President Donald Trump’s speech to the 2017 National Scout Jamboree has been called a disgrace after the President broke from tradition and used his address to attack his political foes, and even threaten to fire some of his federal employees.
Speaking in Glen Jen, West Virginia, Mr Trump vowed early on not to discuss politics. Then, not soon after, he was labelling the press “fake news”, appropriating portions of the Scout Law to fit his needs, and re-airing grievances about the many people who doubted his 2016 election victory.
“Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?” Mr Trump had asked the crowd, which was mostly young men. He then shifted gears to talk about politics.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) released a statement following the speech, saying that the organisation is non-partisan, and doesn’t “promote any one position product, service, political candidate or philosophy,” according to the comments acquired by a Huffington Post reporter.
“The sitting president serves as the BSA’s honorary president,” the statement read. “It is our long-standing custom to invite the US president to the National Jamboree.”
But former Scouts — many of whom indicated that they had received the organisations highest rank of Eagle Scout — spoke up to criticise Mr Trump’s politicisation of the event.
“As Scouts, we were taught never to make our service about politics,” Ted Genoways, an author and editor-at-large of the Pacific Standard,tweeted. Mr Genoways continued to note conflicting feelings he has toward the organisation — which he says his family has been involved with for decades — but criticised the President for politicising the Jamboree for no apparent reason.
Others tweeted in agreement. Many said they were ashamed by the President’s speech. Many noted their families were involved in the organisation for generations as well. Others expressed embarrassment for being an Eagle Scout after the President’s speech.
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