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Presidential Medal of Freedom


Sandy Lie
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So Belicheck turns down the Medal.  Should Player and Sorenstam have done the same?  Should Tiger give his back as well?

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No.

It's still the office of the President, and you still did something to have "earned" the award. Accepting the medal is not an endorsement of the person giving the medal.

To all: this discussion, like any others, will not be allowed to take a political turn.

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3 minutes ago, Sandy Lie said:

So Belicheck turns down the Medal.  Should Player and Sorenstam have done the same?  Should Tiger give his back as well?

Not saying they didn't earn it.  But in this case... yes, yes, yes.  Just my opinion... they will get their medal later... they do deserve it.

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Just now, iacas said:

That's the thing: there's no guarantee of that.

If it was me, for the birdie chip-in on #18 today... I would refuse the medal... until a less-politicalized President chose to present it to me.  But, yes, there are no guarantees... with Medals of Honor or in life.

(If this is too political, please delete my post)

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Just now, iacas said:

Accepting the medal is not an endorsement of the person giving the medal.

You're still going to the office of that person, accepting their adulation, posing for pictures. That's close enough for me. If the person giving you the award is someone you consider so repugnant that you couldn't in good faith display it, frame the pictures, etc., then why bother?

Plus, in a pure calculating sense, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is basically just the President awarding you for fame - if fame is your goal, you gain just as much by denying it than accepting it. 

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Just now, jamo said:

You're still going to the office of that person, accepting their adulation, posing for pictures. That's close enough for me. If the person giving you the award is someone you consider so repugnant that you couldn't in good faith display it, frame the pictures, etc., then why bother?

Because it's not from the person, it's from the office.

And hell, use your time in the media to speak out against the man if you wish.

Just now, jamo said:

Plus, in a pure calculating sense, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is basically just the President awarding you for fame - if fame is your goal, you gain just as much by denying it than accepting it. 

And yet, your grandkids won't look at your medal some day and say "wow, my grandpa/grandma was awarded that medal."

I don't think guys should skip going to the White House when they win a championship, either (unless they have another reason like their wife is giving birth or something). You can still show respect to the office while despising the guy in it.

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Not exactly the same thing but there are increasing numbers of people declining to accept the Order of the British Empire awards

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

It's still the office of the President, and you still did something to have "earned" the award.

A person achieved enough in their life to be recognized for the honor. That doesn’t disappear if they turn it down.

2 hours ago, iacas said:

Accepting the medal is not an endorsement of the person giving the medal.

This is kind of like the PGA Championship thing. Or Phil playing in Saudi Arabia. While not an explicit endorsement, accepting the medal implies that you’re ok with the person awarding it.

1 hour ago, iacas said:

Because it's not from the person, it's from the office.

I disagree with this. It absolutely comes from the person, who happens to be occupying the office. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is completely at the discretion of the sitting president.

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2 minutes ago, billchao said:

A person achieved enough in their life to be recognized for the honor. That doesn’t disappear if they turn it down.

The medal does.

3 minutes ago, billchao said:

This is kind of like the PGA Championship thing. Or Phil playing in Saudi Arabia. While not an explicit endorsement, accepting the medal implies that you’re ok with the person awarding it.

Not the same, no.

Since your argument is basically “uh huh” I’m only going to reply “nuh uh.”

5 minutes ago, billchao said:

I disagree with this. It absolutely comes from the person, who happens to be occupying the office. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is completely at the discretion of the sitting president.

Not the same thing. The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President too. You going to turn that down as well?


It boils down to this for me: can you distinguish between the office and the man?

I can. And if I had something to say to that man, I’d use the award as an opportunity to be heard.

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4 minutes ago, iacas said:

The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President too. You going to turn that down as well?

Not the same thing at all. The Purple Heart has a set criteria for being awarded. You’re not recommended for the award so much as you are entitled to it once you meet it.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is literally an award chosen specifically by the President to be given to a specific person for whatever reason they want. Certain people may be recommended by others to receive it, but it’s ultimately up to the president to award it.

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Just now, billchao said:

Not the same thing at all. The Purple Heart has a set criteria for being awarded. You’re not recommended for the award so much as you are entitled to it once you meet it.

It’s still awarded in the guy’s name and you can decline it.

9 minutes ago, iacas said:

It boils down to this for me: can you distinguish between the office and the man?

I can. And if I had something to say to that man, I’d use the award as an opportunity to be heard.

And I’ll stand by that.

BTW, I'm not stuck on this one, and I don't care about this one much at all. Bill can decline, Annika can go… whatever. They're all making decisions for themselves. I'm not going to judge them based on what I know because I'm not them. Go, don't go… make the choice for yourself. There are a billion things more important than the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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10 hours ago, Sandy Lie said:

So Belicheck turns down the Medal.  Should Player and Sorenstam have done the same?  Should Tiger give his back as well?

Yes, and yes.

9 hours ago, iacas said:

Because it's not from the person, it's from the office.

That's the theory, but not really the practice.

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