Avatar of admin

by

Here's how Trump's use of the Presidential Medal of Freedom differs from what Obama did

November 16, 2018 in Blogs

By Christopher Divine, E. Fletcher McClellan, Kyle C. Kopko, The Conversation

These ceremonies, which normally occur once or twice per year, provide Americans with an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of various people who have made an important contribution to U.S. culture.


President Donald Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Nov. 16 to recipients including Babe Ruth, Elvis Presley, Antonin Scalia, Orrin Hatch, Roger Staubach, Alan Page and Miriam Adelson. It is the nation’s highest civilian honor.

These ceremonies, which normally occur once or twice per year, provide Americans with an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of various people who have made an important contribution to U.S. culture. Because the president selects recipients with total discretion – American or otherwise, living or dead –- this award also says a lot about the president himself.

What achievements or contributions does the president consider important? What groups of people most easily win his favor? And how does he hope to shape his legacy, judging by the company that he chooses to keep?

To find out, we’ve analyzed every Presidential Medal of Freedom ever awarded, and the presidents who awarded them – including Trump.

What is the Presidential Medal of Freedom?

The award was established by President John F. Kennedy, in 1963, 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.”

As a unilateral power of the executive branch, presidents have broad discretion to choose recipients. But presidents often use the award for political purposes – to gain positive media attention, shape their legacy or reward their supporters.

Our research shows that the politicization of the medal has increased over time. Before 1981, Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremonies were sporadic, and recognized only about five recipients at a time.

This changed when President Ronald Reagan – a media-savvy, former Hollywood actor – began hosting large ceremonies designed to maximize public attention. President Barack Obama has since raised the bar. In 2016, he awarded 20 medals to recipients including athletes like Michael Jordan and entertainers like …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.