Recently there has been a lot of buzz about Mike Huckabee's comments about Barack Obama not being a Boy Scout or a Little Leaguer. Some have suggested racism in this while others have countered that the whole "Boy Scout" thing isn't even relevant to the typical American experience. As for me, I think that Mike Huckabee's comments simply reflect a lack of thoughtfulness on a number of levels.
First of all, Scouting isn’t strictly an American organization. It was started by Robert Baden-Powell, who was a British general who started the movement for British boys. Further, there are Scout organizations in 161 countries around the globe, including Indonesia and Kenya as well as the good ol’ USA. So wherever Barack Obama was growing up, he probably knew a Scout or two even if he wasn’t one himself. And I have no way of knowing if he was a Scout or not, so I have to wonder how Mike Huckabee would know.
Second, if Mike Huckabee was ever a Scout, he probably knows about the rule that the Scout uniform can’t be worn at a political event. And if he knows about this rule, then it’s a good bet that he realizes that it’s very bad form to use the name of Scouting in the manner that he is. Why he continues to do this is anybody’s guess.
Finally, as an Eagle Scout who was born and raised right here in the USA, I find that my world view is closer to Barack Obama’s than Mike Huckabee’s. I’m reasonably sure that other notable Eagle Scouts like Steven Spielberg and Michael Moore, as well as many other current and former Scouts, would feel the same way. So I have to wonder why Mike Huckabee is sticking with this broad-brush approach, as it would tend to marginalize more Americans than it attracts.