A boy carries out suggestions more wholeheartedly when he understands their aim.
— Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts Association
I’m a former Boy Scout. In fact, my Scouting life started when my mother volunteered to be a Cub Scout pack leader. I went on to Webelos, then the Boy Scouts. I only made it to Second Class, but I had a lot of fun, made good friends, and there are memories from those days that will last a lifetime.
I’m starting to feel sorry for today’s Boy Scouts after what the world saw out of the national Jamboree in West Virginia Monday, when the so-called President of the United States got up in front of tens of thousands of boys, Scout leaders and other adults and presented the statement, “… (W)ho the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?”
Then, in true Donald J. Trump fashion, he proceeded to talk about politics. A speech that could and should have been non-political, downright non-partisan, and inspirational (if that were even possible for Trump) became just another Trump campaign rally.
Sadly, tens of thousands of Scouts and adults seemed to eat it up judging by the roar coming from the crowd, such as when Trump mentioned whether his predecessor attended the Jamboree during his time as President. How many times in your life have you ever seen Boy Scouts encouraged — nay, downright set up — to boo a former President?
It broke my heart as a former Scout to hear them do it. It angered me to see some Scout leader in full uniform behind Trump appearing to go right along with it.
Did Barack Obama ever go to a Jamboree? Maybe not. Personally, I don’t give a damn. At least Obama did appear via video, and gave a better speech than the current sitting White House clown did. At the very least, he stuck to the aim and meaning of Scouting. He stuck to celebrating and honoring Scouting on its 100th anniversary instead of whining about Hillary and the health care bill and “fake news” while boasting about a “record” crowd size.
Apparently Trump felt the need to pat himself on the back for what’s a pretty typical crowd size for a national Jamboree. Again, it’s all about Trump. Some things never change.
How about a look at how it could have been if this so-called POTUS didn’t let his ego get in the way?
Instead, a lot of boys and adults fell right in line, acted out against what should have been better instincts (especially for Scouts), and cheered on a con man. Maybe that’s the problem: They were so thrilled to see and hear the con man they didn’t understand his aim.
I realize this left the Boy Scouts of America in a sticky situation. It’s an organization that’s supposed to be non-political, that’s supposed to honor the office of the President, and how’s it going to look if the BSA slams the so-called POTUS. But to my mind, as well as the minds of at least thousands of others — former Scouts and parents of current Scouts — judging by comments to the BSA on social media, the BSA’s response has been a bit weak.
As long as the con man has a place at the White House, maybe the BSA should adopt a new Scout Law. You know, something to fit the example set by the current occupant. I’ll go through each piece of the Scout Law and offer replacement suggestions, because this guy is none of these things.
A Scout is …
Trustworthy (Dishonest as the day is long)
Loyal (Demanding loyalty to himself, never willing to give it himself)
Helpful ( … Yeah, he helps himself to whatever he can get away with)
Friendly (When it benefits him, otherwise he’s a raging monster)
Courteous (Rude, disrespectful, heedless, impolite, inattentive, inconsiderate, mean, thoughtless, uncivil, unkind, unmannerly, unmindful, unrefined … take your pick)
Kind (Never one to let an opportunity go by to insult someone when the urge strikes)
Obedient (Demanding of obedience, and heaven help those who aren’t)
Cheerful (Bitter and whiny as all get out)
Thrifty (Willing to take advantage of anyone — contractors, senior citizens, etc. — if it’ll earn him more dough)
Brave (Cowardly, on a daily basis)
Clean (Someone who loves to play dirty as long as it’s to his advantage)
Reverent (Two Corinthians walk into a bar, they see an attractive woman, and the first Corinthian says to the second Corinthian, “Hey, watch me grab her by the …”)
Yes, as a former Scout, I’m weeping. And I don’t think Robert Baden-Powell ever foresaw a con man like Donald J. Trump pulling a fast one on his Scouts.