Forget Trump’s Boy Scout speech. Let’s talk about Girl Scouts and STEM.

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

Many people across the country were appalled by Donald Trump’s rambling and boorish political speech to the Boy Scouts of America National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia.

The insecure braggart-in-chief found a way to work in:

  • Insults to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Washington, and the news media.
  • An incoherent anecdote hinting about a fellow real estate mogul’s sexual escapades aboard a yacht.
  • A threat to fire a member of his Cabinet if the Affordable Care Act isn’t repealed.
  • Indoctrination of the Boy Scouts and their families in the crowd into becoming worshipers at the Altar of Trump.

Many Scouting families and former Scouts took to Twitter and the BSA Facebook page to register outrage, threatening to stop donating to the organization and to take their sons out of Scouting. Many demanded that the BSA issue an apology and some kind of statement distancing the Boy Scouts from Trump’s inappropriate conduct. They were not satisfied with the BSA’s initial tepid response.

Even worse was the realization that the president of the BSA, Randall Stephenson, is also the president of AT&T, which needs the Trump administration’s approval for an $85 billion deal to merge with Time Warner. Under Stephenson’s leadership, with so much money on the line, it wasn’t likely that the Boy Scouts were going to take Trump to task.

But the BSA chief executive, Michael Surbaugh, did issue a real apology. “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. … 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.”

So instead of dwelling on such unpleasantries, let’s take a break from the constant beat of the Trump drum and celebrate the fact that the Girls Scouts of America just introduced 23 new badges in the outdoors and STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math.