As the 2012 presidential campaign season draws to a close, President Obama and Gov. Romney continue to suggest that the other is somehow "out of touch." Obama complains Romney is too wealthy to appreciate the concerns of those less fortunate. Romney charges Obama is indifferent to pressures on small business owners, and the working Americans that they employ. In essence, both of them hope to win the presidency by convincing voters of the silly notion that they are really "just like us."
All of this political theater suggests a broader question: Who is really "in touch," and why would anyone want them to be president?"
It is my great privilege to serve as the president of the Susquehanna Council, Boy Scouts of America. That Council serves all Scouting families in a five county region, including both Clinton and Lycoming. After 46 years in this program (which is now 102 years old), I am fairly convinced that the values of Scouting may be "out of touch."
Our culture in general, and our federal government in particular, seem to have drifted far away from the principal of personal responsibility; the bedrock of a democratic society. In contrast, Scouts pledge to "Do my Duty to God, and my Country." Beginning as early as First Grade, Tiger Cubs come to understand that their private needs and wants might not come first. By the time a young man graduates the Scouting program, he appreciates a higher duty to the common good. Does that make us "out of touch"?
Volunteer fire companies, service clubs, churches, the Red Cross, and numerous other community organizations struggle to recruit dependable volunteer help. When young people are not in school or at work, they are often content to occupy themselves for hours on end with television, internet chat, or video games. In contrast, Scouts are required to regularly participate in community service projects, culminating in the legendary "Eagle Scout Project." Does that make us "out of touch"?
It seems to me that the values of Scouting are "out of touch" with the world of reality television, with our culture's sense of entitlement, and with the "winner take all" notion that no one owes a duty to others. It appears abundantly clear that we are "out of touch" with all of that. And as a life-long Boy Scout, I am very proud that we are.