An Open Letter To Lee Kamps

Dear Mister Kamps:

In your last piece, you cherry-picked a few incomparable excerpts from the speeches given by Lyndon Johnson and Donald Trump at the 1964 and 2017 Boy Scout Jamborees then compared them to conclude that “...our current President couldn't hold a candle to LBJ.” 

The excerpts you chose from LBJ's speech were examples he used of the “American idea” to lead-in to his asking for political support when he said:

As a result, in America we have a Government which exists to protect the freedom and enlarge the opportunities of every citizen. That Government is not to be feared or to be attacked.”

He went on to say the “Government in Washington must often seem far away, must often seem very difficult to understand” and he asked for understanding. 

To understand Johnson's speech, you have to understand the context. In 1964 this country was as divided as it is today. Just prior to Johnson's speech he had signed the Civil Rights Act and the Vietnam protests had started. When he said the Government exists to “protect the freedom and enlarge the opportunities of every citizen” he was justifying the Civil Rights Act which he worked with Republicans to pass in spite of the objections from Democrats. When he said, “That Government is not to be feared or to be attacked” he was asking for an end to the civil rights violence and Vietnam protests. 

From Trump's speech you used excerpts in which he used his election victory as an example of doing the impossible. That was a lead-in to his charging the Boy Scouts to attempt the impossible. He said: 

Your lives will have meaning, and purpose and joy. You will become leaders, and you will inspire others to achieve the dreams they once thought were totally impossible. Things that you said could never, ever happen are already happening for you. And if you do these things, and if you refuse to give in to doubt or to fear, then you will help to make America great again, you will be proud of yourself, be proud of the uniform you wear, and be proud of the country you love.” 

I doubt that anyone will ever accuse Trump of being a great orator. But if you look at what was said, not how it was said, the speeches summarize as: LBJ used the “American idea” to ask for political support; Trump used his election and administration to inspire the Boy Scouts to attempt the impossible. So when the radical left accuses Trump of breaking with tradition and interjecting political rhetoric into his Boy Scout speech, it is no more than the usual spin, innuendo, half-truths and lies. 

Following your false conclusion, you asked “...what would those Boy Scouts of 2017 remember from their President fifty years from now?” They will remember the part I quoted. In fact, after he said it they wildly applauded and began chanting, “USA! USA! USA!” And what did the scouts remember of Johnson's speech? Apparently nothing. In your piece you said you were in attendance for Johnson's speech and the only thing you remembered about it was an airplane flying overhead. 

Since I answered your question, perhaps you'll answer one for me. I suspect you know the excerpts you chose were out of context and not comparable. Your real objective was to smear Trump even though just prior to the election, when you believed that Clinton was going to win, you wrote a piece in which you said we are all Americans and we needed to get behind the new administration. Then Trump won and you've done just the opposite ever since. There's a word for that. And there's also a word for the tactics you use: McCarthyism. 

The McCarthy hearings were a low point in the history of this country. He ruined a lot of peoples' lives with his smear campaign. The end for McCarthy came quickly after his famous exchange with Joseph Welch during which Mister Welch asked him, “Have you no sense of decency, sir?” 

And that's my question to you and the rest of the radical left who are using those tactics today.


Corbin Luna

Corbin Luna

Corbin Luna is an old grouch who has been retired for twenty years and doesn't like to sit around talking about the weather.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 8:44 AM, 10.05.2017