Jim Shaw’s columns often make me laugh, though I’m pretty sure it’s not for reasons he intends.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been excoriated by critics, in various mediums, for suggesting that maybe teenagers like Greta Thunberg and the kids who participated in the protests she inspired are not the best people to listen to when it comes to an issue as complex as climate change.
Kids, after all, are kids.
They don’t have careers.
They don’t have the responsibilities adults do.
They’re restricted by law from making all sorts of choices for themselves, like whether to use tobacco or drink alcohol or vote.
They haven’t yet really felt the burden of paying for government. They’re extraordinarily impressionable and easily manipulated.
Disagreement on this issue among adults is one thing. The climate change alarmists trying to infuse their movement with credibility by trotting out a bunch of kids is another.
It seems a shallow political stunt to this observer, and ought to be treated as such.
For daring to express this point of view I’ve had all sorts of people calling for me to be fired, and even calling for the people who hired me to resign. Brad Magnuson, chairman of the North Dakota Democratic Party’s Renewable Energy Caucus, suggested in a letter to the Minot Daily News that I ought to be “made an example of.”
Whatever that means.
Then I read Jim Shaw’s column this week, in which he suggested North Dakota and Minnesota ought to raise the minimum age to marry to 18, and I laughed right out loud.
I guess it’s ok to think kids are dumb as long as it doesn’t conflict with some left-wing dogma-of-the-moment.
For what it’s worth, I agree with Shaw’s position. Marriage is a social contract with a lot of consequence. Even in states, like North Dakota, where divorce is relatively easy, the cost of divorce both economically and emotionally can be enormous. Disastrous, even.
Matrimony is something for adults. Even 18 is probably too young, in my mind, but it’s a far sight better than 16.
What I’m wondering is how this position is any different than dismissing Greta Thunberg’s puddle-deep rants about climate change as the emotional folderol of a child?
If kids aren’t smart enough to handle marriage, if they’re too easily manipulated into making commitments they may come to regret, why would we think they’re smart enough to stake out a position on climate change policy which has far-reaching economic and social ramifications few of the kids really understand?
Kids are kids. They shouldn’t be used as props in political movements, and they shouldn’t be allowed to marry.