I have vivid memories of being a Boy Scout as a kid, and none of them involve the president going on an unhinged rant about his political opponents, FAKE NEWS, and his electoral college victory. In my opinion, President Donald Trump's speech at the Boy Scouts National Jamboree on Monday, July 24, was a disgusting display of egotism. I believe it's fair to say Trump just politicized thousands of children and used them to fuel his incessant narcissism.
I have no illusions about the Boy Scouts as an organization, and I'm well aware of its less-than-progressive history. But, my time as a Boy Scout was defined by laughter and s'mores in the woods with my friends, and preparing for pinewood derbies with my father. And, to its credit, the Boy Scouts of America has made an effort to evolve and be more tolerant, such as opening up membership to transgender boys earlier this year.
Trump, however, seemed to want to hijack any notion of progress during his speech.
The Boy Scouts are meant to be a non-partisan organization, and Trump just coerced it into breaking its own rules.
Trump's speech on Monday, July 24, felt like your standard Trump rally, except he was addressing thousands of children.
All he had to do was go up on the stage, speak briefly about the values of the Boy Scouts, talk about the importance of respecting nature, tell them to do their best to help others, and move on.
Instead, Trump basically turned the entire thing into something that resembled one of his 2016 campaign events.
Trump started his Boy Scouts speech by attacking the media, because he just can't seem to help himself on this subject. He said,
Tonight, we put aside all of the policy fights in Washington, D.C. you've been hearing about with the fake news. Boy, you've got a lot of people here. The press will say it's about 200 people. It looks like about 45,000 people.
By the way, there's no evidence whatsoever anyone in the media attempted to hide the number of people there. But, given his insecurity about crowd size, among other things, Trump seemingly felt inclined to address this.
Trump then said he wasn't going to talk about politics, but that didn't last for long.
At one point, Trump got the young boys to boo his predecessor, former President Barack Obama (and he bashed the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare).
By the way, Obama was a Boy Scout; Trump was not.
The president also threatened to fire Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price if he didn't get the votes for the GOP health care bill.
Additionally, Trump bragged about his electoral college victory.
In other words, the president is apparently so profoundly insecure about not winning the popular vote, he felt inclined to boast to kids.
At another point, Trump ripped into Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, which was completely unnecessary for a wide array of reasons.
Someone please tell Trump the campaign is over and he is president.
While talking about the Boy Scout value of loyalty, Trump ad-libbed and said, "We could use some more loyalty, I will tell you that."
He also made a strange reference to Christmas, claiming that under the Trump administration, "You're going to be saying Merry Christmas again, folks."
Based on this statement, Trump apparently thinks celebrating Christmas was illegal under Obama, and believes all Boy Scouts are Christians (they aren't).
In a speech full of strange moments, perhaps the most bizarre point came when Trump ranted about money and a cocktail party he attended with New York's "hottest people."
Yes, the President of the United States actually used the phrase "the hottest people in New York were at this party" while speaking to a massive crowd of children.
What happened was so bad the Boy Scouts of America was forced to issue a statement.
During and after his speech, Trump was accused of indoctrinating and manipulating children.
Many former Boy Scouts took to Twitter to express their disgust at Trump's speech.
Some went as far to compare Trump's Boy Scouts speech to a Hitler Youth rally, Newsweek reports.
Hitler Youth was started by the Nazi Party in the 1920s in the hopes of indoctrinating children with its propaganda.
Membership became mandatory in 1939, and boys would be required to join the armed forces or the Reich Labor Service at the age of 18.
Clearly, many were extremely disturbed by Trump's speech to the Boy Scouts.