The Controversy of Rush Limbaugh

During the recent State of the Union address given by President Donald Trump, the president awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to well-known conservative talk show host, Rush Limbaugh. While Limbaugh is a prominent conservative figure, President Trump made a bold statement in choosing him, especially amidst recent impeachment controversy. 

“Many feel Trump was doing it to make a point or snub his opponents,” proposed Mr. Vigil, our resident politics guru. “The Medal is usually for politicians, veterans, or just less controversial people in general.” 

Past recipients include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, and Aretha Franklin. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor, given to “individuals 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” (White House)

The first American to be given this award was Anna Rosenberg, an immigrant from Hungary. During World War II, she was a special envoy to Europe for Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman. 

This year, the award is significant for two reasons: Limbaugh, in general, is a polarizing, political figure, and it is the first time a president has awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom during a State of the Union address. 

President Trump told Limbaugh that the award was for “the millions of people a day that you speak to and that you inspire.” However, critics have pointed to the controversial comments Limbaugh has made in the past. 

In response to a caller who said African Americans should have a greater voice on issues: “They are 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares?” 

On feminism: “Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society.” In addition, “Women should not be allowed on juries where the accused is a stud.”

On the LGBTQ+ community: “When a gay person turns his back on you, it is anything but an insult; it’s an invitation.” 

On immigrants: “Has the CDC ever published a story about the dangers of catching diseases when you sleep with illegal aliens?”

These statements have alienated many groups of Americans, and have caused them to question the president’s reasoning for awarding Limbaugh with the medal. However, Limbaugh is a radio talk show host, a profession that tends to garner attention for controversial comments and hot-topic issues. 

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is important to our society and culture.

It is a medal to recognize the good of humanity and the hope to always strive for better in our world. The medal should transcend political parties and petty arguments.”

It is a medal to recognize the good of humanity and the hope to always strive for better in our world. The medal should transcend political parties and petty arguments. On the other hand, it is hard to distinguish between the significance of the award and the controversy of the recipient. 

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