Today’s Democratic Party resembles less the days of John F. Kennedy and the romanticism of Camelot than it does the set of “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” Long gone are stirring speeches encouraging the best from Americans regardless of their political persuasion. Instead we now are treated to profanity-laced riffs from teenagers scolding the rest of us about everything from school shootings to global warming.

Today’s Democrats have dived head-first into the shallow end of the Fountain of Youth.

From the foul-mouthed David Hogg as the left’s new voice of gun control, to the shrill scolding of Swedish 16-year old Greta Thunberg as their new global warming cheerleader, Democrats have pushed radical-minded children to the party’s vanguard.

Adult Democrats, of course, would like us to believe this is an organic transformation; with talented young people flourishing in the zeitgeist of the moment. The reality is that this movement represents a deliberate and cynical tactic by Democrats, that more than anything else illustrates the shallowness of their “progressive” platform.

There is a reason why the adults of the party, including Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, are noticeably in the background when kids take the microphone and call for policy positions so extreme they can be taken seriously only by the most rabid activists. This tactic affords party leaders the benefit but not the risk of being directly associated with an extremist platform that in earlier times would have been laughed out of the halls of Congress.

These teenagers are essentially serving as human shields for politicians who love the fervor the kids create while allowing plausible deniability for the misinformation and outright lies used to push their agenda.

It is the same dynamic at play between Pelosi and the so-called “Squad” in the House — the young, new faces of Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley. While Pelosi handles the traditional duties of a veteran politician in trying to manage the Democrat Caucus, the rambunctious freshmen can parade about, screaming, name-calling, stamping their feet and, most of all, making sure cameras are clicking while they perform.

Assertions by such children and their adult enablers would be otherwise ignored, except they actually are taken seriously by leftist activists, who thrive not on the substance of the claims, but on the emotional fervor with which the assertions are delivered and with which the mainstream media reports them. Take, for instance, the scolding lectures of global warming guru Thunberg. Leftist activists and their media cohorts appear not to hear her absurd, world-ending claims of imminent Doomsday that would be more fitting if she were wearing a tinfoil hat; instead, they just see a highly emotional, baby-faced child guilt-tripping adults for robbing her of her childhood.

Oh, the emotion! She must be right!

And, don’t dare to challenge her or any of the other child political puppets fronted by Democrats — that is tantamount to heartless bullying.

Therein lies the perfect setup for Democrats. They can use kids to push the extremes of their agenda, in an overly emotional way that drives news cameras and link clicks, and nobody on the Right is permitted to touch them. This strategy relieves Democrats from any obligation to underpin their agenda with facts and logic.

To be fair, the right occasionally has tried drinking from the political fountain of youth. Who can forget the sophomoric “AR-15 girl” that proved a public relations disaster for the right back in 2018?

But it is the New Age left that has bought heavily into the practice of deploying toy soldiers to serve as the vanguard for its global battles against guns, capitalism, and traditional Western values. Where this next generation will lead us is, to say the least, worrisome to contemplate.

Bob Barr is president and CEO of the Law Enforcement Education Foundation. From 1995-2003, he represented Georgia’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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