Thursday, July 27, 2017

Of Values and Tradition

In his apology, the Chief Scout Executive for the Boy Scouts of America Michael Surbaugh wrote: "The invitation for the sitting U.S. President to visit the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition that has been extended to the leader of our nation that has had a Jamboree during his term since 1937. It is in no way an endorsement of any person, party or policies."

In other words, Trump was invited out of habit. "Tradition", if you really must.

He goes on, however: "Trustworthiness, loyalty, kindness and bravery are just a few of the admirable traits Scouts aspire to develop."

Trustworthiness? Trump is a habitual liar. The NYT list helpfully provides sources you can check yourself.

Loyalty? Trump is, at the moment, attacking the first senator to endorse him. His business dealings left a trail of betrayed partners. Alaska gave him a nearly 15-point win over Clinton, but because their senator voted against the Obamacare repeal, he is threatening retaliation on the state. Don't take my word for it, look those up.

Kindness? Even die-hard supporters would agree (gleefully) that Trump is an asshole. He insulted women, Muslims, Mexicans, a disabled reporter, a POW war hero, foreign leaders, you name it.

Bravery? Trump got five deferments from military draft. He played squash, football, and tennis, but somehow had a bone spur that exempted him while other young men of his age fought and died. Whatever you thought of the Vietnam War, he certainly didn't seem to do anything except to find ways to avoid it himself.

In other words, Trump exemplified none of even the short list of what Scouts aspire to, so inviting such a counter-example shows a remarkable lack of judgement, and hiding behind "tradition" is a feeble excuse. It's something of a tradition for champion sports teams to visit the White House, but many have declined because of Trump. You simply cannot paper over the words and deeds of this man.

When Tradition contradicts your Values, there's no avoiding a choice, and the Scouts certainly chose just as Republicans have. It's deeply disappointing to have no more doubt that so many Americans are such utter hypocrites.