by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Monica Showalter of the American Thinker responds to criticism of President Tump’s choices for the Presidential Medal of Freedom: Elvis Presley, Babe Ruth, Antonin Scalia, Orrin Hatch, Miriam Adelson, Roger Staubach, and Alan Page.
I don’t see anything debasing about the list. The choice are a presidential prerogative, whether the president is a Republican or a Democrat. That there are celebs such as football players and singers on the list is hardly a disgrace in itself, given that many of these people were tremendously successful and influential in their lifetimes, either past or present. Nor are they anything new: Obama broke that ground and rolled out the medals for the celebs – his last big medal-fest included talk show host Ellen de Generes, Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, actors Tom Hanks, Robert de Niro and Robert Redford, singer Diana Ross, rich people Bill and Melinda Gates, and basketball stars Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan. Some I suppose could be argued might deserve it based on their acclaim, but it’s also noteworthy that most all of them were leftists, as well as big donors to Democrats, even as they had their successes. Let’s just say they are what they are and they got the medals.
Now Trump does the same thing, with significantly fewer names, given that he’s not handing them out like candy as Obama did, and the left is crying foul – particularly about Miriam Adelson, who is the wife of Sheldon Adelson, which is unforgivable to the left. Shel didn’t get anything, but she did, and for good reason: She’s a doctor, and she’s done ground-breaking research in one of the most difficult and thankless of fields, addiction recovery, not a small thing in the era of the opiate epidemic.