David French of National Review Online explains why he’s not focusing his criticism on the outspoken political messages of Parkland school shooting survivors.

Let’s begin by stating the obvious. There is not a single American corporation, media entity, or adult activist who actually takes direction from David Hogg or any other Parkland victim. Every single thing they do in response to Hogg’s public comments is done willingly — gleefully, even — because Hogg is their tool. He’s their sword and their shield. He is their excuse for doing exactly what they want to do.

By now we know how this pitiful game works. Hogg, egged on by cheering adults, says vicious, cruel, and often false things about their political opponents, and they cheer all the louder. They love it. They quite obviously can’t get enough of it. In this way, Hogg is an expression of the liberal id, a person who “destroys” the opposition in ways that are far more savage and intended far more personally than anything you’ll see from late-night television.

That’s the sword. The shield comes when a conservative takes the bait. All the slicing and dicing and insulting and trolling causes an inevitable backlash. You get the unhinged backlash (“crisis actor”), the mean backlash (laughing at Hogg’s college-admissions struggles), and the thoughtful backlash (he’s got a right to his rage and pain, but he’s still wrong on substance). Yet for all too many activists any criticism is “attacking the Parkland kids.”

Thus David Hogg becomes the unassailable Stephen Colbert, the untouchable John Oliver.