Nel's New Day

July 25, 2017

Boy Scouts Become Political

Every speech that Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) makes is a new low. Instead of being congratulatory or uplifting, the self-pitying messages are either whining about his unfair life or self-aggrandizing. Ceremonial speeches carry the same tone as his campaign speeches.

The day after he was inaugurated, DDT spoke in front of the Memorial Wall at the CIA, an agency that he had consistently disparaged and compared to Nazis. His fourth full sentence referred to the “dishonest media,” a theme he repeated later in the speech including the accusation that it falsified the number of people at his inauguration. He proceeded to brag about the large number of people in the military who voted for him, the number of times he was on the Time cover, and his unadulterated praise for Michael Flynn who was forced to soon leave the administration because of his Russian connections.

In May, he spoke to graduating cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy about his victimization, especially by the media:

“No politician in history – and I say this with great surety – has been treated worse or more unfairly.”

DDT’s speech to honor veterans at the Kennedy Center immediately before the Fourth of July again focused on himself and his grievances. Instead of a focus on heroes, he pushed his customary complaint about the “fake news” at a time. His goal is to do away with the freedom of the press guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and celebrated on July 4.

Last weekend DDT spoke at an event commissioning the $12.9 billion USS Gerald R. Ford. He urged 6,500 people to call Congress and ask members to pass the budget. Then he added a request to call senators “to make sure you get health care.” Many people there were members of the military who receive federal health care that is not in jeopardy. As commander-in-chief, DDT was technically giving naval officers an order to make political requests to lawmakers. Once again, the man inaugurated as president last January violated the norms separating military and politics which presidents are supposed to honor and protect. His own protectors will justify his actions by saying that he is ignorant of these norms; the question is how long ignorance can be an excuse for his buffoonery.

Two days later, DDT’s he violated the ban on Boy Scout’s participation in political events. In front of 24,000 Scouts and 16,000 other attendees at the Boy Scout Jamboree, he went all out in proselytizing adolescents  the same way that Adolf Hitler did with his Hitler Youth groups. The Nazi party used youth to spread propaganda, and youth groups numbered 5.4 million members before the organizations became mandatory in 1939. Last year, a Trump supporter created “Trump Youth” with an anti-Jewish bent. Although comparisons between DDT and Hitler have long been considered offensive, the connection is growing closer. Eagle Scout Michael Moore compared the scene at the Jamboree to the thousands of Hitler Youth chronicled in the 1934 propaganda Nazi film, Triumph of the Will.

John McLaughlin, acting director of the CIA under George Bush, tweeted that the rally “had the feel of a third world authoritarian’s youth rally.”

DDT called Scouts “young patriots,” and they responded by cheering “USA! USA!” DDT slammed his opponents and incited his audience to boo President Obama; whined about his struggles in the White House; and recalled his great election for his office. He called for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and said that Secretary of HHS Tom Price might be fired if the repeal didn’t pass.

“By the way, are you going to get the votes? You better get the votes. Otherwise, I’ll say, ‘Tom, you’re fired.’'”

Once again, he talked about “fake news” and demanded loyalty from his officials. In short, he made the speech another boorish campaign rally.

DDT opened his speech in front of tens of thousands of you by cursing, “who the hell wants to talk about politics anyway?” Some of his speech veered from politics to DDT’s partying with the rich and famous on yachts and offering a possible off-color story about meeting real estate developer William Levitt.

Other DDT comments in his speech:

  • “Today, I said we ought to change it from the word ‘swamp’ to the word ‘cesspool’ or, perhaps, to the word ‘sewer.'”
  • “Many of my top advisers in the White House were Scouts. Ten members of my Cabinet were Scouts. Can you believe that? Ten.” [DDT wasn’t but President Obama was the equivalent of a Cub Scout in Indonesia, and four other presidents—John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush—were also Boy Scouts. DDT failed to mention that AG Jeff Sessions was also an Eagle Scout.]
  • “Some of you here tonight might even have camped out in this yard when Mike was the governor of Indiana, but the scouting was very, very important.” [Who knows what he meant!]
  • “We’re doing a lot with energy.” [DDT’s introduction to Rick Perry.]
  • “I have to tell you our economy is doing great.”
  • “Do we remember that date? Was that a beautiful date? What a date…. But do you remember that incredible night with the maps and the Republicans are red and the Democrats are blue, and that map was so red, it was unbelievable, and they didn’t know what to say? …And you know we have a tremendous disadvantage in the Electoral College — popular vote is much easier.”
  • “I’ve known so many great people.”

The Scout Law commands that Scouts be “trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.” The Boy Scouts of America invited DDT because he is the honorary president of BSA. His comments were not their responsibility, but their tepid response to his speech was inexcusable. https://www.facebook.com/pg/theboyscoutsofamerica/posts/?ref=page_internal  Many of the hundreds of comments on the BSA Facebook page agreed with this position. For DDT supporters who accused some people of merely having different political views, one commenter had a pitch-perfect response:

“People disrespect Trump because he treats people terribly (both perceived enemies and friends), whines like a child, acts like a criminal hiding something, and tries to skirt the law at every turn. It’s not because we have different political views.”

Dan Rather also hit the bullseye with his statement:

“A grown man who is so insecure as to seek affirmation in a group of teenagers is not a man with the maturity to lead a nation. A man who is so self-absorbed as to make every utterance about himself and his needs is not a man with the vision to elevate a nation.”

DDT encouraged the crowd to cheer when he claimed that President Obama had never attended one of the Boy Scout Jamborees. Yet the former president taped a speech for the 100th Boy Scout Jamboree seven years ago. He highlighted the role the Boy Scouts had played in America’s history and praised the leadership skills the organization seeks to instill in its members. Transcript and video here.

For the past 80 years, presidents have inspired Boy Scouts with their speeches: Franklin D. Roosevelt, good citizenship; Harry S. Truman, fellowship; Dwight D. Eisenhower, “bonds of common purpose and common ideals”; Lyndon B. Johnson, work to better the future; George H.W. Bush, potential for a new generation; Bill Clinton, doing “good turns”; George W. Bush, serving others. This year, DDT slammed the media, his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, his opposition—any slight offense while he praised himself for getting lots of votes. GOP lawmakers stayed silent.

In contrast to the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts—no relationship—announced 23 new badges focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). New CEO Sylvia Acevedo explained that scouts requested many of the badges that range from robots and engineering for kindergarteners and first graders to cybersecurity and programming for the older ones. Acevedo said that she became an engineer and a rocket scientists because of her Girl Scout experience, and many female astronauts were Girl Scouts. According to Acevedo, “we are focused every day on creating girls of courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place. We are totally dedicated to create the best leadership experience for girls in America in a nonpartisan way. That’s our focus.”

How sad for the Boy Scouts that all they got was DDT.

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1 Comment »

  1. Senior Girl Scouts would have turned their backs.

    Like

    Comment by Lee Lynch — July 25, 2017 @ 11:54 PM | Reply


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