In Problematic Boy Scout Speech, Trump Offends Just About Everyone
“As an Eagle Scout Mom, I grieve for our country.”
Image via Greg Richter/Wikimedia Commons.
On Monday night, President Trump gave a bizarre speech at the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree, devoting the majority of his time on stage to bashing Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama, the BBC reports. Over the course of his 35-minute speech in front of more than 30,000 adolescent boys, Trump called D.C. a “cesspool,” bragged about the size of the crowd, reminded everyone about his 2016 electoral win (in case we didn’t know how he made it to the stage, perhaps?), and lashed out at “fake media,” according to the Washington Post.
Held once every four years, the Boy Scout Jamboree started in 1937 with the intention of bringing together groups from across the country. Because it was never intended to be a political tool, Trump’s highly politicized speech, while quintessentially Trump, comes across as somewhat of a shock. Organizers said as much in the aftermath of the speech, writing in a statement that the organization is “wholly non-partisan and does not promote any one position, product, service, political candidate or philosophy.” Apparently, Trump was invited as part of a “long-standing tradition” and his appearance was not intended to be “an endorsement of any political party or specific policies.”
Angry parents were not pleased with this explanation and took to social media to vent their frustration.
Who at @boyscouts thought that having an unpredictable, ranting lunatic speak to children was a good idea? I'd pull my son out. #Shame— Lori 🗽 (@Lori 🗽) 1500939100
@EconDerek @ChrisMurphyCT @boyscouts @realDonaldTrump Yes I am a Life Scout mom and I am livid! There is nothing ab… https://t.co/L8bqLR8RS6— AMMac (@AMMac) 1500944662
45's speech to 40,000 Scouts shocked me more than anything he's done so far.As an Eagle Scout Mom,I grieve for our country. #BoyScoutSpeech— Susan Schreiber (@Susan Schreiber) 1500991096
Former Boy Scouts also voiced their disappointment with Trump’s divisive speech.
Speaking for myself as an Eagle Scout, @POTUS's speech was out of line with every value I was taught in Scouting. @boyscouts #BoyScoutSpeech— Tom Margosian (@Tom Margosian) 1501006382
As a Scout leader, my stomach is in knots about what Trump did today. If you haven't watched it yet, don't. It's downright icky.— Chris Murphy (@Chris Murphy) 1500944470
As a former Girl Scout, I'm disgusted. As an American, I'm horrified. That's not what Scouting is about. https://t.co/qEnYsRlad5— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷) 1500940852
I'm an Eagle Scout. Trump using the 30,000 BoyScouts as his props tonight was a scene out of Triumph of the Will. Shocking abuse of children— Michael Moore (@Michael Moore) 1500952306
New York Daily News reporter Josh Greenman even offered a list of Boy Scout values Trump directly contradicts.
Of course, former Obama administration photographer Pete Souza was quick to react with a sick burn.
Oddly, the one person we didn't hear from is Trump's Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. The former president of Boy Scouts of America introduced the president, only to go unmentioned during Trump’s speech. Since then, Tillerson has remained relatively mum about his boss's performance — despite the fact that he took a rather surprisingly progressive stance in 2013, pushing to allow gay and trans kids to join the Scouts.