Furthermore adults propping up kids know exactly what they’re doing: using sympathetic but vulnerable children to espouse the preferred opinions of said adults, opening them up to big-boy criticism but then crying foul when other adults rightfully comment on or oppose their policy positions.
It wasn’t fair for liberals to do that to David Hogg. It wasn’t fair for conservatives to do that to Kyle Kashuv. And it’s certainly not fair for climate activists and the media to do it to Greta Thunberg, who isn’t a Harvard-bound 17 year-old, but a 16 year-old dealing with a myriad of mental health issues that have a documented history of obstructing her daily life.
No, Greta Thunberg’s mom isn’t making her prepubescent daughter pose naked in men’s magazines. No serious reader could even come close to concluding that I’m saying propping up the girl as a political tool is remotely as bad as doing so for sexual purposes. But is it irresponsible, and for similar reasons, to shove a particularly vulnerable child into the spotlight while knowing the risks of fame? Yes, it is, and it’s sad that Marcotte refuses to evaluate that concern for what it’s really worth.