President Obama on Monday pardoned 78 people and granted another 153 commutations, amounting to the most acts of clemency by a U.S. president ever in a single day. White House Counsel Neil Eggleston added that Obama is considering clemency for individuals who have contributed significantly to human progress by "bending the arc of the moral universe toward justice" – even though they were not U.S. citizens and are dead.
Presidential "posthumous pardons" are scheduled to be extended to such legendary international icons as Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedung, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, the Kim dynasty of North Korea, and Che Guevara along with his comrade-in-arms, the recently deceased Fidel Castro. Eggleston revealed that Hollywood celebrities were consulted on this decision and concurred. Jane Fonda, for example, spoke warmly about Ho Chi Minh. Michael Moore felt certain Stalin and the others would have voted for Hillary Clinton.
According to Obama, these legendary figures have been unfairly maligned by the sensationalist right-wing media. Slanderous language such as "mass murder," "show trials," "political repression" and "concentration camps" has been used to downplay the highly significant accomplishments of these leaders. Stalin, for example, helped defeat Hitler and liberate half of Europe. Mao’s Cultural Revolution led to the emergence of a China whose billions kept the Obama Administration in power for eight years.
Yes, President Obama is aware that mistakes were made – "you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs" – but nevertheless is convinced that these leaders were “on the right side of history.” Obama recalls with fondness the many hours he spent at Harvard reading and re-reading Mao’s Little Red Book, which he still considers a more important influence than The Federalist Papers.
Mr. Eggleston concluded with the comment that these presidential pardons are intended to help advance the righteous struggle of the oppressed masses around the world. Media organizations such as CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times and the Washington Post can be trusted to make sure that the initiatives launched by Stalin and Mao and continued by Obama are irreversible despite the election of Donald J. Trump.
Opinion polls indicate that many Americans continue to view these historic figures more negatively than positively, but experts say this is only because many among the polled segments still remember the subjects' virulent anti-Americanism and occasional military confrontations with the U.S.
However, Barack Obama believes that personal grudges should be beneath the station of the U.S. President, who must discern the "arc of history" and be able to bend it toward the greater good.
These presidential pardons will go a long way to restore universal justice and shape the future struggle of the oppressed masses in this country and around the world. Recent demographic shifts and professional coverage by trusted media organizations will ensure that this progress becomes irreversible.