A lot happened during the week that I was on vacation. There is one pair of events on which I feel the need to comment. As you know, Trump gave a speech at the Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia that he turned into an “us against them” political rally. He followed that up with a speech to officers in Brentwood, NY where he basically encouraged police brutality (singling out the kind of behavior that led to the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore).
The head of the Boy Scouts felt the need to write a letter of apology for a POTUS speech.
I want to extend my sincere apologies to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree. That was never our intent. The invitation for the sitting U.S. President to visit the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition that has been extended to the leader of our nation that has had a Jamboree during his term since 1937. It is in no way an endorsement of any person, party or policies. For years, people have called upon us to take a position on political issues, and we have steadfastly remained non-partisan and refused to comment on political matters. We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting program.
Police Departments all over the country have felt the need to correct what POTUS said in a speech. Here’s just a sampling:
As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners.
— Suffolk County PD (@SCPDHq) July 28, 2017
READ: The NYPD has responded to Trump’s remarks encouraging police to rough up people they arrest. pic.twitter.com/9nMIkB3UTE
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 29, 2017
I’m a cop.
I do not agree with or condone @POTUS remarks today on police brutality.
Those that applauded and cheered should be ashamed.
— Ben Tobias (@GPDBenTobias) July 28, 2017
— The IACP (@TheIACP) July 28, 2017
These two events don’t have a lot in common. But the tie that binds them is the fact that the President of the United States made remarks in public that were so inflammatory and incendiary that other leaders—who traditionally refrain from making political statements—felt the need to step up to the plate and either apologize or correct the record.
To the extent that we let that kind of thing pass by without comment, we accept that the bar of expectations for POTUS has been lowered to such an extent that this kind of thing is no longer shocking.
I want to go on record to say that I’m shocked and appalled (while not surprised…given the source). Please repeat after me: This is not normal!