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RememberSchiff

Scouting ties in the Trump Administration

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Give or take a few votes, one could always conclude for the most part our society is pretty much evenly polarized.  It always has been, but how both sides adjust makes the difference.  In the 1860's they had a difficult time accepting a president that only garnered 39% of the popular vote.  For those who have forgotten their history lessons from school, it's going to be a difficult lesson to re-learn.

 

The polarization has been worse in the past - and it has been better.  How evenly sized the groups at extreme ends of the multi-spectrum have been has also varied.  

 

What alarms and saddens me is that we are at a stage where "the other side" is viewed as not merely wrong but positively evil.  "As we support right, those that oppose us mus be supporting wrong."  Viewed that way, "compromise" is seeing that "our" side gets at as much as possible of what "we" want and the "other side" gets nothing.

 

And the extremes control the story. 

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There were some references to Scouting at the Secretary of State hearing yesterday. Here is a quote from Mr. Tillerson regarding the need for leadership and accountability.

 

In recent decades, we have cast American leadership into doubt. In some instances, we have withdrawn from the world. In others, we have intervened with good intentions but did not achieve the stability and global security we sought. Instead, we triggered a host of unintended consequences and created a void of uncertainty. Today, our friends still want to help us, but they don't know how. Meanwhile, our adversaries have been emboldened to take advantage of this absence of American leadership.

 

In this campaign, President-elect Trump proposed a bold new commitment to advancing American interests in our foreign policy. I hope to explain what this approach means and how I would implement that policy if confirmed as Secretary of State.

 

Americans welcome this rededication to American security, liberty, and prosperity. But new leadership is incomplete without accountability. If accountability does not start with ourselves, we cannot credibly extend it to our friends or our adversaries.

 

We must hold ourselves accountable to upholding the promises we make to others. An America that can be trusted in good faith is essential to supporting our partners, achieving our goals, and assuring our security.

 

We must hold our allies accountable to commitments they make. We cannot look the other way at allies who do not meet their obligations; this is an injustice not only to us, but to longstanding friends who honor their promises and bolster our own national security.

 

And we must hold those who are not our friends accountable to the agreements they make. Our failure to do this over recent decades has diminished our standing and encouraged bad actors around the world to break their word. We cannot afford to ignore violations of international accords, as we have done with Iran. We cannot continue to accept empty promises like the ones China has made to pressure North Korea to reform, only to shy away from enforcement. Looking the other way when trust is broken only encourages more bad behavior. And it must end.

 

We cannot be accountable if we are not truthful and honest in our dealings. Some of you are aware of my longstanding involvement with the Boy Scouts of America. One of our bedrock ideals is honesty. Indeed, the phrase "on my honor" begins the Boy Scout Oath, and it must undergird our foreign policy.

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I think Mr. Tillerson should leave the BSA out of his political statements.

That would be like asking Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi to leave "Grandmother" out of their political statements. 

 

Barry

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IMHO, we should be allowed to reference Scouting and its values in a discussion without any implication of  BSA endorsement.  Isn't this standard broadcast disclaimer now implied - The views and opinions expressed on any program are those of the producers and/or the persons appearing on the program and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of ...?

 

Perhaps it will become politically correct to speak of Scouting and its value outside of Scouting.

 

My $0.02,

Edited by RememberSchiff
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IMHO, we should be allowed to reference Scouting and its values in a discussion without any implication of  BSA endorsement.  Isn't this standard broadcast disclaimer now implied - The views and opinions expressed on any program are those of the producers and/or the persons appearing on the program and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of ...?

 

Perhaps it will become politically correct to speak of Scouting and its value outside of Scouting.

 

My $0.02,

 

I was not referring to what "we" in general might do.  I was referring to what Rex Tillerson did, in the context of this particular speech.

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I flat out tell my church group of kids that what I teach for leadership in the church comes directly out of my scouting experience.  I also make certain that when we talk about doing ministry it is always in the context of "help other people at all times."  They are all fully aware of where those words I use come from.  My church youth group is one service project after another.  They have fund raisers to be able to purchase materials for nursing home lap blankets, buy materials for school kits for kids overseas, a 10% tithe of everything they raise goes to a charity.  They ring bells for Salvation Army, donate blood to the Red Cross, and collect food for the local food pantries.  They sing in the choir, ring bells in the bell choir, teach Sunday School, and serve on the church council all before they turn 18.  The money they raise "for themselves" is for the annual mission trip to an area like an urban setting or rural area that has been hit by economic problems.  They've done the Katrina follow up as well as South Dakota Indian missions.  

 

So, when it comes to Scouting, I do just as much if not more Scouting OUTSIDE of scouting than I do within.  Scouting is something one lives, not just learns and if Tillerson wishes to give credit where credit is due in his life, it's a free country....at least for a while yet.

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There are many things that I teach in the classroom that I learned in scouting.  I don't think there is anything wrong with my attributing them to my experience as a scout.

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I was not referring to what "we" in general might do.  I was referring to what Rex Tillerson did, in the context of this particular speech.

So, should "on my honor" undergird US Foriegn policy? Or, is ruthless pragmatism the rule of the day?

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How does one "best" do his duty to his country?  We defeated the AXIS in part by breaking their codes - reading their mail, as it were.

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So, should "on my honor" undergird US Foriegn policy? Or, is ruthless pragmatism the rule of the day?

 

Generally I would choose the first option, although as Tahawk points out, dealing with other countries sometimes requires things that might seem less than honorable.  I did not say I disagree with the philosophy of what Tillerson said, in fact I generally agree with it.  (I have no reason to believe that the incoming administration will adhere to that philosophy any better than past administrations, in fact it may very well be worse, but I guess we'll find out.)  What I said was that I think he should keep the BSA out of his political statements.

Edited by NJCubScouter
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