Columns, Opinion

American Protest: The Medal of Freedom has lost its honor and meaning

I am not surprised by anything President Donald Trump does or says anymore. I thought I had set the bar as low as it could possibly go, especially in terms of his moral character. 

 But, he accomplished the large feat of surprising me when he awarded conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I think this is about the lowest he could have stooped when awarding someone with such an honor.

 The White House describes this medal as the nation’s highest civilian honor and is awarded to those “who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

 Past recipients of this medal include Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. Awarding Limbaugh tarnishes the medal’s honor and disrespects those who received it in the past and those who actually deserved it.

 I do not understand how a medal is awarded to people who have fought for human rights and then given to a man who said “Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society,” and “When a gay person turns his back on you, it is anything but an insult; it’s an invitation.”  Also, “The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.”

 Trump has completely reversed the medal’s original honor by giving it to a homophobic, sexist white supremacist. It is incredibly disgusting that someone like MLK, who led the fight against racism, now has to share this medal with a racist.

 The craziest part is that there are people who actually applauded this. They think Limbaugh deserved this medal, but I do not see at all how he fits into the definition above. Has he done anything for world peace or America’s national interests?

 It seems to me that all Limbaugh has done is create more hatred and divisiveness in this country while preaching about disliking people for their skin color or sexual orientation.

 An article titled “The Era Of Limbaugh” describes him as having led the modern conservative movement and referred to him as using “scandalous humor.” I do not think it is humorous to say that white people should be the least guilty for racism.

 If anything, all this article does is admit that the core values of the modern conservative movement are sexism, racism and hatred. If Limbaugh is leading the conservative party, then this is what he has been leading with.

 Are conservatives now comfortable enough to admit that they are okay with a white supremacist being the face of their party? President Trump certainly is and for some reason, he also thinks he is worthy of a medal.

 I will admit, this medal is not the worst of the country’s issues. That being said, it does reveal an ugly side of American politics in which many people in this country accept and agree with the horrible things Limbaugh had said in the past.

 Those that agree with Limbaugh lack the very basic values everyone is taught in elementary school — to treat everyone with respect. Limbaugh seems to only respect white, straight men because he spends much of his radio show disrespecting every other type of person.

 If this country cannot even respect people who differ from the supposed norm, then what do we have? People who say the same things Limbaugh says should be shunned and shamed by society. Awarding his atrocious behavior with this high honor to him shows we have a deep-rooted issue in this country.


  1. President Obama awarded it to the producer of Saturday Night Live….

  2. Prof. Armando J. Marti, CAS 81

    Ms. Varner:
    Sadly, I must agree with you. The whole show, because it was a show, was quite disgusting.

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