During the State of the Union, Donald Trump bestowed the highest civilian honor on Rush Limbaugh.
Presidents have bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom to some of America’s greatest writers, artists, entertainers, journalists, and humanitarians — from Toni Morrison to Ansel Adams to Edward R. Murrow to Betty Ford.
On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump gave it to one of America’s most prominent racists.
During his State of the Union address, Trump looked to Rush Limbaugh, seated in the audience with Melania Trump, and thanked him for his contributions to American life.
“And Rush, in recognition of all you have done for our nation, the millions of people today that you speak to and that you inspire, and all of the incredible work you have done for charity, I am proud to announce tonight he will be receiving our country’s highest — you will be receiving our country’s highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom.”
John F. Kennedy established the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 to honor Americans 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 endeavours.”
Limbaugh, recently diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer, has devoted his decades-long radio career to building an audience of millions of listeners with his brand of right-wing, xenophobic — and patently racist — populism that Trump borrowed on his rise to power.