Obama (America) Deserves Nobel Peace Prize10.09.09
Many are saying that President Barack Obama has received the Nobel Peace Prize far too soon, before he’s been able to actually do all these things that he’s setting out to do. They’re saying that he should decline the award until he’s able to accomplish the goals that would warrant such an honor. And, as expected, despite the President of the United States (note, of the entire country, not just the Democrats’ President) winning such high accolades, the GOP has nothing good to say whatsoever.
Is it too soon? Well, I suppose that depends on what merits you’re basing the award. According to Nobel, the prize should be awarded “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” Obviously, there isn’t an exact method to determine a winner. It isn’t a numerical decision. Judges don’t rate participants based on trials and give scores. Much of what a person accomplishes in order to win this award is intangible.
Even if intangible, it can be palpable. And the global climate since Obama took office – actually, since Obama won the election – has changed drastically. It is palpable. Still, many people don’t seem to care about this. Someone posted on my Facebook facetiously saying that he will sleep better at night knowing that the world admires us because we elected Barack Obama. The reality is that it does matter. The world’s view of America does matter. Because we are the flagship. It’s called the American Dream, not the British Dream nor the Japanese Dream. When our economy collapsed, so did the rest of the global economy. One of our political enemies – China – invests in our country because it knows that if we fall, the world would follow suit. We are an integral part of the global economy and society and to think that no one else’s opinion of us matters is arrogant, ignorant, and foolish.
Obama won the prize for this: his desire for peace, his announced diplomacy, and his levelheaded, rational approach to global conflicts. I suppose had we not endured eight years of wrongness and damaging ideology under George W. Bush, Obama’s traits and actions wouldn’t be seen nearly as drastic of a change. In fact, if it were based simply on what Obama has done specifically, many, many presidents would be in line for a Nobel Peace Prize. But, it needs to be examined in the microcosm of the current climate of global affairs.
It’s the world giving Obama the thumbs up, the go-ahead, the support of the global community to keep going forward with his – and the majority of American’s – ideas and that he’s not alone. It’s actually more telling to how terrible Bush’s policies and mentalities were than to how revolutionary Obama’s are.
It’d be nice if this were a wake-up call to the conservatives of America, but instead I fear that it will simply further entrench them in their stubbornly partisan ways. They know the reason Obama won this. They know it’s because of how bad Bush was to the world as a whole. It wasn’t just a national debacle; Bush changed the entire globe for the worse. Nobel awarded this prize to America, to the overwhelming majority of voters who elected him and the rest of the Democratic majority in Congress, to let us know to stay strong and trust that we are indeed on the right track.
Not to say things are perfect. Not to say Obama is perfect or infallible. Not to say Obama should be doing better and doing more. But, on so many levels, it’s incalculably better than things were a year ago.