Donald Trump is a BSA and that does not stand for Boy Scouts of America. He proved that in spades when he spoke before the National Scout Jamboree in Glen Jean, West Virginia on Monday, July 25.
Early in his speech, the President proclaimed, “I said, ‘Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts.’ Right?” He then proceeded to spend the bulk of his time speaking about politics.
After the President’s self-indulgent performance, the Boy Scouts of America felt obligated to release a statement that it is “wholly non-partisan and does not promote any one position, product, service, political candidate or philosophy.” In that same statement, the Boy Scouts emphasized that having the President speak at the Jamboree “is in no way an endorsement of any political party or specific policies.”
President Trump’s campaign-rally type remarks were totally inappropriate for this audience. What made them especially so are the values of the boy scouts and the history and purpose of this organization.
The President made a passing reference to those boy scout values in his speech when he declared “As the Scout Law, says: ‘A Scout is trustworthy, loyal’―-. “ Then, in an apparent reference to those such as Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal of himself on the Russian investigation and White House staffers leaking information to the media, he added, “…we could use some more loyalty, I will tell you that.”
The irony of this reference to loyalty from a President who seems not to understand that loyalty is a two-way street, as his continuously going after the “beleaguered” Sessions demonstrates, is hard to ignore. What makes it doubly ironic is the inclusion of “trustworthy” by Trump in his comments.
Some might give the President a pass on the loyalty test. But, virtually no one – except for his staunchest supporters - would mention the words “Trump” and “trustworthy” in the same breath.
The irony extends even further. In the Boy Scout Oath, a scout promises “…to obey the Scout Law.” Obeying the Scout Law means a Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.
President Trump may be a few of these. But, we would have a hard time deciding which ones. Therefore, we will let the reader make that determination
The Boy Scout Oath also calls for the scout “to keep myself….morally straight.”
As the U.S. Scouting Service Project explains, “Being morally straight means to live your life with honesty, to be clean in your speech and actions, and to be a person of strong character.”
Given this explanation, we doubt that any one would give the President a passing grade on the “morally straight” test.
This brings us to the final and largest irony of all. That is the sitting President of the United States is the honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America.
Based upon his Jamboree comments, it is obvious that Donald Trump brings to this honorary presidency the same qualifications that he has brought to his presidency: an obsession with one’s self and a lack of self control.
For months the country has been knee deep in Trump’s BS, now the boy scouts are there as well. They deserve better and so do we all.