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The Presidential Medal of Freedom. Really?

A more humbled man I've never seen.
President John F. Kennedy created the award to be the civilian version of our military’s Medal of Honor.  It is to recognize going miles above and beyond anything resembling typical accomplishments and is an incredible honor and should only be awarded when truly merited.  Otherwise, it is like an actor winning an Oscar for being an actor.

According to Wikipedia, The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is the highest civilian award of the United States. It recognizes those people who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

The average annual incidence of award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom is approximately 1 per every 20,500,000 adult U.S. citizens and those awarded with distinction are even rarer.

People who have been awarded the lesser award (without distinction) include Mother Teresa, civil rights leader Philip Randolph, the crew of the Apollo 13 mission, Margaret Thatcher, T.S. Elliot, John Steinbeck, Michael DeBacky, Tony Blair, Chuck Yeager, Norman Rockwell, and Stephen Hawking.

Barack Obama leads all presidents in awarding one of these medals with 123 recipients, including 16 activists, 8 Hollywood actors, 13 singers, Oprah and Ellen, Bill and Melinda Gates, 11 politicians plus Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu, 12 athletes, and now smiling VP Joe Biden with the added bonus of “with distinction”.

I watched the ceremony and have never seen a more humble public servant than Ol Joe as he bowed his head.  It was a performance worthy of – well, an award for acting. I immediately tried to remember one thing Joe Biden has done in the last eight years that would make me say, “Well, he certainly has went above and beyond! Well done, Joe! So being me, I did research.

Well, he was a US Senator for 36 years. He voted to use force in Iraq when G.W. Bush was president. In his second attempt to run for president, he dropped out after securing only 1% of the Iowa delegates. He is the first Roman Catholic and Delawarean to be VP. (Note: I am scratching around including my bald head) He spearheaded the anti-drug use Czar program and we all know how successful that’s been. No, it appears Joe’s one characteristic that makes him special is his ability to talk himself in or out of almost anything. Add in the world class toothy grin and you have an exceptional candidate – evidently.

It was no surprise to me when I discovered his dad was a used car salesman. Like father like son. I am following my gut feelings after researching the man and that in this case the award is a total sham and adding in the extra bonus of distinction is a slap in the face of every deserving individual who was ever given this award. It reminds me of when Barack Obama was given the Nobel Peace prize for nothing more than a promise that he was going to change things for the better. Heckfire, Mr. Rogers had more of an impact on millions of Americans than these two self-serving representatives, yet did not receive either award.  I am surprised the president didn’t award Joe with a 9th degree black belt seeing he was feeling so generous.

Along with the most Presidential Medal of Freedom awards given by any president, Mr. Obama is also the guy who has commuted the most criminal sentences, which will put drug dealers right back on the streets.  As of today, he has lessened the sentences of 774 convicted felons, which is more than the last 11 presidents together. I wonder how this is going to benefit the average American.  The real kicker here is over 10% of these people used a firearm when they committed their crime.

It won’t affect his family though with his squad of secret service agents guarding them 24 hours a day while staying tucked away behind his new walled-off compound. He blasted Trump for wanting to stop illegal’s from coming across our borders and then turns right around and has a wall put up at his new digs. If you think I am making any of this up, check it out for yourself. On January 10th, 2013 he signed a bill into law guaranteeing SS protection for life.

This is just another display of Washington politics at odds with the voters. They heap awards and special benefits on each other and sip from the fountains of luxury vacations while working class America struggles to spend a few nights a year in a motel with their mate. The saddest note is they don’t even realize it. Fat cat politicians deserve what they got when Trump was elected.  Now both sides can lick their wounds and wonder if their job is secure. We, the people have had enough of their double standard.

The news reports every day that more and more company CEO’s are pledging to rebuild right here in the US of A and jobs are going to be created. I cannot see how anyone can see this in a negative light. Washington needs to quit awarding themselves with diluted medals for fictitious accomplishments and return to their roots and the people’s wishes. Kicking and screaming and threatening to cause disruption at the inauguration and afterward reminds me of the spoiled kid whose mom told him he can’t have a candy bar.


Anonymous said…
BAM: Your best work to date. And, the saddest.

Anonymous said…
Gary Black: Was the use of "SS" (which, of course, bears certain connotations) instead of Secret Service by accident or design? Inquiring minds want to know.
Anonymous said…
I just don't see how you do it Bert. You just wrote a book on this one short little page. It may end up on the Best Seller list. Good work Bert.

Anonymous said…
DDC: I sure did enjoy and agree with your column in The Baytown Sun this morning, Bert. Just thrown around and given to anyone.
Anonymous said…
Charlie Farrar: Wonder how much you have to donate to get one? The way they are awarded it bastardizes the award.
Anonymous said…
Gerald Langford:
You nailed it
Anonymous said…
MM: I so agree with this editorial.
Anonymous said…
Melvin Roark: I liked your article in the Baytown Sun today.
Anonymous said…
Shari-Eddie Capps: Bert you were right on with the article you wrote in today's paper.
. . . . . said…
Editors note: By the end of his presidency on January 20, 2017, President Barack Obama had exercised his constitutional power to grant executive clemency—that is, "pardon, commutation of sentence, remission of fine or restitution, and reprieve" to 1,927 individuals convicted of federal crimes.
Anonymous said…
You hit the nail on the head in your article in the Baytown Sun 1/23/2017 concerning the medals Obama passed out. These medals should not be given out to people just because you like a person or you are trying to impress someone, this waters the true meaning down. The ones to receive them should be of high standards and has done things to improve others.
For releasing the high number of prisoners, this is sickening also. I know there are those in prison that has learned their lesson or their sentence was too harsh but so many of those Obama released will be back in prison within a year, they needed to stay just where they were.
Thanks for printing the truth
Ed Boyett

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