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The First Ever Presidential Propaganda Awards

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.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Wes

    OMG you mean Biden is… a… (gasp)… politician?

    You mean he does what those… (gasp) politicans do??!! Twist civic recognition programs to their own political ends??

    Show me a politician who *doesn’t* do things like that!

  2. Frank stetson

    John Boener

    • Tom

      Frank, were you trying to spell the name of the Ohio Congressman and Speaker of the House John Andrew BoeHner, or were you trying to make a funny crack by using the slang for human male excitement, the “boner” and simply mispelled it? If it’s John Boehner, I agree. If its John Boner, (one of several nick names for porn star Johnny Wad), I am LMAO!!!! So please clarify!

      I thought Bob Dole was pretty good and would qualify, your thoughts?

      • Frank stetson

        Misspelling, no comedy conspiracy. No thoughts on dole.

  3. CJ

    These democrats/liberals/progressives are just pure evil! The demented idiot in office and his administration ALL need to be removed from office!!!!!!

  4. Tom

    Larry, thanks for the history lesson. I do remember that award. And I kind of liked Tricky Dicky (may God rest Dandy Don Merideth’s soul for coining the name on Monday night football) even though he may have sabotaged, via Kissinger, Johnson’s attempt to end the Vietnam war earlier which led to Johnson not seeking a second term. I never liked Johnson, I thought he was a snake. Nixon had mob ties but I did not mind that since I went to grade school with a son in the Bonanno Crime Family -they were actually pretty nice to me.

    I think your service to Nixon and this award is fantastic and I am honored to blog with you! In an age where Frank has “The Stetson”, and a hot dog can have a song and an award, “The Oscar”, it would seem only fitting and proper that the man behind the genesis of the Presidential Award Program, that forward thinking deeply patriotic American citizen, should have an award named after him.

    It is therefore with all due respect and admiration, that I submit the idea of “The Horist” Award (or medal of you bust if you like) for gallantry, courage, and devotion to blogging the truth on social media in the face of partisan perils.

    Sorry if you feel Biden is misusing the award. I understand that it’s your baby and he is dirtying your baby’s diaper but he is the POTUS, so I suppose he can use it any way he likes. As with many things, he has chosen to make the award political. That’s sad but it is what it is. Amazingly, I did not know anything about this, as it did not show up on the news I watch nor any of the articles I read. Must have been an MSNBC piece.

    Again, thank you for your service to Tricky Dicky!!! And may God bless Dandy Don Meredith!!!

    • larry Horist

      Tom … If there were ever to create the Horist Award, it definitely would be a bust.




  6. frank stetson


    It’s asylum genius. And Biden follows the law.

    • Larry kuhn

      That’s a damned lie

      • Frank stetson

        Uh, actually it IS asylum, it is the law, and RICHARD is……well, maybe not.

        You got proof or foot in mouth, as usual.

  7. frank stetson

    That’s a great Nixon story. I was friends with the White House electrician at the time and one of his stories was first, Carter; whenever he was walking by, he was head-down, body cast forward for speed, and all wrapped up in his personal business. My friend would seek a closet whenever he came by. Nixon treated him just like your story, starting with a salutation, complete with name. I can confirm your version of Nixon in person, what a nice one.

    One question: did you invent the internet? :>) OK, put that in the lockbox. Have you done anything since? (rhetorical, just kidding)
    Terrible process for getting the right things done right though. The ole behind the barn door, behind your back process. Used it a number of times myself, but I’m a capitalist — it’s expected :>) Great story still!!!

    Meanwhile, given the three days+ of minority whiner class stump speeches not helping citizens but targeting FOX news airtime, complete with physical altercation, I believe your side takes the cake for turning a ceremonial “program into another vehicle for mendacious political propaganda.” You have out-programmed the 1/6 committee and probably ate more air time. And you have a shit ton of gall to diminish Sicknick’s award. He was there, he defended, he was injured, and he died days only later. Yes, natural causes but it does not take a rocket scientist to conclude the day’s events and results did not contribute: NOT THAT IT SHOULD MATTER. Except it does, to Larry.

    “It’s not an exaggeration to say America owes you all — I really mean this — a debt, a debt of gratitude, one we can never fully repay unless we live up to what you did,” Biden said. ” And what you did was truly consequential, not a joke.” Biden

    It is not a joke to many Larry.

    The Capitol Police said: the finding “does not change the fact Officer Sicknick died in the line of duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol.”

    A lot of people feel democracy might have fallen if not for brave acts like these people stood for. We don’t feel a handful of Trumplicant Representatives can even stand in their shadow. And you suck pond water for even suggesting they are nothing but hero’s.

    You just feel bad at your little speaker show being upstaged and outclassed.

    “Whupped em again, didn’t we Josey?”

  8. AC

    Go find that glory horn stored away for half a century in the mental attic, dust it off, and give it some polishing. Put the mouth piece on, gather some wind, give it a blow, Toot your own horn with all your might.
    Not like tooting horns of yours is a novel experience.
    It only goes with out saying, building up one’s self as personally superior is one thing, possibly forgivable.
    But, using it as a cudgel against your prime enemy #1 Joe Biden POTUS is a toot too far.
    What ever your relationship was with his dishonorable ex-president Nixon you can have your memories.
    That Nixon supported your notion should not be a feather in some good old boy’s club cap. He also liked the plumber’s plans for Watergate.
    Humble in one’s accomplishment is a sign of strong character. What reason would a person have for trotting out a story such as this one of yours?
    If not only for anecdotal interest’s sake.It’s not as if you hold ownership of the award, therefore a say in who is awarded a medal. Remember the individuals Trump have the award to.
    Just be thankful the idea has endured this long, not having been tossed in the ash-bin of history.

    • larry Horist

      AC …. that has the sound of jealous. Nothing in your past your are proud of?

      • AC

        Jealous of another’s accomplishments isn’t something that I give any time or energy to.
        As for being proud of any accomplishments in my past. I do have a good number that in my estimation are fine memories.
        However, I learned long ago, recounting success stories, other than in my own mind, rarely encourages conversation in company of family, friends, and strangers. But, seemingly others expounding on about their own is found riveting. For me, the better part in life’s play comes down to taking on the strong silent supporting role. That is, if one with the major part has both honor and modesty in balance. Then, support maybe of value.
        Things done meriting pride often had supporters, silent partners if you will. Successes realized as only possibly achieved in the company of others is deserving of pride.
        Jealously lifts no one, Pride shared from mutual achievement is legitimate and lives on.
        Not that your pride is misplaced or that your see your original idea somehow perverted.
        It happens, changes made disappoint, but good has come of that idea. Everything else just is what it is, can’t change that.

    • Frank stetson

      Oh come on. He did a nice thing through a bad man and told a story that shows Nixon was human, as my friend said, very personable, and treated staff, service workers with respect, even remembering names and the person himself. Not always an evil foul mouthed bastard.

      It does not always need to be us and them, good and bad. Have some compassion. Larry is not evil, just misguided and obstinate at times :-). As are we all.

      I just like the idea of Larry up and coming on the inside while I’m marching and chanting on the outside.

      Could you hear the cars honking on PA Ave? I always wondered. We made a racket for sure.

      • larry Horist

        Frank Stetson … Wow! I can only guess what your New Year resolution might have been. I guess I should lift my ban on responding to you directly. Oh… I just did. I spent a lot of time among the war protesters. Got gassed a couple of times.

        • Frank stetson

          I made no resolutions, I made no changes. I have defended you before. Don’t worry about lifting the ban, a reply is a reply.

          I just found it cool that you confirmed my Nixon third person story. Privat Nixon was personable, go figure.

          Now how about LBJ getting snookered in a swanky NYC club, grabs the wandering violinist, goes to the phone booth, calls Ladybird and then a rendition of Yellow Rose of Texas. True. My FIL helped him.

          Or the Pope…..or Frank Sinatra….well, another time

        • AC

          Given the times, back then, the hawks vs the doves and we demonstrators at the gate. It was a sobering moment for us men of a certain age. Military service, selection by compensatory draft, draft by lottery number, student deferment, join the National Guard or seek your representative’s nomination for the Coasy Guard.
          Some wanted to have skin in the game and signed up to serve in a conflict more considered as a war. Demonstration was our speaking out, some peacefully and others not so much.
          War demonstrations on Campus greens or Federal Building steps. Racial activism rioting contemporaneously going on. Like it or not, all had skin in the game.
          With a lottery number of 89 upon graduation from college and expecting my draft notice soon. To my relief came the change to an all volunteer army.
          This on the heals of the total withdrawal of US troops. Service men and women came home to an indifferent and somewhat hostile culture. All who served and received an honorable discharge non the less suffered injury. Physical, psychological, emotional and mental distress followed. These brave souls came out alive, but not entirely whole.
          My understanding was then, as still is today, came out of experience in loss of life in a number of cases, loss of full life opportunity in their damaged condition, and the many with silent stories loaded down in guilt and shame. Those who landed “country” and experienced firsthand, died over there or were spared family, were or are friends, family relation and former classmates.
          So many years have passed since the day and seemingly brief moment in young adulthood.
          Those experiences’ teachings and the half plus century’s living has, whether admitted or deny with much protesting, made every person who they are in this moment. Right, centrist, and left in philosophy arrive as persons formed through experiences past, Every one being unique and original, a one off.
          Arguably, a number of folks out there are simply just a bit off.
          Should not be a problem, when all people receive respect as fellow human beings and allowed dignity due even the least, the meanest, the most hurtful, and most disagreeable.
          Is civility all together dead and gone? Has its light been extinguished forever beyond this present generation?
          Civility’s disappearing leaves a natural vacuum that has been filled with mean autocratic practice planted in conservative soil’s bias.
          For reference retreat into the hinterlands of any state and look at its county boards )school and municipal). Inspect village and township board minutes since the 2020 midterms and before.
          These governmental bodies are not conducting business in a democratic fashion.
          Gone is civility in public open meetings. Drunk on new found power the recently elected commissioners and trustees are resorting to autocratic strong arm tactics renamed as democracy dome right.
          The disgrace in this hour is on is all.

          family members

      • Tom

        I agree with you Frank! Well said brother!

  9. Joseph S. Bruder

    And Trump giving the Presidential Medal of Freedom to fellow liar Rush Limbaugh was in no way biased. Or the wife of Sheldon Adelson, a major donor to Republicans. Or Art Laffer, the father of the (laughable) theory of supply side economics (aka trickle-down theory, or the rich pissing on the poor) embraced by Reagan and continuously proven wrong year after year.

    • larry Horist

      Joseph S Bruder …Geez! Either you intentionally try to distract or lie, or you are not able to connect the dots. Your response is about the Presidential Medal of Freedom — which is customarily award to prominent people with emphasis on “friends of the President.” Remember Obama awarding it to Biden? The subject of MY commentary was the Presidential Citizens Medal — which was intended to honor the work of common folks in a broad range of activities. Can you understand the difference? In a way, Biden corrupted the purpose of the latter and made it more like the Medal of Freedom — a personal preference deal. The fact that you only like when Democrat Presidents give out awards is irrelevant. And your snarky description of the recipients — and me — demonstrates your left-wing arrogance. Once again your ignorance and arrogance on full display.

      • Joseph S. Bruder

        Oh, sorry, I didn’t know you were talking about some obscure award that nobody’s ever heard of… And I don’t see anywhere in my reply where I talked about you…

        • larry Horist

          Joseph S Bruder … Just because YOU have never heard of what you snidely refer to as an “obscure award” is irrelevant. It was all over the news recently. But you already admit that you do not follow the news — something that is embarrassingly obvious. Your response was not relevant because you were engage in whataboutism with the wrong award. You are absolutely correct that you “didn’t know” I was talking about an award that was NOT the Medal of Freedom. Just more bitter responses about things you … do not know about.

  10. Mike f

    Joe, of course you are so right, trump passed out awards like they were Halloween candy to those who supported him. Larry is far too biased to comment on those deplorable actions. Talk about cheapening an award….

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