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  • Max Stearns

I Watched Trump's Boy Scout Jamboree Speech So You Don't Have To

I watched the whole Trump Boy Scout Jamboree speech to see if it was as bad as the reports. It was worse. It was entirely inappropriate at almost every level. To be sure, there were embedded, misguided attempts at inspiration, such as telling the boys to only pursue their dreams and to relentlessly follow their passions, which although often excellent advice isn't realistic for all too many young women and men to follow. It is sad to imagine so many young boys coming away thinking that unlike those who have the means, and who, according to Trump, will never actually feel as though they are working a day in their lives even if they commit themselves to their careers 24/7, they instead are destined to labor over jobs they won't enjoy, you know, actual work. A far better message would have been to convey that no matter what you commit yourself to doing, when you do it with honor, you can take pride knowing that you are contributing to the betterment of society, and that the most important value is to treat everyone, no matter what they do or where they come from, with dignity and respect.

Although that message is misguided, it isn't evil. What is evil is using the boy scout jamboree forum to give an unmitigated campaign rally speech, especially one that conveys that patriotism somehow equates to Trumpism. During the speech, Trump slighted the news media, Democrats, Republicans who won't vote his way on the ACA repeal, and cabinet members unable to single-mindedly rally the troops to accomplish his political goals. Trump slighted past leaders and political opponents (except, conveniently, President and former Eagle Scout Gerald Ford, for whom a new ship is named), and in an entirely gratuitous moment chose this forum to promise to bring back "Merry Christmas" during shopping season. So much for signaling the Boy Scout's inclusiveness. (Just to be clear, although this is not a holiday that I celebrate, the greeting has never bothered me. My preferred response: "To you as well.")

There are so many moments in the speech that are beyond the pale that I cannot recommend watching it. And it's not as if one needs additional proof of Trump's small minded narcissism. We see it every day and in every way. All we learn from this speech is that he also knows no boundaries even when it comes to children, who by the way, he oddly credits with helping to achieve his remarkable electoral victory. In the end, Trump conveys how important it is to him that young boys are brainwashed to imagine that Trump is as great a legend in their minds as he is in his own.

Your comments are, of course, welcome.

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