Dueling presidential speeches: Obama to schools, Trump to Boy Scouts
On 24 July 2017, President Donald Trump delivered a controversial, profanity-and-politically-laced 38-minute speech at the Boy Scouts Jamboree in West Virginia.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 25, 2017
On 8 September 2009, President Barack Obama delivered a 16-minute “back to school” speech, urging students to stay in school and apply themselves. It was complete with lesson plans, and schools could opt-in. It would become the first of three speeches over the course of his eight years that were broadcast to the nation’s schools. Predictably, it was preceded by GOP objections.
Sean Hannity: “It seems very close to indoctrination.”
Which speech was the most age appropriate? Which violated norms, right-left-center?
Read each speech; they’re side-by-side. Or watch the speech on Internet video (aka YouTube).
I thought I would be able to write a reasoned response after reading the two. I can’t. I am at a loss for words.
‘Tomorrow [we] start our path toward killing this horrible thing known as Obamacare that's really hurting us.
CROWD: USA! USA! USA!’
— Sigve Indregard (@sigvei) July 25, 2017
Trump is actually crowing about his election victory to Boy Scouts. Boy Scouts.
— Ann Telnaes (@AnnTelnaes) July 24, 2017
I have, however, highlighted and lightly annotated Trump’s speech:
- He cursed.
- He called out the news media four times, twice referring to “fake news.”
- He said he wouldn’t talk about politics, but he did, from health care to “the swamp”, from military budgets to economic policy.
- He also talked about the election and Hilary Clinton (“my opponent”) and made a reference to Obama.
- Most of his stories were all about “me, me, me.”
There was nothing to annotate in Obama’s speech.
Trump threw a dig at Obama’s not having delivered a speech at the Jamboree. BSA invited Obama in 2013; he declined, joining a national protest of then-current policy preventing gay members or leaders from joining the organization.
President Trump pointed out that Obama didn't attend the Boy Scouts' Jamboree like he did, encouraging the crowd to boo.
Remember this? pic.twitter.com/Q1bpGcAsC0
— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 25, 2017
Trump was uniquely unqualified to deliver this speech, since he was not a Boy Scout. Another point to differentiate himself from predecessors like US presidents John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama — all of whom were Boy Scouts.
— Holly O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) July 25, 2017
If you want to read more about Trump’s speech, have at it:
- After Trump Injects Politics Into Speech, Boy Scouts Face Blowback, NYTimes
- Boy Scouts of America distances itself from Trump following outrage over speech, Miami Herald
- Boy Scouts on Facebook (angry parent comments)
- Dan Rather on Facebook
- See why Trump’s speech to the Boy Scouts left one person’s stomach ‘in knots’, Deseret News
- Trump speech to Boy Scout Jamboree elicits widespread criticism for its partisanship, and profanity, LATimes
- Trump’s Boy Scouts speech broke with 80 years of presidential tradition, WaPost
- Trump’s political speech to Boy Scouts inspires parental outrage, Winston-Salem Journal
Featured image: Obama Whitehouse Archives