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Two of Minnesota's leading politicians need to get their acts together. The pair I have in mind are Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan and Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty. In recent weeks Flanagan has uttered some controversial words on the subject of youthful transgenderism, while Moriarty made a highly controversial decision regarding the fate of two teens charged with murder.

The key driver of Moriarty's decision was the age of the offenders. Neither teen should be charged as an adult, she judged, because neither is close to having a fully adult brain. Science tells us, Moriarty says, that young males do not have a fully developed brain until the age of 25.

One wonders what our lieutenant governor thinks of Moriarty's decision. She ought to be appalled, though she probably isn't. After all, she apparently believes that kids, not parents, know best. A few days after Moriarty's decision not to hold teenagers fully responsible for their actions, what with their less than fully developed brains, Flanagan lectured Minnesota parents on the importance of listening to their children and deferring to their judgment.

That might have been a great idea, or at least an innocuous one, if the subject had been, say, the menu for the child's upcoming birthday party — or if Flanagan was telling parents to listen patiently as their 8- or 12-year-olds tell them that they already know all the math or grammar they need to know.

But no, our presumably thoughtful lieutenant governor decided to insist that parents should not just listen to, but obey, their grade-school boy when he tells them that he's really a girl — or their high-school girl who tells them she's really a boy.

One wonders what our county attorney thinks of the Flanagan's view. She really ought to be appalled, though she probably isn't. If a 15-year-old is too young to be tried for murder, how is it possible that anyone of that age or younger is mature enough to single-handedly make a life-changing decision to undergo gender reassignment?

Admirers of Flanagan and of Moriarty need to compare notes. What is the message? Are those under 18 to be regarded as not fully responsible children or as wholly autonomous adults, entitled to make all their own decisions? Or should the cutoff perhaps be 16, the preferred voting age for some in the DFL — despite it's being nine years short of full brain development?

Apparently it is still illegal in Minnesota for a minor to get a tattoo without parental permission. Maybe our neighboring states would be interested in becoming sanctuaries for tattoo-inclined youth whose parents are too uncaring to listen to them.

Or perhaps there is a hidden consistency in all this despite the seemingly obvious contradictions. But probably not.

John C. "Chuck" Chalberg writes from Bloomington.