To be frank, I can’t find any evidence that he was, or he wasn’t. But if I had to guess, no, Donald Trump was not a Boy Scout. Growing up in the milieu he did, it’s not likely. Billionaires don’t usually send their sons off packing without a helicopter backup. But I suppose it’s possible. Let’s say he was. How good a scout was he? In fact, if he was, how good a job of internalizing what Scouts are supposed to embody has he done?
It’s easy enough to guess. All you have to do is look at what all Boy Scouts have always had to remember–the 12 laws of scouting, as they’re called. Every scout has to remember them, and try to live accordingly. And you know what? We probably do remember all of them. What Scouting was always about, as Paul Fussell reminded us in the 1970s in his still-magnificent review of The Boy Scout Handbook, is service. And that’s embodied in the 12 rules. So how does Trump stack up? Let’s see, a Scout is:
Trustworthy–well, Scout Donald lies all the time, and cheated on two of his three wives, and there are allegations about the third. Forget the allegations. He promised to help veterans in his campaign, and one of the first acts of his administration was to scrub the White House website designed to help veterans find jobs–and it was actually a successful program. Enough said on that. (Another good example, as Fussell pointed out, is “A scout does not bomb and invade a neutral country, and then lie about it.”)
Loyal–Hmmm, I don’t really have to guess on this one either–see Trump’s marital history.
Helpful–there should be some empirical evidence that Trump has actually been helpful to someone, given his many boasts on the topic. And there are, I’m sure. I just can’t find too many of them. When you google this sort of question, you get stuff like this.
Friendly–I think even his supporters aren’t going to bother with this one.
Courteous–this would be where the film of his making fun of a disabled reporter should come in. Although some might prefer his cold-shouldering his wife in front of the Obamas.
Kind–I think we can safely ignore this one.
Obedient–this was always the one I wasn’t a fan of, so I’m going to let it pass. Still, I have this image of young Scout Donald telling his troopmaster to fuck off when being told to gather firewood that I can’t get out of my head.
Cheerful–Does this guy ever smile in a way that is believable? His whole life has been lived as a process of getting even with people he doesn’t like, and it shows.
Thrifty–Hmmm, how many times have Trump companies collapsed under the weight of their own debt?
Brave–as Andy Borowitz (with tongue in cheek) has pointed out, Trump fought off the Viet Cong by staying in the US. Bush at least went through some of the motions of being patriotic. Why veterans claim to like this guy is baffling.
Clean–well, he does look clean, aside from his alleged sexual proclivities.
Reverent–hah. He has somehow managed to become beloved of the Religious Right in spite of being multiply divorced, which never seems to bother them. My personal notion of what Christianity is about seems to be somewhat different from theirs, apparently.
What a crappy Boy Scout.