The priggish idealism of immature politicians

A rogues’ gallery of smug, priggish girls.

Michael Reagan has written that “Think of the children” is almost always an emotional and irrational appeal made in desperation by those who don’t have a reasonable or legitimate argument…It’s obvious political BS. Unfortunately, it’s BS that not only shows no sign of going away, but is becoming a go-to argument for the political left especially. From countless baloney social media posts about “woke” tots allegedly parroting left-wing talking-points in shopping centres and restaurants – always, supposedly, to rapturous applause from dewy-eyed onlookers – to the so-called “schools climate strike”, the left tout the supposedly superior wisdom of infants with all the banal insincerity of a Whitney Houston song.

But, banal platitudes to the contrary, youth is a time neither of wisdom nor idealism. Youth is, in fact, a time of supreme ignorance leavened with unbridled egotism.

A stage some people – politicians, mostly – never grow out of. Quote:

There are several public figures from whose faces I feel compelled to avert my gaze, so irritating do I find them, among which are those of Messrs. Blair of Britain and Trudeau of Canada, La Compasionaria of New Zealand Jacinda Adern, and the Scottish nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon, whose visage has all the charm and good humor of reinforced concrete.

But by far the ghastliest of contemporary visages imperative to avoid for the sake of my peace of mind is that of the Swedish pigtailed prig Greta Thunberg.

If there were a Nobel Prize for self-satisfaction she would be without competitor. She is the very Mozart of self-righteousness. Her Wikipedia entry tells us that she was once diagnosed with selective mutism; if only she would select mutism a little more often!

[…]Youth, contrary to the common misconception, is not a time of idealism, at least in the Western world, but of the utmost and uncompromising egotism. This egotism has two poles, so to speak, like magnetic north and magnetic south: libertinism and priggery. They are both self-indulgent, but in slightly different ways, the libertines and the prigs. Neither pole is very attractive, but perhaps priggery (to which I regret to say that I was inclined when young, and still have to control a natural tendency to censoriousness) is the worse. End of quote.

As Susan Sontag wrote, after 9/11, such traits as bravery are in fact neutral virtues: they are not virtuous in and of themselves. Their virtue is in the ends to which they are directed. Hitler’s war record proves that he was undeniably brave. It assuredly took no small bravery for the 9/11 attackers to condemn themselves to certain death. Bravery – and idealism. Quote:

But it happens that their ideals were both evil and stupid. Give me a hypocrite, an opportunist, or a cynic any day in preference to such idealists. End of quote.

The sourpuss Swede is nonetheless hailed by the left for her idealism. Woe betide anyone who dares criticise their vinegar-faced political voodoo dolly. Such is the exploitative hypocrisy of the modern left: at the same time as they extol their little pets as paragons of wisdom, they protest that they must not be criticised, because they’re only children.

Those two claims are contradictory: if these infants really are so wise, then their claims are fair game for criticism; if they’re only children who cannot withstand adult scrutiny, then they have no business lecturing adults. Quote:

The attention and deference accorded to the pigtailed prodigy (who surely, in mitigation of her ghastliness, must have been manipulated by people older than she) is not her fault, nor is it surprising that at her age she has little idea of the complexities and intractability of the world, or of the ironies of life, let alone of its tragic dimension. But… she has been treated almost obsequiously, as an oracle. She is a sage by default, as it were, because anyone who questioned her in a searching, let alone an aggressive, way would be regarded as a kind of child-abuser.

The adulation and seriousness (or perhaps I should say earnestness) with which the Western world has received little Greta’s lucubrations is indicative of a crisis of authority, moral and intellectual…

Everywhere there is pressure to lower the voting age. This, of course, would be a measure in favor of soft totalitarianism. Surely the voting age should be raised? End of quote.


Unfortunately, raising the voting age will never do anything to curtail the immature enthusiasm of those who live in a perpetual state of infantilism. Nor those politicians who pander to them with an endless parade of vacuous emotionalism and virtue-stunts.