On Tuesday, Huffington Post ran a headline attacking conservatives which falsely maligned Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro, claiming he had “smeared” the teenage survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre on Valentine’s Day. Shapiro expressed his anger over the false charge on Twitter, along with a screenshot of the headline:
Shapiro had not targeted the survivors, but rather the media for using them to parrot their own views on gun control. He wrote in National Review:
What, pray tell, did these students do to earn their claim to expertise? They were present during a mass shooting, and they have the right point of view, according to the Left. There’s a reason that producers at CNN are eager to put junior Cameron Kasky in front of the cameras: He says things like “You’re either with us or against us.” It seems a stretch to think that if Kasky were instead advocating for more armed school security, CNN would be breaking into its primetime lineup to air his views.
Shapiro had also targeted the Left for its hypocrisy, writing:
The Left consistently pushes more sexual autonomy for youngsters: They proclaim that laws restricting minors’ access to abortion are unconstitutional, that children have the capacity to declare themselves prepared for gender transitioning, and that parents who disagree should be shoved aside. This week, a judge in Ohio ruled that custody of a 17-year-old girl suffering from gender dysphoria should be handed over to her grandparents rather than her parents, because her parents opposed doctors’ advice that she get hormone treatment and undergo surgery. Such logic is likely to be utilized more rather than less in the future.
But the same people on the left who declare that children are fully capable decision-makers suddenly balk when it comes to gun ownership. Now, leftist lawmakers state that the legal age for gun purchases should be raised to 21. They proclaim that “children” are disadvantaged if they are removed from their parents’ health-insurance plans before turning 26. They suggest that the criminal-justice system should treat young adults with greater leeway than it treats more mature adults, because brain development doesn’t truly complete until 25.
So, which is it? Are children assets to be protected, or are they just adults in tiny people’s bodies? Are they sexual beings, or are they innocents? Are they rational actors, or are they still emotionally developing?
The answer seems to be relatively simple: Children and teenagers are not fully rational actors. They’re not capable of exercising supreme responsibilities. And we shouldn’t be treating innocence as a political asset used to push the agenda of more sophisticated players.
But the Left won’t stand for such line-drawing. That’s because for the Left, status as a rational actor, let alone as an expert, isn’t actually the chief qualification for political gravitas: It’s emotion.
Twitter users noted HuffPo’s nasty manipulation: