American hero Dolly Parton bravely continues to keep our faith in humanity alive.
Parton recently appeared and informed the public that she turned down disgraced former president Donald Trump's Presidential Medal of Freedom, not once, but twice. She cited scheduling conflicts — the first time she was offered the award her husband was ill, and the second time travel was banned because of the pandemic.
"Well, I actually have to be honest in all fairness," Parton said on the Today Show. "I got offered the freedom award from the Trump administration and I couldn't accept it because my husband [Carl Dean] was ill. Then they asked me again about it, and I wouldn't travel because of the COVID, so now I feel like if I take it I'll be doing politics. So, I'm not sure," she said, as graceful a denouncement of politics as there ever was.
The fact that Dolly Parton deserves a Presidential Medal of Freedom is a unilaterally bipartisan issue, perhaps one of the few things people from all sides of the political spectrum can agree on. President Barack Obama, for example, cited not giving Parton the award as one of his great regrets.
"That was a screwup," he told Stephen Colbert. "I'm surprised. She deserves one. I'll call Biden."
Parton herself has doubts about taking awards at all. "I don't work for those awards," she added. "It'd be nice but I'm not sure that I even deserve it. But that's a nice compliment for people to think that I might deserve it."
Dolly wasn't clear about whether the fact that Trump was the reason she wasn't accepting the medal, but fans certainly took it that way.
The Medal of Freedom is presented to people 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 endeavors."
Obama gave his awards to Loretta Lynn, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Yo-Yo Ma, and Bruce Springsteen, among others. Trump chose mostly to gift his medals to people who could not turn them down — Babe Ruth and Elvis Presley, for example — to political allies and golfers, including retired players Annika Sorenstam and Gary Player.
Perhaps Joe Biden will finally get Dolly to receive the award she deserves, or perhaps she'll continue to avoid politics, focusing instead on life-or-death issues. For example, she's spent her time supporting Black Lives Matter, funding the Moderna vaccine, hosting a children's literacy foundation called Imagination Library, and giving $1000 a month to wildfire survivors — AKA a lot more than the government is doing.
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