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.
Sadly, the @boyscouts are now in a position of having to disavow statements made by the president, but that's what they must do.
— Ted Genoways (@TedGenoways) July 25, 2017
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.
Trump talked about how your members can "finally say Merry Christmas" again
Don't you have Jewish and Muslim members?
— ᖇ૯ძ ᑭคɿՈ੮૯Ր (@Redpainter1) July 24, 2017
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.
Trump says Obama never spoke at a Boy Scouts jamboree. Obama was an actual Boy Scout (probably around the time Trump was dodging the draft).
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) July 24, 2017
However, not all the online responses were negative, with many of Trump’s supporters cheering on his actions.
Globalists are in a rage over President Trump's speech to the Boy Scouts of America – that's usually a sign it was a fantastic decision.
— Stefan Molyneux (@StefanMolyneux) July 25, 2017
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.