They can’t even contemplate consuming “news” from someone who does not share their biases. They consume what is tantamount to propaganda all day long. Every person who dares to disagree with their historically extreme social theories is racist, homophobic, xenophobic, blah blah blah. The only people they trust are people who share their vitriol, who share an equally regimented diet of bias and hate.
Many people have made these observations before me. But the horror of Greta Thunberg – whom I will not mock here, as she is obviously struggling with some serious psychiatric issues, and there’s no humor in that – is that this is often what a child of this era looks like.
What happens when substantially all of the adults in a child’s life are bent on convincing them day in and day out that they live in a dystopian hellhole and that human beings are headed toward extinction in their own lifetime? When every show on television in their house is about what a dystopian hellhole they live in and we’re all going to die? When they see a jail on television and you liken it to Auschwitz? When every man is portrayed as a potential rapist?
Oh, your kid suffers from anxiety and depression? How very strange! You seem like such a wholesome influence!
The psychological impact of this behavior is not all that different than the anti-vaxxers who feed their children bleach every day to cure their “vaccine damage.” It’s irrational and poisonous. It’s downright abusive. You are hurting your child. You should stop doing this.
What happens when adults manipulate their children to call attention to their own perceived moral righteousness? When they will drive a child increasingly mad just so they can say, look, the dystopian nature of our society is so obvious that even children can see it? When the people who are entrusted to care for a child see them as a means to an end?
I’m sorry (no, I’m not), but if your political views are so batshit that your kid needs real therapy to deal with living in a house with you, then you are an objectively bad parent. You believe objectively destructive things.
Childhood is supposed to be a period of safety and stability. It is a period where children are given the freedom to learn the skills they need to get along in the real world. It’s not where you tell a child every day that they cannot be proud of their community, of their country, of their ancestry, or anything that is part of their identity in the real world. That is anti-social behavior in general, but it’s a supremely abusive way to treat a child. It’s like kicking a puppy over and over again until they learn to bite anyone who comes near them. You are degrading their existence.
Moreover, when your political views are so toxic that your family doesn’t want you or your insults at Thanksgiving, that is also a horrific way to treat a child. Your child needs a tribe to survive.
Unfortunately, some households have to be escaped, and some people will have to construct their own tribe rather than inherit one. Some people need to pick a college that is a thousand miles away from home to escape their parents’ poison. Greta Thurnberg is what happens when a child chugs that poison down. Take a good look and change the way you live.