This time President Trump is accused of “mocking a sixteen-year-old.”
How can a President stoop so low?
An MTV headline read:
#Bebest Who? Trump Just Bullied 16-Year-Old Climate Activist Greta Thunberg on Twitter
"What kind of president bullies a teenager?” Joe Biden tweeted, adding (ridiculously) that Trump “could learn a few things from Greta on what it means to be a leader.”
What did Trump actually say to young Greta?
On the occasion of the teen’s being named as Time magazine’s Person of the Year, President Trump tweeted:
"So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!" Trump wrote Thursday morning, responding to a tweet congratulating Thunberg on being named Person of the Year.
C'mon, it sounds like pretty good Dad-like advice for Greta, whose hot, almost palpable anger when she spoke before the United Nations was truly chiling.
Anger is the key ingredient of the sixteen-year-old’s persona. Indeed, Charlotte Alter, one of the authors of Time’s profile on Thunberg, tweeted . . .
…this story is about Greta Thunberg, but it’s also about the explosion of youthful anger that has erupted across the globe over the last year . . .
President Trump can sometimes be juvenile, but in his this instance, I’d say he was behaving as an adult; this was right-on, avuncular advice. It was constructive criticism. Oh, and it was an adult not kowtowing to a kid. Refreshing. The tweet was mischeivous but I don't think it was mocking or bullying.
But you know what 16-year-old the left had no trouble mocking?
Sixteen-year-old Nick Sandman. Nick Sandman, who had attended the annual March for Life, with fellow students from a Catholic school in Covington, Ky., had the misfortune to be waiting for his bus near the Lincoln Memorial when activist Nathan Phillips and others, some members of the radical Black Israelites, attending an Indigenous Peoples March ,surrounded the Covington kids and began jeering and playing the drums at them. Among other things, Sandman’s red MAGA hat apparently offended the activists.
Unused to the spotlight, Sandman kept an awkward smile on his face throughout the unasked for encounter. This made him the “smirking MEGA kid” of one headline. It originally and falsely was assumed in much of the press that Sandman and his fellow students from Kentucky were the initiators of the incident.
When NBC’s Samantha Guthrie interviewed Sandman, who was trying to clear his name, there was plenty of bullying of a sixteen-year-old in the responses:
“Imagine if a black kid would have done something disrespectful to a white woman that went viral, I doubt they would be getting the Today Show love,” Robert Littal, creator of Black Sports Online, tweeted. “This is white supremacy and media working together.”
“What the actual hell is wrong with you? Why are you giving this bigoted child a platform, when what he *needs* is (minimum) to be grounded and taught compassion?” another user chimed in. “This is revolting.”
So, why is it okay to bully Nick Sandman but some advice from the President for Greta Thunberg sets off a firestorm of outrage?
Well, of course, anything the President says sets off his critics. There is that.
But it is also what Greta and Nick represent to the left that factors into the equation.
Greta is the soothsaying climate-change avatar, while Nick is the MEGA kid who has just attended a march for life.
But there is something else. Adults have plucked Greta from school and made her their mouthpiece because she can be used as both their sword and human shield.
In short, adults hide behind Greta precisely because she is sixteen. Greta has Asperger Syndrome, which arguably should have made the adults in her life be more protective and given them second thoughts about allowing her to become a world famous doomsayer.
It was high time somebody told Greta to lighten up and not send a nihilistic message of doom to her peers. It is the adults in her life who have convinced Greta that we are on the cusp of doom, not the guy who tells her to lighten up, who are doing her a disservice.