Monday, July 24, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He gave a rowdy, occasionally R-rated campaign rally speech--to the Boy Scout Jamboree.

Trump's speech at the annual Jamboree to 30,000 twelve- to eighteen-year-olds featured bragging about his electoral college victory, demonizing the media, rants about Obamacare, and complaints about how Hillary Clinton would be governing if she were president. The centerpiece of the speech was a story about suburban developer William Levitt and the adult activities he enjoyed on his yacht, which Trump coyly left to the Scouts' imagination.

Trump's own aides have routinely reported on the emotional strain that the actual work of the presidency puts on him. Campaign rallies, which Trump began doing almost immediately after taking office, appear to be therapeutic for him. As the forty-minute speech wore on, Trump seemed to forget that he was addressing children too young to have voted for him, gesturing at the audience while thanking "all of you" for their votes.

Unlike the previous two presidents, Trump was not a Boy Scout and doesn't even like going to Camp David, the presidential vacation resort with modern conveniences but a "rustic" theme. Given the nonpartisan nature of the scouting mission, reactions from Republican former Scouts have not been kind, to say nothing of the reaction of parents. In one of the few parts of the speech that actually dealt with the BSA, Trump mentioned that ten members of his cabinet were Scouts. One of them, attorney general Jefferson Sessions, was conspicuous by his absence.

Why does this matter?

  • Not knowing or caring that a situation isn't about you is called narcissism, and it's not a sign of good mental health.