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Donald Trump Generates Controversy in Speech to Boy Scouts

Yesterday, Donald Trump stirred up some controversy during a campaign-style speech to more than 30,000 boy scouts at their annual Jamboree in West Virginia. Early on in the speech, Trump said he would not be speaking about politics. But soon the President’s speech turned political as he went on to rail against Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the alleged “War on Christmas.”

The Boy Scouts in the audience were largely supportive of Trump’s speech, happily cheering him along and booing his opponents. But once word about the speech began to spread online, many people began to voice their displeasure with Trump’s tactics. Most complaints came from the idea that it was inappropriate for Trump to give such a partisan speech in front of a young, impressionable audience that was likely to cheer the President on no matter what he said.

During his speech, Trump also said that people would finally be able to say “Merry Christmas” again, referencing the “War on Christmas” and the fact that many feel they are now forced to say “Happy Holidays” instead. Trump was likely trying to appeal to the Boy Scouts as a religious group. And while it is true the Boy Scouts are a religious organization, they are not explicitly tied to one religion. And many still felt these statements were exclusionary and wrong.

Perhaps the largest response was by those who felt it was inappropriate to attack Obama. Trump pointed out the fact that Obama never spoke at Jamboree during his time in office, only appearing once in a video message in 2010. However, several people noted that Obama himself was a boy scout growing up, while Trump was not.

However, not all the online responses were negative, with many of Trump’s supporters cheering on his actions.

Many have gone so far as to demand the Boy Scouts officially condemn Trump’s speech, saying it sends the wrong kind of message about the organization as a whole. As of now, the Boy Scouts have made no official statement in regards to the speech.