A high-level political commentator’s outrageous interview sparked speculation about the true motivations behind callous events at the U.S.-Mexico border. Supposedly as part of the Trump administration’s new “zero-tolerance” policy for illegal border crossings, the Department of Homeland Security has forcibly separated over 2,300 immigrant children from their families since the beginning of May. Many appalled citizens are condemning the practice and asking questions. Why aren’t there procedures to track separated family members as a unit, or guarantee their reunification? Is this really what we’ve become as a country? But for those asking why the administration is choosing to strictly enforce a reprehensible, insensitive policy now, new allegations suggest there are ulterior motives that transcend the immigration debate.

The heartless commentator alleged that the separations are the latest focal point for liberal “crisis actor” tactics. According to right-wing conspiracy theorists, and despite all proof to the contrary, liberals rely on hired performers to influence media narratives with emotional messages, after tragedies, such as Newtown, Orlando, Las Vegas, and Parkland. As reports about inconsolable migrant children held in make-shift shelters with no way of reestablishing contact with detained parents began to surface, the commentator shed any vestige of compassion and shrilly decried “these child actors weeping and crying.”  While crisis actors for mass shootings are in distressingly high demand, and therefore quickly available, the left’s ability to immediately mobilize them for an unexpected immigration confrontation raises important questions. The broader context suggests conservatives are making a long-term play to undermine liberal messaging capabilities, while the left is looking to fill jobs that Americans can no longer do.

Individual crisis actors can only capture the national spotlight once for the message to be perceived as legitimate, which means a steady supply of new, promising thespians is necessary. The Parkland shooting and subsequent marches, while tremendously effective at generating a grassroots response, have allegedly required an unprecedented number of high school-age actors. Given the sudden constraints, the commentator asserted, liberals likely turned to migrants to supplement a depleted stock and groom newcomers for future roles. Indeed, the commentator suggested that contact between the relevant parties had already been established: “These kids are being coached,” and “They’re given scripts to read by liberals,” she shrieked, completely missing the point.

Aware of the shortage and of liberals’ strong commitments to basic human decency, conservatives likely acted to force the left’s hand. If liberals did not use the children on the immigration issue immediately, thereby removing them as a future threat, the alternative would have been allowing the administration to deport the budding child actors, causing liberals to lose them forever. Either way, though the left may achieve short-term gains, the outcome of the separations fiasco will disrupt actor availability for extensive casting demands for years to come.

The future shortage could undermine liberal narratives for at least a decade. Substantive policy changes are unlikely, so the now seemingly inevitable crises will go without new actors, and used performers will age out. “We’re already seeing noise overtake the Parkland actors,” confided a conservative strategist. When asked if there was concern that figures associated with Parkland could stay relevant even as they age, the strategist laughed. “Yeah, like that worked for Macaulay Culkin.” The harpyish political commentator, absorbed in a false equivalence diatribe, could not be interrupted for comment.