The First Ever Presidential Propaganda Awards
Good God! The Biden presidency has turned a presidential awards program into another vehicle for mendacious political propaganda. I am referring to the presentation of the Presidential Citizens Medal.
I take personal umbrage since I was the person to propose the special presidential award for exceptional voluntary actions by common citizens during the Nixon administration – the ancestor of the current award. I was part of a special 10-member White House Task Force set up by the President Nixon — and headed up by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development George Romney. (Mitt’s dad).
At this point, I will engage in a bit of personal information as historical background. Besides, I love to tell this story.
My proposal for the award program was not well received by other members of the task force – with the possible exception of Romney. Weeell. One evening I ran into Nixon coming out of the Cincinnati Club – and we struck up a conversation while he waited for Pat to come out of the building. (Yes, you could do that in those days).
Nixon asked what I did in Washington. I said I worked for him. He asked in what capacity – and I told him about my proposal. He seemed to like it.
The next day, when my proposal was being discussed – and not favorably – I blurted out “But the President seemed to like it” – at which time the members of the task force looked at me incredulously. Except for Romney who had a Cheshire Cat grin on his face. He then said to the group, “Larry is right. I got a call from the President this morning – and he likes Larry’s idea very much.” And suddenly, so did all the other members of the Task Force. And thus, the presidential awards program for voluntary action was born. We also created the public sector Office of Voluntary Action. (Now you know why I love to tell this story).
The Award program transformed over the years – most notably when President Bush the First dubbed it his “thousand points of light” program. Today is the Presidential Citizens Medal program.
The idea was to reward exceptional service by ordinary citizens over a broad range of activities. It was never intended to be a political cudgel. But that is how Biden operates. He has used – or misused – the awards to reinforce the Democrats’ false narrative of a Republican insurrection and fictional coup attempt.
All of Biden’s Medals went to folks involved – directly or indirectly – in the events surrounding the breeching of the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021. The list of awardees is composed of those who have been most active in supporting and spreading the Democrat political narratives.
There is nothing wrong with honoring the Capitol Police who defended the building – Congress already did that. But the recipients were not those who took the most heroic actions on that day, but those who took the most anti-Trump positions on television since that day.
There was also a posthumous Medal for Officer Brian Sicknick, who died of “natural causes” unrelated to his presence on Capitol Hill that day (as the Medical Examiner clearly stated in his official report). There were also Medals for two officers who committed suicide in the days after the riot.
Biden used the awarding of the Medals to advance his repeated lies about January 6th – again implying that five police officers died on that day, or as a result of their presence on Capitol Hill on that day. Neither claim is true.
Other awards were even more political – notably the one given to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Incidentally, “citizen” awards – as I originally designed them — and previous Presidents used them — were never intended for public officials. But it is just another example of the left’s empowering the public sector over the common folks.
In my opinion, Biden has sullied the program that was meant to honor common unsung citizens for extraordinary service to the community or the country in various ways – not to hand out “awards” based on allegiance to a dubious partisan political narrative.
So, there tis.