Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Lessons from the loss?

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Lessons from the loss?

    Ive heard that there is a group of Republicans meeting to look for reasons why they lost the election.
    So far I haven't got any real hard info. About what reasons they have come up with.

    I'm not a Republican. Maybe it's hard for me to push aside the fact that I don't agree with a lot of what they stand for? It's hard to be objective.
    While I don't agree with them, I do of course respect them and respect that there are people who strongly believe in the party and what it stands for.

    Over the past few decades I've started to believe that both parties have kinda drifted toward the middle of the road.

    The republicans that are looking for reasons why they lost haven't invited me to sit in on any of their meetings. So I don't really know what they have come up with.
    I guess they are looking at the African-Americans.
    For a little while they (The Republicans.) Seemed to be doing a good job of ensuring that African-Americans had a seat at the table.
    However running against a Black President? Must have looked like a no win situation.

    Again I'm guessing that these guys are looking at ways so they come off seeming more attractive to the Hispanic and female voters.
    This might mean taking a long hard look at what they say about immigration and womans rights.
    The bottom line is that at the end of the day they want and maybe need to come off sounding more appealing to a lot more people.

    At the risk of being way off base!
    I can't help but think that the BSA faces many of the same problems as the Republican Party is facing.
    They need to attract more voters and we need to attract more members.

    I'm not sure how far either group is willing to go in order to get what they want?
    Are the Republicans willing to push aside basic Republican principals in order to get votes?
    Is the BSA willing to stand down on keeping God in the Oath?
    Stand down on how it interprets Morally Straight?
    What happens if groups don't bend?
    Do we admire them for sticking with what they deem to be right?
    Even if in the long run this might mean that they will die?
    Or do we push them and help them change?
    Eamonn.

  • #2
    As a former scout and adult scouter who is now ineligible for membership (not religious)it seems to me that the far right wing in America has gained control of the BSA due to its non-democratic structure. The national executive board imposes regulations regardless of the opinion of the adult volunteers. Former chief executive Robert Mazzuca was fond of stating that the vast majority of scouter members were in favor of the exclusive membership policies. I am not so sure. Nearly all of my friends still active in scouting are opposed. Since I and my friends are liberal-leaning this data could be skewed.

    It is hard to tell watching the posts on boards like this one. There are strong opinions both ways. It seems clear to me that some of the hard right wing posters would rather see the BSA continue to decline as long as it continues to support their "values". They don't seem to care that the BSA has largely lost its position as a national icon.

    If this is true, then as long as a minority of ultra-conservatives control the executive board then the BSA will never change its now exclusive nature. If a majority of moderate to liberal members are unwilling to challenge this in order to maintain their existence then this view will prevail ("God save and keep the czar, far away from us").

    I will be very interested in the coming year to see what happens to Randall Stephenson when he takes the reins of the executive board. Will his stated objective to end the current membership policies prevail or will he be slapped down?

    Comment


    • #3
      They don't seem to care that the BSA has largely lost its position as a national icon.

      Well, that's what you'd like to think, eh? Close as I can tell, we still have that position in many ways and in many communities.

      Da story of da BSA's gradual membership decline is not the story of culture wars over gays or atheists, despite what lobbyists on that side would have yeh think. There just aren't that many folks who make decisions about youth programs on that criteria, and most of those wouldn't be BSA members in any event.

      Da story of da BSA's gradual membership decline is largely the story of weakness of leadership and vision at the top, reinforced by in-grown and bloated executive ranks. We haven't had a visionary program person committed to kids since Green Bar Bill, eh? Instead we've had large committees of diffuse responsibility who sorta tinker and slowly erode da program, coupled with a cadre of executives who mostly waste their time maintainin' an out-of-date system while fearfully protectin' their jobs.

      So what we've seen is not a sudden drop-off of members after Dale. We've seen a gradual, steady decline as weak program and vision slowly costs us market share to da expansion of more focused K-8 sports and clubs. Programs with more vision, that demand more commitment, and show more results to kids and parents. Despite that, we still see strong troops holdin' on just fine because we still have unit leaders with strong vision and high levels of commitment, but like as not they are succeeding largely on their own merits and their deeper knowledge of kids and scouting.

      I agree with Eamonn's point, eh? As we've drifted, we've also let da folks without vision stake out untenable and ridiculous positions, from banning toy guns and wheelbarrows to de-emphasizing patrol method and eliminating patrol outings, to "active=registered" advancement, to trumpeting amorphous pablum like "Timeless Values" instead of youth outdoor adventure and leadership. Like da Republicans, da BSA has become da "Organization of NO!" in some ways. Yeh know what it prohibits, but yeh no longer are clear on exactly how it contributes.

      Beavah

      Comment


      • #4
        I think that the potential weakness of the Republican Party and the BSA (if that's what we're trying to compare here) is a willingness to compromise values. The strength of the Democratic Party is a willingness to promise more than can be delivered, and the hope of those willing to listen to believe those promises. I don't know if it's fair to try to make a comparison because while the Republican Party tends to move toward the middle to get votes (mistake?), the BSA is attempting to stand firm. Many don't like that ... many others do. Our society is at war with itself, and I fear we're all going to lose.
        BDPT00

        Comment


        • #5
          the local option....


          Our local unit is much more tolerant of those who are different from us than say units in the bible belt.


          Comment


          • #6
            Da story of da BSA's gradual membership decline is not the story of culture wars over gays or atheists...Da story of da BSA's gradual membership decline is largely the story of weakness of leadership and vision at the top, reinforced by in-grown and bloated executive ranks. We haven't had a visionary program person committed to kids since Green Bar Bill, eh? Instead we've had large committees of diffuse responsibility who sorta tinker and slowly erode da program, coupled with a cadre of executives who mostly waste their time maintainin' an out-of-date system while fearfully protectin' their jobs.

            +1, as the kids like to say. Beavah is absolutely right about this. It's the program, not the politics, that drives membership.

            I will say though, that the culture war issues do perhaps have a negative effect in that they give the weak and visionless leaders an opportunity to focus on something else, andything else. To appear like they're doing something important while they are actually failing in their real responsibilities.

            Comment


            • #7
              "is a willingness to compromise values."

              I don't know about that. The Republican Party has essentially capitulated on the immigration issue based on the results with Hispanic voters in the last election. It will be interesting to see what other issues they give in on if they percieve they need to, to keep their seats in Washington.

              SA

              Comment


              • #8
                Beavah says, "We haven't had a visionary program person committed to kids since Green Bar Bill, eh?" Etc, etc.

                I could not agree more. I think your statement sums up the problem pretty well. There are some issues of national PR that have to do with gays and atheists, but by and large, boys would join and leaders would volunteer to be part of Scouting as it was thirty years ago. Frankly there is just too much BS and most new volunteers and a lot of old, cranky ones like me just don't want to put up with it. The National program is BS and has not responded to our complaints.

                Hence, we continue to drop like flies. This is an oversimplification, but it's the heart of the problem.(This message has been edited by kahuna)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Good post by Kahuna and Beav.

                  Barry

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    While it's NOT the thread topic exactly, I think Beavah has expressed something that (world of worlds!) we all agree on. And better yet, it actually has to do with scouting! Nice, really nice.

                    Now, how do we, as volunteers, move the program to where it ought to be?
                    What do we do with the 'percentage parasites' in Irving?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As I have stated in previous posts, my grievance with the BSA (like many others) concerns the membership policies. As I have been out a long time I am not familiar with the other issues concerning the professional side of the BSA. From the many posts complaining about that I can see it is a big issue.

                      Clearly the BSA has become more conservative and National much more autocratic than in my days in scouting.

                      Any solution gets back to my earlier post in this thread. National is setting policies and doing things that the adult volunteers and parents (the people who should be making the major decisions in the BSA) don't like.

                      What do you do about that? Especially in an institution that has declared itself to be a private religious organization. The executives do not allow decisions to be made by a vote of the volunteers and parents. The more conservative BSA members insist that is the way it should be. If you don't like it you can leave, voluntarily or not. What percentage of adult BSA members agree with that?

                      If a majority of BSA members don't like what National is doing and they won't listen to you, it seems the only solution is some kind of legal action. Is that possible or even desirable?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        >>Clearly the BSA has become more conservative and National much more autocratic than in my days in scouting.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have a vivid memory of one of my days at summer camp staff. I was having a conversation with our District Executive. He was a former WWII fighter pilot, a well-known and pretty powerful personality, known throughout several southwest states. The conversation took place 1970 or 1971, I can't remember.

                          He told me that National had sent all DE's a 10 page memo detailing how to "handle" any women who applied for an SE position (how to turn her down in a correct manner). He was laughing about it and I remember he told me that if a women applied for the job and was qualified he would "handle" the situation by hiring her.

                          I never saw this event happen so I don't know what National would have done if he had hired a woman. But he clearly believed he could do whatever he thought was best for the District/Council.

                          Based only upon what I hear from those of you active in the BSA, I can't imagine any Professional Scouter daring to defy National today.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Packsaddle says, "Now, how do we, as volunteers, move the program to where it ought to be?"

                            The answer to that is fairly simple. Run the program like it would have been in 1960 with some accommodation for paperwork and training requirements. Avoid council events like the plague. Keep commissioners and busybodies out. It can be done, but I'm too old to try it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Kahuna,
                              Kudu would be proud.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X