IF ONLY OUR LEADERS WERE BOY SCOUTS

Several years ago I was asked to talk to a group of Boy Scouts about basic economics as a requirement for a merit badge. I don’t remember which one. I really didn’t want to give up my Saturday because Saturday is a day set aside for football watching, and I couldn’t imagine the boys would be too thrilled either. I figured the last thing they would be interested in on their play day was a talk about economics from some egg-headed professor. I needed an attention-grabber to get things started.

The classroom at the college filled with boys from 12 years old to early teenagers, and their Scout Mistresses, which gave me somewhat of a surprise. I expected Scout Masters. I wondered about their camping trips, if the boys did the same things we did when in the woods and how the modern Scout Mistresses would react. Maybe these boys were more civilized than we. But I still needed to break the ice without turning the boys and their leaders off.

I started by saying a scout is “trustworthy…(pause), loyal…(pause), helpful…(pause).” About this time the boys realized what I was saying and joined in. We finished the Scout Law saying “Friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.” I then gave the traditional three-finger Boy Scout salute and said as all the scouts joined in, “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to obey the Scout Law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”

The boys and their mistresses looked somewhat amazed to hear these words coming from sixty-some year-old professor. I explained by saying that these are not merely words. It has been over fifty years since I was a Boy Scout but I have never forgotten them. They meant a lot to me then and they still mean a lot to me. I still try to live by them. I had the attention of both the boys and the mistresses.
If the leaders of our country would live by the Scout Law and the Boy Scout Oath, this would be a much different country today. It would be the key to preserving America as we once knew it and would like it to be again.

The first article of the Scout Law says that a scout will be trustworthy. A scout tells the truth and keeps his promises. People can depend on him. This is not true of the leaders of our country. We can start with the promises made by our president. He said during his campaign that he would cut the budget deficit in half during his first term. He said he did this because the $1.4 trillion deficit in 2009, his first year in office, was Bush’s deficit under his budget. In truth there was no budget that year, and all spending was done through spending bills passed by a friendly Congress. He would close Guantanamo Bay. It is still open. He would have the most transparent administration in history. His has been the most secretive. Obamacare was passed with no one reading the law. The Speaker of the House even said that we must pass the law to find out what is in it. He said that the $870 billion stimulus would bring the economy out of the “great recession” and fund or create shovel- ready jobs. He later laughingly said that there were no shovel-ready jobs. Most of the money was used to reward friends, and the recovery from the recession has been the slowest in history. The most recent were “You can keep your doctor, period,” and “If you like your health insurance plan you can keep it, period.” These were the lies of the year in 2013. He covered up the murders of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi by blaming it on a flash mob angered by a You Tube video. He obviously thought the lie was justified because an election that he wanted to win was coming up shortly. Former Secretary of State Clinton later supported the lie by saying before Congress, “What difference does it make?” It made a lot if difference to the American people. It is not only the president who is not trustworthy. The Internal Revenue Service, probably the most hated “service” provided by the government, punishes conservative groups and other enemies of Obama by increased scrutiny when they were seeking tax-exempt status. The Justice Department charged news people who were unsupportive of the president with crimes of doubtful origin, and allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels and then blamed it on President Bush. They called it “Fast and Furious,” and it made the family of an American immigration officer who was killed by one of the guns extremely furious. The National Security Agency is monitoring e-mail and cell phone conversations of all Americans, an action found unconstitutional by Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court of D.C. Americans are finding health insurance under the “Affordable Care Act” unaffordable. I could go on and on with this because I have not mentioned the trustworthiness, or lack thereof, of local and state leaders, but I tire of the subject. The conclusion is that the leaders of America no longer deserve the trust of the American people.

A Boy Scout is loyal. He is loyal to his family, friends, school, scout leaders, and nation. To whom are our nation’s leaders loyal? Not to their nation, state, or community that they represent. Not to their constituents who elected them. They are narcissists, loyal only to themselves. Their whole purpose in office is to get re-elected. Our leaders need loyalty to the people in the tradition of the Boy Scouts.

A Boy Scout is helpful. He cares about other people and volunteers without expecting anything in return. Our leaders always have their hands out, always expecting something in return for favors granted. Politicians spend the people’s hard-earned money collected in taxes to buy votes. The federal government gave major portions of General Motors and Chrysler to the United Auto Workers. They exempted unions and other favored politically powerful organizations from the Affordable Care Act, which they have found unaffordable. All to buy votes. Our leaders are helpful, but only want to help themselves.

A Boy Scout is friendly to all, to people of all races and nations. He respects them even if their beliefs and customs are “different.” Our leaders have taken their own particular friendliness to the extreme by trying to make friends of our traditional enemies by making enemies of our traditional friends. Our leaders have taken the position that the enemy of our enemy is now our enemy, even though it was previously our friend. We have placed the nation of Israel, our only true friend in the Middle East, in harms way by providing their enemies military weapons to be used to destroy Israel. The nations in the Middle East who are not our friends now will never be our friends, but have sworn to destroy our only friend. Our leaders do not know the meaning of true friendship.

Boy Scouts are both courteous and kind. I lump these together because they can essentially be the same thing. Politicians seem courteous and kind because that is what politics is and what politicians are. But politicians are two-faced. Democrats and Republicans smile at each other and refer to the other as “my good friend.” Don’t believe it. Representative Grayson from Florida said that Republicans’ idea of health care was for the elderly to DIE! I think that’s the idea of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, the “death panel” of Obamacare.

A Boy Scout is Obedient. He follows the rules. He obeys his family and school. He follows the laws of his community and country. If he thinks rules and laws are unfair he tries to change them in a lawful manner instead of disobeying them. The standard of behavior for our nation’s leaders is the United States Constitution. The Constitution details the responsibilities of the three branches of the federal government. The legislative branch (Congress) passes laws. The executive branch, (the president) enforces the laws. The judicial branch (supreme court) determines the constitutionality of the laws. Our current president considers the Constitution a barrier to progress because it will not allow him to do everything he wants to do. That is what the Constitution is supposed to do. It is how our system of checks and balances works. The president tries to accomplish by regulation what he cannot accomplish by legislation. He enforces laws he likes but does not enforce laws he doesn’t like. He illegally is not enforcing portions of the Affordable Care Act he feels will cost democrats votes in the 2014 Congressional elections. Republicans in the House of Representatives are currently preparing a lawsuit charging the president is overstepping his Constitutional powers. Constitutionalists, generally political conservatives, believe that the Constitution is the greatest document ever written and should be enforced as the founding fathers intended. Liberals believe that the Constitution is a “living document” and can be changed according to the whims of those currently in office, as long as they are liberals. Our national leaders are guilty of extreme misbehavior. Our national leaders must obey the laws of our country as we who are former Boy Scouts do.

Boy Scouts are cheerful, as are politicians, but for different reasons. Boy Scouts enjoy socializing, camping, helping others, and life in general. Politicians are also cheerful for the same reasons with the exceptions of camping and helping others. Being cheerful buys votes.

Boy Scouts are thrifty. They work to pay their own way and save for the future. They carefully use time and property. Our national leaders may be thrifty with their own money, but not with the taxpayers’. The national debt stands at $17.26 trillion. On top of that we owe $127 trillion in unfunded liabilities for Social Security, prescription drugs and Medicare. That’s about $145 trillion that the federal government owes and must be eventually paid. States owe $1.2 trillion and local governments owe $1.8 trillion. We Americans are up to our ears in debt. A thrifty Boy Scout would never do that.

Boy Scouts are brave. The Scout Manual says that scouts can face danger even though they are afraid. Many former scouts are now politicians. They and some politicians who were not Boy Scouts are heroes in our wars, misguided as the wars were. I must say that a large number of politicians are brave, but not all in the sense of Boy Scouts. They have to be brave to stand in front of the American people and lie as they do.

Boy Scouts are clean in body and mind. Can’t say too much about this because I don’t know much about the personal life of most national leaders. We do know about Anthony Weiner, who probably kept his body clean because he showed it to girls on line. I can’t say as much for his mind. Joe Biden did say that Barack Obama is “articulate, bright and clean.” So we may assume that President Obama is clean based on what then Senator Biden said. But how trustworthy is Vice President Biden?
A Boy Scout is reverent toward God and he is faithful in his religious duties. He also respects the religious beliefs of others. Not so with our national leaders. There seems to be a war against Christianity in this country. Other religions, primarily Muslims, are allowed to practice their faith freely. During sequester, Catholic priests on contract to the military were threatened with arrest if they volunteered to conduct mass without compensation. They were ordered not to baptize infants, preventing them from going to Heaven, as Catholics believe, if they did not survive. Christians were arrested for quietly discussing their religion on the street in Dearborn, Michigan while a Muslim event was held inside at the annual Arab festival. The schools in Dearborn have a policy of accommodating Muslim prayers in school while prohibiting Christian activity. The ACLU and courts side with the Islam religion against Christianity. The pet phrase is “Separation of Church and state.” During a debate between candidates for the Senate last year, the Republican candidate asked the Democrat where these words appeared in the Constitution. He immediately said the First Amendment. He laughed and the crowd, composed of law students, applauded. They were wrong. The words do not appear in the Constitution. The First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” and goes further to say, “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The latter phrase in the “establishment clause” is either unknown by the anti-Christian left or completely ignored.

Our country will be saved if our national and local leaders will live by the letter of the Scout Law. These words meant something to me when I was young Boy Scout and still do today. Every politician should be required to start every day by holding his or her hand over the heart and reciting the Scout Oath: “I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to obey the Scout Law, to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” And then pledge allegiance to the American flag.

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Posted by at January 11, 2014
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