When Donald Trump addressed the Boy Scouts’ National Jamboree Monday night, nobody could possibly have expected the cluster bomb of impropriety he detonated in the middle of a crowd of kids. From regaling the youngsters with tales of “interesting” yacht outings and real estate moguls, to leading them in a chorus of boos at the expense of Barack Obama, Trump essentially used a gathering that usually represents the best of America as a campaign rally with a captive audience.
That’s just how former CIA Director John McLaughlin saw it, as well:
Trump’s Boy Scout speech had the feel of a third world authoritarian’s youth rally.
— john mclaughlin (@jmclaughlinSAIS) July 25, 2017
In an interview with Business Insider, McLaughlin said the speech “gave [him] the creeps.”
It was like watching the late Venezuelan [President Hugo] Chavez. You want to signal to young people the concept in democracy of loyal opposition, of remaining loyal to government…He was attacking his predecessor for no good reason, and his competitor in the last election. He was showing disloyalty to his subordinates…ranting on about financial stories in New York.
From the Insider:
Trump basically told the Boy Scouts, “don’t respect your opponents, only believe me, and cheer for me,” McLaughlin said. “What message is this giving to young people?”
McLaughlin, a Republican, was not alone in his assessments. In addition to noted conservative commentator Bill Kristol, who McLaughlin was responding to on Twitter, parents of Scouts across the country were outraged. Many threatened to pull their kids from the organization, and some even vowed to returned their badges if the BSA didn’t issue an apology for Trump’s behavior at the Jamboree. The Boy Scouts’ Facebook page was inundated with comments after they posted a half-hearted “perspective” on the president’s visit — a tepid response that did nothing to address the content or tone of the speech.
“The power of the presidency is the power to inspire,” McLaughlin said.
There was nothing inspiring about Trump’s completely inappropriate speech in front of 40,000 kids.
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