American politics found a new theater this week, and with it an unsuspecting audience. When President Trump addressed the Boy Scouts of America at their National Jamboree, most of his audience was tweenage boys, away from home for perhaps the first time, frenzied with energy and pumped with the mob mentality of a rock concert. They were primed, and as tradition dictates, welcoming of their invited guest.
Things got weird, however, when the president, rather than stick to the customary nonpartisan script, used the opportunity to promote his political agenda to people who’ll never be old enough to vote for him, encouraging them to cheer and chant (and jeer) for things they did not understand.
We understand that the president is a polarizing figure, and two-fifths of the country probably agreed with a lot of his exhortations. We’re putting the content aside for now and focusing on the man and his conduct in front of 35,000 boys. We knew when Mr. Trump took office that the image of the Father-In-Chief was about to take a hairpin turn, and this performance embodies much of what we’re trying to change—as well as the greater difficulty his bully pulpit poses.
Urging kids to boo his predecessor was inconsiderate at best, and certainly disrespectful. Now these boys, gathered to honor strength of character, will have theirs questioned by no fault of their own, adding one more layer of baggage that they must carry, the weight of it bending them when they should be growing.
Everything is a lesson, and this is no different. The question is: What are these boys learning?
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And this? This is just wonderful:
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