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Friday, October 15, 2010

The Best 2036 Presidential Candidate... So Far.

Oct 15th, 2010
by F. Grey Parker

Birke Baehr
Meet Birke Baehr. The video below is a powerful introduction. To guard against possible post-post-modern cynicism clouding your viewing experience, we thought we'd immediately follow it with a little background on the young man. This is no parentally-scripted pawn in some stunt. This is a truly knowledgeable and deeply committed advocate for a better future through workable solutions. That Mr. Baehr is eleven years old is just one hell of a novelty. 

Akhila Vijayaraghavan, writing for Just Means, had a chance to speak with him after this presentation:

"In his talk he eloquently says that, "you can either pay the farmer or the hospital" - when I asked him about this, he said that GM food increases liver and kidney toxicity, other kidney problems as well [sic] cancer. He said, " that seems like a $150,000 hospital dollar bill to me rather than fifty extra dollars on your grocery bill." When I asked him why he thinks the government endorses a [sic] unhealthy food system, he replied that, "conglomerations involved with agriculture hire goodlooking men in suits that take our senators and congressmen out to very fancy dinners and practically bribe our politicians."

For his age, he has been at this for a while. Maria Rodale, in a blog picked up by the Huffington Post, has also had a one on one with Mr. Baehr:

"Why is living organic important to you?

I am very conscious about my health, and I have studied how conventional methods can hurt you. I also like to support small, local, chemical-free farms.

One day my mom was on the Internet and I saw something about mercury in high-fructose corn syrup. It concerned me so I began to research the subject. The more I dug into it, the more I found. Then I saw films like Food Inc. and met Joel Salatin. I convinced my parents to look at all of the stuff I discovered, and soon my family was off conventional food and into slow food on a regular basis."

There are those who will click their tongues and tut-tut because they simply distrust such youthful intelligence and talent. They won't come out and say they just don't approve of a child talking social policy; But that is what their real motivation will be. There are already rumblings against him. 

Blogger Catherine Crawford  writes warily, "Baehr is that good ... and that's what has me disturbed. Someone coached him and then pimped him out. Is it okay that this is for a good cause?"

I admit it. I felt some irrational apprehension when I first heard him. It didn't last long. His spontaneous responses to complex questions rebut his detractors effectively. Those denying his independent thought simply don't have any ammo. There is a consistent and emerging examination of his development as an activist. If anything, he has led his parents into this and not the other way around. Besides, dismissing a brilliant and energized 11 year old as having been "pimped out" because he is 11 years old betrays a pretty ugly world view. 

So clearly and effectively does he advance his concepts of organic, sustainable and local food production that, I believe, he might soon become a target of the big conservative machine. In fact, I think there are those from the right wing echo chamber (AM in particular) that wound not hesitate to come after a kid and his family. If they do, they will do so viciously. Would you deny that we now live in a world where Mr. Baehr could plausibly land on Glenn Beck's blackboard under the word Marxist writ large? 

I hope his parents are prepared. For that, he will actually need them.

So. I heartily support the young gentlemen from America's future. It's a shame we have to wait 24 years for Birke Baehr to be eligible for the U.S. Presidency. If he's half the man as a man that he is as a boy, he'll be a helluva guy.  

1 comment:

  1. I'll wait. I've waited this long. If there's still an America for him to be president of.