Political leaders of all persuasions, especially those running for governmental office, ought to take a lesson from Greta Thunberg, the fiery sixteen year old Swedish climate activist, on how to make a case for an urgent public policy or deal with phony, hypocritical leaders.
Despite her age and size Greta is consumed with passion about the threat that looms for her generation and indeed the world from long delayed action on global warming. While Democrats in the House and Senate dilly dally about whether to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump, and the President makes preposterous statements about how he is for clean air and water, Greta gives a no holds barred speech to the United Nations. As the old line from the movie Network says, she’s mad as hell and she’s not going to take it anymore. If only our politicians could show so some spark and anger when faced with a governing crisis instead of spouting platitudes or half-hearted promises.
In her speech at the UN Greta stated that she,” will never forgive them (political leaders) for failing to act on climate change… We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you.” She went even further by filing a complaint with the United Nations alleging that five of the world’s major economies have violated the human rights of the world’s population by not taking adequate steps to stop the climate crisis. I have yet to hear Speaker Pelosi match Greta’s outspoken toughness when faced with obvious illegality in the White House or President Trump admit just once that he must take the lead to avoid a looming catastrophe rather than be a shill for the oil and coal industry.
Sadly, we live in a time when political leaders are constantly looking at the polls and their base to determine how to act in the public arena, rather than just say, ” the polls and the base be damned, I am going to do what is right for my country and the world.” From gun control to health care to climate change the people of this country have spoken clearly and unmistakably that they want their political leaders to take action to improve the quality of life. But unlike Greta they refuse to muster the will and seem fine accepting their politically driven weakness.
It is increasingly clear that the future of this country and the world is now in the hands of the fearless dynamos like Greta. Too bad Greta is too young to run for office, but she and millions of others will soon be old enough to vote and take the mantel of governing from those who are afraid to act.