Saturday, October 10, 2009

politics as usual

I don't pretend to know whether President Obama "deserves" to have won the Nobel Peace Prize in the adolescence of his presidency (I'm timing this assessment on dog years, by the way), but I can say this:

For those of us on the left, debating the merits of the committee's decision is futile. And for our chums on the right (if such they can be called), denouncing the president with derisive mocking hardly seems to further the peace dialogue. Chairman Thorbjorn Jagland put it this way, "The question we have to ask is who has done the most in the previous year to enhance peace in the world." And, while there are certainly human rights activists toiling worldwide to fight for this (perhaps making more tangible—albeit less visible—strides), it is hard to deny that Obama did make a global ripple in the pond that touched the hearts and ideals of billions.

I prefer to look at it this way. This award is not based on his presidency, per se (a presidency that is nowhere near complete and therefore impossible to judge on the whole). To quote Bob Kerrey, "It's honoring the country. The Nobel committee couldn't award the peace prize to the voters of the United States, but that's what they are doing. It's an award Americans should feel good about."

I am certainly appreciative of what Obama has accomplished, even if that was little more than an innovative PR campaign for the United States.


craigtrademark said...

i think our friend rachel maddow puts it nicely:

g. fox said...

je t'aime. and yes.