The fallout from the Parkland school shooting is demonstrating how left-wing activists are willing to exploit vulnerable teens in pursuit of a political agenda. It’s a despicable act. We should be protecting grieving teens from this sort of manipulation, not using them as pawns. But expect to see more, and younger children, too.
Part of our culture is willing to make children secondary to adults’ lives, quickly pushing them out of the way to pursue careers or more money; willing to rack up a national debt that is an abomination they will have to pay for — merely to help personal re-elections; shove them in front of violent, graphic “entertainment” to make a buck; and generally make them secondary to our lives.
But suddenly, when they are useful for a political agenda, they’re super important and we turn them into pawns to be used by adults willing to prey on their emotional vulnerability. This is a vulgar treatment of children.
Now is the very moment they should be nurtured, helped through their grieving, allowed to move beyond the atrocity committed, grow through understanding of dealing with tragedy in life.
Activists who exploit them for their left-wing agenda are particularly awful given the developmental state of teens, as understood through the science of the brain.
Teenagers as a group and compared to their adult selves, are not good decision-makers, and certainly not up to the task of advocating for wise public policy in a complicated issue.
The prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that drives rational thought, good judgement and long-term consequences, does not fully develop in a person until age 25 or so. But the amygdala, the part of the brain that drives emotions, develops more quickly.
In a teen, these are out of balance (it was that way for all of us) as the amygdala is further along. This is why teens so frequently baffle their parents by responding so emotionally and apparently irrationally to situations. Their amygdala is overriding the undeveloped prefrontal cortex. As they age, this balances out more.
This is explained easily by the University of Rochester Medical Center. It’s also explained pretty fairly at The Conversation, offering help for parents dealing with irrational teens. If you think about teens, yourself as a teen, those you have seen and known, you know this is true.
Something else crucially important: Teens, generally speaking, are easily influenced by peers and the need to fit in, and are particularly easy to manipulate and exploit compared to what they will be in 10 or 20 years. This is also due to the same developing brain structure, although every parent knows it to be true.
Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous organizations that will take advantage of an atrocity, such as the Parkland school shootings, and use teens as their emotional proxies to pursue bad policy. This doesn’t mean the teen’s suffering (those from Parkland, specifically) is not real, or that they do not feel totally sincere in their protests. Surely, both are true.
It does mean that they are being manipulated by what are not good people, willing to exploit teen grief for their own political ends. It is well reported that these are not spontaneous demonstrations. The organizers of the Women’s Marches are behind the rallies in Tallahassee, Washington and around the nation, marches and school walkouts. All basic, long-time tactics of left-wing activists to apply emotional pressure.
When NBC News reports that “Students seize control of gun debate, plan walkouts and march” they should run a correction. More like, “Seasoned left-wing activists seize control of gun debate, use students as tools.”
So when you see the demonstrations in the news, breathlessly being covered by a sympathetic media, what you are actually witnessing is an exploitation of emotionally grieving teens by adult activists who have been otherwise unsuccessful in changing a policy.
I will not be paying much attention to the teens at the demonstrations, because I cannot learn more than that they feel deep grief for their lost classmates, and I already know that. What they need is guidance and help processing their grief, not being abused as tools by “any means possible” people.
If it is on the gun-control debate, I want to hear from people who have studied the issue, who are well versed in facts and reality and considered solutions based on what has worked and not worked. Not from grieving teens who are being used by manipulative exploiters.
Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.
Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.
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