The left is still freaking out that right-wing talk show legend Rush Limbaugh was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Here’s why they need to calm down…
The Presidential Medal of Freedom was established by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and was meant to “recognize any person who has made an especially meritorious contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
So, basically, it’s an honor that can be given for just about anything. Determining recipients is the sole discretion of the executive branch and the President has broad discretion to select individuals to receive it. Sometimes, the award is used for political reasons, to gain positive media attention, reward supporters, or establish their legacy.
President Obama holds the record for the highest number of recipients awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom during his administration with 115 individuals. Presidents Reagan and Clinton are tied at second with 86 individuals during their respective eight years in the White House, followed closely by George W. Bush with 81 recipients.
President Trump selected Rush Limbaugh to receive the award soon after the man with the “talent on loan from God” announced from his golden microphone that he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer.
Rush is as beloved on the right as much as he is reviled on the left. So, naturally, there were both cheers and jeers at the move.
Limbaugh is an individual who is well-deserving of the honor. Not only did he invent the conservative talk radio template, he did it with half of his brain tied behind his back. He is intelligent, entertaining, engaging, and very funny. Limbaugh’s real-time reaction to news paved the way for conservative content creators, bloggers, and podcasters to push back against the monopolistic Media(D) and get their message out. Every person involved in conservative media owes a debt of gratitude to Rush.
Limbaugh didn’t just carve out a lane for conservative media, he used his significant platform to raise millions of dollars for worthy causes — for years he has raised money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation; and most recently, the Stephen Stiller Tunnels to Towers Foundation.
That’s why many conservatives watched this moment with tears in their eyes:
ICYMI: Rush Limbaugh's priceless reaction to President Trump awarding him the Medal of Freedom during the State of the Union address. pic.twitter.com/5H79ZNarRF
— MRCTV.org (@mrctv) February 9, 2020
But, they left insists that Rush is a hatemonger and responded in the most atrocious manner.
AOC said that Rush is a “racist” and the President choosing to give him the Presidential Medal of Freedom “cheapens” the award. Former Vice President Joe Biden also slammed Rush saying that he “belittled” and “divided” people. Bitter Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said she initially thought that the President was going to honor civil rights icon and Congressman John Lewis(D-GA) who also recently announced that he was suffering from Stage 4 cancer. She was also upset that the President chose to give Limbaugh the award in a joint session of Congress during the State of the Union address rather than in a special ceremony a the White House.
But, as mentioned earlier, the award is at the President’s discretion, not the Speaker of the House.
Besides, some of Obama’s numerous Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients have not done near as much as Rush Limbaugh has to make America a better place.
The archives of the Obama White House lists the individuals that President Obama gave the award to. Among them are Robert DeNiro, Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Streisand, Tom Hanks, Bill and Melinda Gates — all who have voiced opposition to President Trump and, in some cases, Republicans in general.
“i cAnT bElIeVe rUsH lImBaUgH gOt a mEdAl oF fREeDoM” pic.twitter.com/JM8GeMPQEO
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) February 9, 2020
Can you think of a more controversial and partisan pick than this? I can’t.
By the way, and President Trump wasn’t the first one to surprise someone with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Remember when Barry surprised Sleepy Joe with the award?
Perhaps everyone can just calm down a bit and recognize that this particular award, more than any other, is at least somewhat subject to the political leanings of the President who awards it and just leave it at that.