The president’s speech at the annual Boy Scout Jamboree has a long history of focusing on community service and unity. Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump stood in front of tens of thousands of boys and their troop leaders in West Virginia and gave them 38 minutes of jarring, rambling political and personal attacks, most of which were tied to the 2016 election – an election in which none of the children were eligible to vote.
He declared that the “fake news” media would not report on the event, because in Trump’s reality you can tie a cub scout knot of lies around the truth. The president switched modes and then seemed to want to put politics aside as he offered, “who the hell (swearing in front of children – great!) wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?” The president seemed to want to start a unifying campfire, then quickly proceeded to burn everyone who annoyed him during the week, the months and years prior.
“A scout is trustworthy, loyal…,” was Trump’s first launch into attack mode, hitting hard at his Republican turncoats by lamenting that, “we could use more loyalty, I will tell you that.” This jamboree jab was presumably aimed right at Attorney General Jeff Sessions who probably got his determination to never ‘quit’ anything from his childhood as an Eagle Scout.
The spectacle then turned to Obama (because everything ultimately does with this imbecile), who Trump belittled for not attending a jamboree during his time as a president. It didn’t matter that Obama was a Boy Scout and sent the boys a speech honoring their history of public service. Again, Trump insulted another past Boy Scout in the presence of thousands of them.
Things took a really odd turn when Trump went on a rambling recollection about a bankrupt real estate developer, William Levitt, who, “so badly wanted it,” not sure what that is, and, “he failed badly,” which was somehow tied to the, “hottest people in NY were at his party,” which was somehow related to not losing momentum in life and a yacht.
Trump was now deeply in campaign mode and he was not going to lose “momentum” as he bragged about his amazing win in the 2016 election to boys who were too young to vote, “Do you remember that date? What a date!” The “momentum” kept going in the Jamboree speech turned campaign jargon speech as he tried to excite the boys, “you’ll be saying Merry Christmas again,” and promising, “you will win, win, win.”
As the Trump tall tales finally ended, many wondered on Twitter if the Boy Scouts of America had become a partisan training regime, akin to Hitler youth. The organization of 2.4 million youth participants and nearly one million adult volunteers did release a condemnation after the president’s speech, citing that the organization is, “wholly non partisan and does not promote any one position, product, service, political candidate or philosophy.”
The Boy Scouts have even changed their long-standing position against the LGBTQ+ community in the recent past. In 2014, gay youth were officially allowed in the organization. The following year, 2015, gay adult leaders were also permitted in the Boy Scouts. Trans boys were finally given the right to join in 2017.
Perhaps the Boy Scouts were ambushed by Trump’s unhinged onslaught, however, as observed in The Atlantic, “Every time he (Trump) goes before some non partisan group,” and speaks, “as if he is at a campaign rally, a little more of our shared civic culture gets chipped away.”