It’s Like This By Bob Palmer

A meritless badge

The long black convertible crunched along slowly on the gravel road lined with thousands of cheering Boy Scouts. Standing several rows back, my view was limited and the 8 mm movie camera in front of my right eye didn’t help either.

As President Eisenhower’s car drew level with me, I ran out of film.

Despite my flawed experience, my first glimpse of a president of the United States remains one of the highpoints of the 1960 Boy Scout Jamboree for me.

The Jamboree that year was held in Colorado Springs, Colo. Only 12 at the time, I was one of the younger scouts, there. One memory that stuck was they fed us peanut butter and sardines the first night.

The general assemblies were also important with Scouts from all states and many nations gathered in a large field. Although Scouting is allegedly non-political, this was a presidential election year. The Massachusetts boys sat in front of the Texas delegation. We would chant pro-Johnson slogans supporting our Texas senator. The kids from up North replied with pro-Kennedy cheers.

I suspect Scouts today are also pretty politically aware. Nothing Donald Trump said when he visited the Jamboree in West Virginia would come as a shock. That, however, does not explicate nor excuse the President.

Two possible explanations for Trump’s political rant before the Scouts have occurred to me.

Donald Trump has a terrible handicap when it comes to politics. He started at the top.

Even a freshman State Representative knows some venues are not appropriate for political remarks. If you visit the local Rotary Club you talk about new laws recently enacted and the good works of some state agencies. If asked to speak to the Boy Scouts, you wrap yourself in the American Flag and talk glowingly of the “greatest nation on earth.”

Trump’s naiveté has tripped him up repeatedly on this maiden voyage and I fear will do so again. Even if Donald did not know better, someone…

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