February 4, 2012
LIMA — At a celebration for the 115 Boy Scouts in Northwest Ohio who became Eagle Scouts in 2011, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bob Cupp brought a message of respect and citizenship.“The whole scouting experience is designed, not just to give them skills, but also to encourage them to aspire to higher things and take the knowledge and skills they've learned and put it to work in their community,” Cupp said. As a Lima resident who has reached some higher goals, Cupp hopes to encourage and inspire them.In an age when automatically disagreeing with the other side counts as political discourse, Cupp thinks scouting can make a difference.“I think a lot of our public deliberations have become more coarse, less civil, and it seems to be a slippery slope,” he said. “I think it's really a shame.”“These young men in Scouts are taught to be polite, to be helpful, to be courteous. They can be role models, not only to their peers but also the younger kids who look up to them, and hopefully, they'll pick up those qualities,” he said.On the eve of the biggest sporting event of the year, Cupp said he'd like to see elections get the same level of interest. “The Super Bowl is an interesting thing,” he said. “There's a lot of excitement. But when it's over, what are the long-term consequences? There aren't any, except maybe to the players and the owners.“But when you're talking about citizenship and being involved in selecting your leaders and voicing your opinion on public policy, those things last a long time.”Cupp said that, in general, about half of eligible voters register, about half of those registered actually vote, and the winning candidates often only get about half the vote, meaning a candidate can win with one-eighth of the population voting for him or her.“You have people, by their lack of interest, letting someone else make decisions for them,” he said.