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

Mom and blogger Mary Katherine Backstrom regularly shares snippets of life with her two children on her Facebook page. One particularly touching interaction with her daughter is melting hearts and blowing minds due to the three-year-old's wise words about forgiveness.

Even adults struggle with the concept of forgiveness. Entire books have been written about how and why to forgive those who have wronged us, but many still have a hard time getting it. Who would guess that a preschooler could encapsulate what forgiveness means in a handful of innocent words?

Keep Reading Show less
Family

California has a housing crisis. Rent is so astronomical, one San Francisco company is offering bunk bedsfor $1,200 a month; Google even pledged$1 billion to help tackle the issue in the Bay Area. But the person who might fix it for good? Kanye West.

The music mogul first announced his plan to build low-income housing on Twitter late last year.

"We're starting a Yeezy architecture arm called Yeezy home. We're looking for architects and industrial designers who want to make the world better," West tweeted.

Keep Reading Show less
Cities

The U.S. women's soccer team won the Women's World Cup, but the victory is marred by the fact that the team is currently fighting for equal pay. In soccer, the game is won by scoring points, but the fight for equal pay isn't as clearly winnable and the playing field isn't as even.

We live in a world where winning the World Cup is easier than winning equal pay, but co-captain Megan Rapinoe says there's one easy way fans can support the team: Go see games.

Some people argue the men's team deserves to get paid more because they are more successful and earn more money for the United States Soccer Federation. Pay depends on merchandise and ticket sales, and in general, men's sporting events tend to draw a bigger crowd than women's sporting events. It's not about sex, many argue; it's about the fact that people just prefer to see men play.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

You think you know someone pretty well when you spend years with them, but, as we've seen time and again, that's not always the case. And though many relationships don't get to a point where the producers of "Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?" start calling every day just to chat, the reality is that sometimes partners will reveal shocking things even after you thought you'd been all shocked out.

That's the case for one woman whose Reddit thread has recently gone viral. The 25-year-old, who's been with her boyfriend for five years, took to a forum for relationship advice to ask if it was normal that her seemingly cool and loving boyfriend recently revealed women shouldn't have a fundamental right. (And no, it's not abortion — although there are a lot of "otherwise best ever boyfriends" out there who want to deny women the rights to bodily autonomy, too.)

Keep Reading Show less
Recommended