Every few years since the 1960s, the White House has taken time out of its busy schedule to pick out a group of distinguished American citizens—artists, scientists, poets, etc.—to name as the recipients of the Presidential Medal Of Freedom, one of the highest governmental honors in American civilian life. Often, it’s not hard to tease out the values of the president in question when they’re picking their names for the list—Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter both named a number of environmentalists, Reagan picked business leaders, Obama had a higher-than-average slate of comedians and musicians—so it’s not entirely surprising that Donald Trump’s first list would be similarly indicative of his own favorite kind of American: Old hefty white dudes who happen to be dead.
Specifically, Trump has chosen to honor Elvis Presley—finally getting some fucking recognition at last—along with baseball player/candy bar Babe Ruth and former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for their otherwise silent and unheralded contributions to the American arts. (Scalia, presumably is being recognized for his heroic decision to die “late” enough in Barack Obama’s second term that Mitch McConnell was able to stall the Senate so Trump could get into office and force his own replacement nominee through.)
Of course, Trump didn’t just honor the old, dead, big-boned, and Caucasian with a big shiny medal today. He also granted it to former (but still breathing) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach, football player-turned-judge Alan Page, and honorary old dead white guy Senator Orrin Hatch. He also added one woman on his slate, Dr. Miriam Adelson, whose contributions to philanthropy include a medical specialization in narcotics addiction, the founding of multiple research centers, and being married to Sheldon Adelson, the ridiculously wealthy GOP donor who gave $25 million to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.