A Political Lesson from Boy Scouts

One reason I think I’ll never care to be a politician comes from a painful, but very important lesson from my time in Boy Scouts. I think I was the only Scout to reach Eagle in my Troop who had never been inducted into the Order of the Arrow. Supposedly, to be inducted meant your fellow Scouts considered you worthy of the elite nature of the group, including meetings and events just for those who were part of the Order.
As a Boy Scout, we’re taught to live by Scout laws.
A Scout is …
  • Trustworthy
  • Loyal
  • Helpful
  • Friendly
  • Courteous
  • Kind
  • Obedient
  • Cheerful
  • Thrifty
  • Brave
  • Clean
  • Reverent
I kind of wish politicians at least promised to live by laws that governed their behavior so the rest of us could uniformly agree on how they should behave. Everyone “assumes” they know what a politician should do, but our diverse assumptions lead only to divisive behavior amongst each other.
Trouble is, even in as great a Troop as I was a part, Scouts were ultimately as governed by their petty love of popularity as anyone else. Even in an environment led by quality scoutmasters and honorable men who sought to teach us how to be the best in our world and supported by parents who wants us to learn and grow, we were still subject to our baser instincts.
I was never voted into the Order, even as scouts less capable than me were voted in. While we could argue about my social awkwardness and how much of that has changed, I learned that what most people call honorable and elite is really little than a popularity contest.
Politics is little different. We elect people based on how much we like them, not their actual track record or ability to do the job. We elect politicians because on how they make us feel — are they attractive and graceful? Are they incendiary and promise to push our culture over other cultures we hate? Are they going to promise kindness or control over other people we don’t have, ourselves?
I hope you take a keen look at politics and asked yourself why you put your hope in it. Politics is little more than grandstanding by puppets and puppeteers. Ultimately, it matters not who our president is — he who controls our money is truly in charge, and I promise you …
It wasn’t Obama, and it isn’t Trump. They won the popularity contest. Obama by looking pretty and inspiring frustrations, Trump by looking rebellious and inciting frustrations. Obama divided our nation and left us 9T more in debt — say what you will about his attempts to help people, he left us all poorer for the need to pay off such a massive burden. Trump’s protectionist policies will destroy hope for our poor — they are always the first to suffer when you levy heavy tariffs — and his roughshod election of weak cabinet leadership will ultimately inspire greater hatred from both sides of the aisle for each other.
So much current cultural conflict stems from a false hope in pretty bureaucrats who promise to do for the people what the people ought be doing for themselves — educating our own children, helping the poor, caring for the widows and needy, paying for our own streets and managing our own policing and civil defense.
Get government out of life before its incendiary “us vs them” mentality drives us into further division.

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