Gary Horton: A principled nation must purge Trump


So O.J. Simpson is out and Donald Trump is in. What’s next, Charles Manson as Human Resources Secretary after Tom Price gets trashed?

Donald Trump thought he’d speak to a group of 20,000 kids at a Boy Scout Jamboree. Good enough – the hormone-infused, pimply skinned kids could use a good moral chit-chat speech to keep them on the straight and narrow.

Instead, the narcissist in chief just couldn’t help himself and went on to bash Hillary Clinton, disparage former President Barack Obama and boast far and wide about his huge victory nine months ago.

Not enough to turn your gut? He threw a few punches at Health and Human Services Secretary Price for his “lack of loyalty” – even as Price stood by his side. Yes, Boy Scouts, we all know a scout is to be loyal and true. But there’s more than loyalty to being a good scout, and there’s more than bullying to being a good president.

A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.

Obviously, while growing up with that giant silver spoon in his otherwise spewing mouth, Trump didn’t find the time to learn the 12 Points of the Boy Scout Law:

Trustworthy? Russia? Hidden tax returns?

Loyal? Three marriages, stabbing staffers in the back.

Helpful? Are those Tweets helping anything in the world?

Friendly? Only if he can get something from you.

Courteous? You’re kidding.

Kind? Ditto.

Obedient? This might have something kinky to do with that Russian “pee tape.”

Cheerful? Nope; known as the Grouser-in-Chief.

Thrifty? I’m rolling on the floor. Do you know how much he’s spent flying his entourage back and forth to Mar-a-Lago?

Brave? Hah! Five military deferments!

Clean? Yes. Absolutely. Trump is a well-known germaphobe. Clean in mind? Back to floor rolling.

Reverent? Hey, Mr. “Two Corinthians” starts his speech to young Boy Scouts with, “Who the hell wants to speak about politics. …”

I was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout like most boys of my generation. We were in a tough Mission Hills Troop 104, where merit badges came with hard work and Eagle Scouts were rare and revered.

Our Scoutmaster was nurturing but firm and he pushed us up and down mountains as he pushed us on ethics. We were, indeed, trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous and kind. And a swift “redirection” came your way when you stepped too far out of line.

Oh, if Scoutmaster Smith could have been at Trump’s speech Monday. Trump surely would have received a swift reprimand and be barred from the next three camp-outs!

For that level of public stunt Trump might have even been kicked out of our Troop! Instead, revered Scoutmaster Smith is rolling in his grave at the degradation of scouting principles on display at that “presidential” podium.

Might as well have O.J. as keynote speaker for a national conference on violence against women.

It seems our world has been turned upside down. Mean, crass, vulgar, rude, manipulative, unfaithful – these are all “presidential” qualities. Pity the parent whose kids mimic this president. Such behavior may play OK on “reality” shows, wrestling rings, organized crime, and, apparently, today’s politics – but it surely won’t work at Valencia Valley Elementary, at home, or the workplace.

Imagine kids treating teachers or bosses or parents as Trump treats his inner circle and peers. Oh, pity those who have to work with the man.

Most parents, whether of Scouts or not, would still wish the Scout Law character traits for their children. Barack Obama represented these traits. George Bush represented these traits, albeit with poorer English. George H.W. Bush surely represented and still represents these traits.

I don’t think we can follow a leader whose character is so very far from what we would wish for our own kids. How can we ask our kids to “follow” a president so rude, so intentionally offensive, bullying and boorish? “Honey, turn off the TV. The kids are watching and the president is set to speak…”

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is today’s bully target. A man who worked diligently for Trump is now fodder for public humiliation. A man carrying the mantle of the highest legal office in the nation is roughed up on Twitter.

Next week there will be another, then another, and gaffes and insults and gangster tactics will continue ad nauseam.

At some point, at some eventual straw that breaks Republicans’ backs, some brave Republican soul will walk to the national microphone and say of Trump, as Senator Joseph Welch said of Joseph McCarthy, “At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

A president who would be kicked out of most any Boy Scout troop for violations too numerous to list cannot remain the “Leader of the Free World” and the leader of our Scouts, our children, and our nation.

Common decency demands we put an end to this charade of “presidential” conduct.

If we are to remain a principled nation, Trump must simply go.

Gary Horton is a Santa Clarita resident. “Full Speed to Port!” appears Wednesdays in The Signal.

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