White House photo

Donald Trump is not a Boy Scout. In fact, he represents just about everything scouts are not supposed to be.

While the reputation of the scouting movement has been tarnished by scandal in recent years — far less scandal than that in Trump’s Washington — scouts are taught to aspire to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. These values are the tenets of the Boy Scout Law. More than 40 years after being a scout, these teachings remain ingrained.


It’s clear these scouting concepts of honor and respect are mostly foreign to the current president. About the best we can say of the president in relation to this list is that he appears to be clean hygienically, although his mouth may need some soap. (Mine too.)

Trustworthy. The president has told more than 20,000 false or misleading claims during his presidency. A scout doesn’t lie.

Loyal. Trump seems to be loyal to underlings, as long as they play his game. Once they say or do something he doesn’t like, he drops them like a hot potato. Examples: Former FBI Director James Comey, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, former Chief of Staff John Kelly. Note the word “former.”

Helpful. Nope. Trump is a narcissist interested in only helping himself. Look to recent reactions after hurricanes and wildfires. He has no empathy for others and little sense of wanting to help others. Just ask Dreamers, minorities, immigrants, farmers saddled with tariffs and lots more.

Courteous. He walks off planes first, leaving his wife in his wake. Enough said.

Kind. Help me with an example of this. When has Trump, the great business “deal-maker” who loves to fire people, ever been truly kind? Mostly, he seems to scowl or bully.

Obedient. Not only does he not obey Boy Scout Law, but he’s loose on following American law. Just look at the scores of lawsuits he faced before being president and during his term on everything from sexual misconduct and assault to financial manipulation, illegal campaigning, collusion and more.

Cheerful. Right — if you consider a bully to be cheerful. 

Thrifty. Under Trump, who favors gold bathroom fixtures, the national debt increased $5.2 trillion in his first three years of office — an astronomical amount that was unimaginable just a few years ago.  

Brave. He’s a draft-dodger. Trump received four education deferments for being in college during the Vietnam War and another after graduation for medical reasons — bone spurs on his heels, reportedly as a favor by a doctor to Trump’s father.

Clean. He’s squeaky here — on everything but morals and ethics.

Reverent. Trump fumbled with a Bible as a prop in a much-criticized June photo op in front of St. John’s Church across from the White House. He rarely attends church. But he does go to the golf course a lot.

In today’s globally-connected, fractious world, none of our leaders can be expected to be Boy Scouts every day, but President Trump’s blatant disregard for societal norms of decency make him ill-suited to be leader of the free world and commander-in-chief. Since he took office in January 2017, he’s shown time and again how he is not a role model for current scouts or our nation. It’s time for a change.

Enough is enough.

Andy Brack is publisher of Charleston City Paper. Have a question or comment? Send to: feedback@charlestoncitypaper.com.