The Disappointment at the State of the Union

Many Democrats were outraged when President Trump awarded conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh with the highest civilian honor.


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At a time when America appears to be making great strides in social justice, President Trump's decision to award Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom felt like an insult.

By Jordan Atkins, North Allegheny Senior High School

“If any race should not have guilt about slavery, it’s Caucasians.”

That is a quote directly from Rush Limbaugh, recent recipient of the nation’s highest civilian honor, The Presidential Medal of Freedom.

On his radio show, Limbaugh is known for his conservative views and controversial language. When President Trump decorated Limbaugh at the recent State of the Union address, many U.S. citizens were understandably astounded. Just as many were probably outraged, too.

So, what did Rush Limbaugh achieve to be listed alongside other Medal of Freedom recipients, such as Rosa Parks, John Glenn, and Helen Keller?

Well, according to his supporters, he used his platform to help many sick people. For 25 consecutive years, Limbaugh has held an on-air Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Cure-A-Thon. Last April, he spent three hours advocating for more funding for people with these types of blood cancers. 

Premiere Networks wrote, “As of today, on-air and online donations for the 2015 Cure-A-Thon totaled $3.3 million dollars. Over the past 25 years, Mr. Limbaugh and his audience have collectively raised nearly $44 million dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.”

Limbaugh knows how cancer destroys the body, as he recently revealed that he has an advanced stage of lung cancer.

Donations to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society go to finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma. They also provide for families who have a member with one of these diseases. Many popular companies and brands also partner with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to increase donations.

There’s no questioning the integrity of such an endeavor.

So why, then, did liberals have such a revulsion to Trump’s announcement?

As one can assume, Limbaugh and Trump have similar opinions on political issues. Limbaugh, perhaps to an even greater extent than Trump, does not appear to filter himself when talking on his radio show. To be honest, over the course of his show, he has gone after many different groups of people.

“[A professional football game] looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons,” Limbaugh once said.

He also, at a later date, went on to say that “the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well,”  in response to praise given to at the time Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Rush Limbaugh has made his opinion of feminism very clear. He once said that it “was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.”

He has also taken the time to attack the Clinton women, calling Chelsea Clinton “the white house dog” and describing Hillary as a “testicle lockbox.”

Limbaugh does not stop there. In 2006, he said that actor Micheal J. Fox, who has Parkinson’s Disease, “either he didn’t take his medication, or he’s acting.”

Has Limbaugh done some good? Sure. But he has also contributed to the deterioration of civil discourse in our country. And he has done so repeatedly. It’s profoundly disappointing that the President chose such a person, especially when there are so many others who have contributed to the improvement of America without engaging in such disrespectful and divisive language.

The State of the Union address earlier this month disappointed liberals on many policy-related fronts. Rush Limbaugh’s receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom only worsened the feeling that something has gone horribly wrong in America.

This story was originally published on The Uproar on February 25, 2020.