Here's who Trump should've pardoned instead of a bully who mocked the Parkland victims.

Out of all the people Trump could pardon, Dinesh D'Souza is a terrible choice.

The conservative writer has become a pariah across the political spectrum. To many he is best known for a series of incredibly offensive tweets in the aftermath of the Parkland school shootings.

In the wake of those comments, even the highly partisan Conservative Political Action Committee dropped him from their roster of speakers, calling his actions "indefensible."


Once seen as a promising young intellectual, D'Souza has become a lightning rod for controversy over the years. For instance, he wrote and narrated documentaries on President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that critics said were loaded with conspiracy theories and light on facts.

He also pleaded guilty to making illegal financial contributions to a U.S. Senate campaign in 2012, the crime for which Trump has now officially pardoned him.

The announcement was met with near-universal scorn from both sides of the political aisle and members of the media.

The announcement comes one day after a White House visit on prison reform.

There was no shortage of jokes about Kim Kardashian West's visit to the White House on May 30. But she was there to discuss the very legitimate issue of prison reform, a subject that has surprisingly gained bipartisan support in recent years. Just this May, the Republican-led Congress passed a prison reform bill that is now in front of the U.S. Senate.

If Trump had wanted to make a big splash, he could have announced a pardon for Alice Marie Johnson, who was reportedly a central focus on Kardashian West's pitch to the president. Johnson is a 63-year-old grandmother currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a non-violent drug offense.

As one of Johnson's lawyers, Brittany Barnett, said, "The message to the president is that Alice Johnson, the 21 years she has been in prison, represents a punishment that more than pays her debt to society and that to keep her prison the rest of her life is morally and economically unjustifiable."

Trump himself has signaled support for prison reform, saying that the newest bill should "restore the rule of law, keep dangerous criminals off our street, and help inmates get a second chance on life."

And a great way for him to put meaning behind such statements would be to pardon people like Johnson.

The presidential pardon is a powerful tool. Now is a great time to use it for real justice.

It's not unusual for presidents to be criticized for their presidential pardons: Nearly every president in modern history has been dinged for their sometimes questionable choices in the administration of selective mercy.

With the growing pressure to do something about prison reform, Trump could make a bold, bipartisan statement by pardoning incarcerated individuals like Johnson, who have faced punishments that greatly exceed their crimes.

It's hard to not be outraged by D'Souza's pardon.

But as long as Trump's feeling generous, perhaps enough political pressure could result in acts of mercy we can all feel good about.

More
via Twitter / Soraya

There is a strange right-wing logic that suggests when minorities fight for equal rights it's somehow a threat to the rights already held by those in the majority or who hold power.

Like when the Black Lives Matter movement started, many on the right claimed that fighting for black people to be treated equally somehow meant that other people's lives were not as valuable, leading to the short-lived All Lives Matter movement.

This same "oppressed majority" logic is behind the new Straight Pride movement which made headlines in August after its march through the streets of Boston.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

For most of us, the hypothetical question of whether we would stick with a boyfriend or girlfriend through the trials of cancer and the treatments is just that – a hypothetical question. We would like to think we would do the right thing, but when Max Allegretti got the chance to put his money where mouth is, he didn't hesitate for a second.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via bfmamatalk / facebook

Where did we go wrong as a society to make women feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public?

No one should feel they have the right to tell a woman when, where, and how she can breastfeed. The stigma should be placed on those who have the nerve to tell a woman feeding her child to "Cover up" or to ask "Where's your modesty?"

Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / JLo

The Me Too movement has shed light on just how many actresses have been placed in positions that make them feel uncomfortable. Abuse of power has been all too commonplace. Some actresses have been coerced into doing something that made them uncomfortable because they felt they couldn't say no to the director. And it's not always as flagrant as Louis C.K. masturbating in front of an up-and-coming comedian, or Harvey Weinstein forcing himself on actresses in hotel rooms.

But it's important to remember that you can always firmly put your foot down and say no. While speaking at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lopez opened up about her experiences with a director who behaved inappropriately. Laura Dern, Awkwafina, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Renee Zellweger were also at the roundtable.

Keep Reading Show less
popular