As the late Joan Rivers would say, can we talk?
Many left-wing Americans don’t particularly care for the Boy Scouts. In fact, many progressives downright despise the organization.
It doesn’t have much to do with past controversies over gay scouts and scoutmasters, nor does it concern transgender scouts, who are now free to join.
This enmity runs far deeper and has been around for decades. Why? Well, consider the Scout Oath. The promise to “do my duty to God and my country” requires a trigger warning for many leftists. My God, who is this God to which they refer? And “my country” rings a bit xenophobic, wouldn’t you say?
The oath also mandates that a good Boy Scout be “morally straight,” which does not exactly fit with the left’s judgment-free and value-free teachings.
Anyway, you get the point. Something about this 2-million-strong organization has been bugging progressives for a long, long time. Scouts strive to be wholesome, patriotic, and devout, the very antithesis of radical leftism.
But there is something the left loathes with even more passion: President Donald Trump. So when the president spoke to the annual Boy Scout Jamboree this week, it formed the perfect storm of animosity.
It is absolutely undeniable that President Trump went a bit overboard. A Boy Scout Jamboree isn’t the ideal place to mock your political opponents, nor to promote legislation and boast about your victory. As is his wont, the president got caught up in the moment and carried it too far. Way too far.
At the same time, the tens of thousands of scouts sure seemed to enjoy themselves the entire time. At one point, they burst into a spontaneous chant of “We Love Trump.”
So Trump was over-the-top, his audience ate it up, and there was no real harm done. But then the left wing and the media, pardon the redundancy, went absolutely, totally berserk.
The New York Daily News called the president’s talk a “self-congratulatory speech punctuated by jingoism.” The HuffPost described it as an “embarrassing spectacle,” while one columnist seriously declared it “an impeachable offense.”
That criticism was mild compared to all the tweeters who immediately trotted out the usual Hitler comparisons. The reliable Michael Moore called the rally “a scene out of Triumph of the Will,” a Nazi propaganda film. Not content with that, Moore added that it constituted “shocking abuse of children.”
Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, a former judicial adviser to President Obama, wrote this: “If I close my eyes, I see a sea of brown shirts, Germany, 1938.” This preposterous hyperbole comes from a man who was on President Obama’s short list for the Supreme Court. Open your eyes, professor, before the Scouts annex Mexico.
This is not to say that one bad behavior excuses another, but those Trump-haters might consider the following.
In 2012 President Obama visited a high school in Virginia and got into full campaign mode. The president told the students their futures were at dire risk if a certain college loan program was cut. He also urged them to tweet messages to their members of Congress, and to have their parents do the same.
Inappropriate? Perhaps. But it essentially went unmentioned by the media that tended to fawn over Barack Obama. They also gave him a pass when he routinely used mass shootings to promote gun control.
The point is not that President Trump did the right thing at the jamboree. He is an unpredictable man who says and does many unpredictable things, which is about the only predictable thing about him.
But, come on! He can’t be compared to Hitler every time he does something that is not considered “presidential.” It is not the end of the republic every time he makes some wayward joke or tweet.
No matter what he does, President Trump will face withering criticism from all directions, especially from the unhinged left. Knowing that, the best advice to the president comes from the Boy Scouts themselves and the motto they’ve followed for 120 years: Be Prepared, Mr. President, Be Prepared!