The Green New Deal is an alarmist piece of social engineering with unreasonable goals that would cost millions of jobs and trillions of dollars and wouldn’t make an appreciable difference in terms of global temperature.
So, how to sell it? Well, why not confront politicians with adorable children who have absolutely no idea what the policy implications of the proposal are and have them demand that they sign on to the legislation?
This idea, which sounds like something out of a political horror movie, is instead the newest strategy of the Sunrise Movement, a group that defines itself on Twitter as “building an army of young people to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process. This dark time in America must come to an end.” Presumably so we can have a literal dark time in America where we all use soy candles.
Their recent target was Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat. Feinstein, for her part, stood firm and reminded these young individuals there were actual realities they hadn’t grasped when they had been propagandized about this — and let’s face facts, given that they’ve been organized by the Sunrise Movement, I don’t think they stumbled across all of this about the Green New Deal on their own.
However, Feinstein decided to get a bit testy, which might not have been the best idea.
A video shaming Feinstein was put up on Twitter on Friday by the Sunrise Movement. Instead of the backlash being directed at a group that’s manipulating children and putting a video of them haranguing a senator up online, they decided to go after Feinstein.
Here’s the original video, which could only be more demagogic if the kids dragged in a puppy and said it would die of global warming unless she agreed right then and there:
This is a fight for our generation’s survival. Her reaction is why young people desperately want new leadership in Congress. pic.twitter.com/0zAkaxruMI
— Sunrise Movement 🌅 (@sunrisemvmt) February 22, 2019
And here are some of the articles this exchange engendered:
The U.K. Guardian: “‘You didn’t vote for me’: California senator responds to young activists on Green New Deal.” (Subheadline: “Children and teenagers from Sunrise Movement say Dianne Feinstein reacted with ‘smugness + disrespect’”)
“When Feinstein pushes back on the young activists’ request, one child says: ‘The government is supposed to be for the people, by the people, and all for the people.’
“’I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I know what I’ve been doing,’ Feinstein responds. ‘You come in here and say it has to be my way or the highway. I’ve gotten elected. I just ran. I was elected by almost a million vote plurality and I know what I’m doing. Maybe people should listen a little bit.’”
Buried much further down in the piece: “The full video of the meeting between Feinstein and the young activists was also available on the group’s Facebook page. Some viewers said they found the full video, which includes more conciliatory moments between Feinstein and the young protesters, less shocking than the edited version.
“In the full video, Feinstein repeatedly urges the young activist to read her draft legislation and explains the reasons she cannot support the Green New Deal. ‘There’s no way to pay for it,’ she tells the children.”
The New York Times: “Feinstein Lectures Children Who Want Green New Deal, Portraying It as Untenable”
“Ms. Feinstein chafed at the lecture, replying that she has seven grandchildren and is mindful of the threat of climate change. A decade ago, she championed ambitious legislation that would have put a cap on emissions that cause climate-warming pollution…
“Ms. Feinstein then tried to explain an alternate measure she has endorsed, which calls for a slightly later timeline in reducing carbon emissions. That solution, the young woman replied, is not good enough.
“’You know better than I do, so I think one day you should run for the Senate and then you do it your way,’ Ms. Feinstein told the young woman.
“’Great,’ she replied. ‘I will.’”
It’s rare that I find myself, in these pages, agreeing with Feinstein in some way. Children should question our elected officials, but that doesn’t mean they’re in control. Furthermore, if they’re going to engage in a confrontation, they should probably expect what they ended up getting. No, Feinstein has been far from perfect on environmental restrictions, but the fact even she knew how absurd these demands were (even if she didn’t need to make it plain in quite the language she did) is a sign of just how misguided the Green New Dealers are.
The idea we ought to be taking political guidance from children has always been absurd. A further absurdity involves the astroturfers of these children selectively editing a video to make it look as confrontational as possible and putting it online.
Then things go well over the top when the media picks this up and takes the side of the children’s crusade, forgetting the fact that everything Feinstein said about the Green New Deal was accurate and everything these youngsters did reeked thoroughly of a publicity stunt.
But I can understand the strategy at work here. When you have a skunk of a piece of legislation and you need to make it reek somewhat less, you don’t draw attention to the particulars. You draw attention to the human aspect. In this case, a video which would be obvious if it weren’t meant to be so saccharine. I don’t fault the children, but every adult who was involved in using minors as political weapons ought to feel the deepest sense of shame humanly possible.
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