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It turns out like the Grammy and the Oscars, The Medal of Freedom Award is Political!

President Joe Biden is expected to award the nation’s highest civilian honor to 19 people, including a number of Democratic politicians like former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and failed presidential candidates John Kerry, Al Gore and Michael Bloomberg.

The 19 individuals will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony Friday, according to a White House news release.

The list also includes one Republican politician, former one-term North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole, the widow of Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom was established by President Harry Truman by executive order in 1945, who designated it as a recognition for anyone who “has performed a meritorious act or service which has aided the United States in the prosecution of a war against an enemy or enemies and for which an award of another United States medal or decoration is considered inappropriate.”

Since that time, however, Truman’s executive order has been amended three times by subsequent orders, including by Truman himself in 1952, who opened up the qualifications to include those who would be recognized “for performance of a meritorious act or service in the interests of the security of the United States” whether in time or war or national emergency or not.

It was President John F. Kennedy, however, who expanded the designation of potential recipients to include not only the national security interests of the U.S., but also “world peace” and “culture or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Kennedy also expanded the Distinguished Civilian Service Awards Board and added to its responsibilities that of screening nominees for the Medal of Freedom and submitting recommendations to the president. The president could, however, award the medal to anyone he wished, regardless of board recommendation.

In 1970, however, President Richard Nixon removed those responsibilities from the board.

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