I Like Obama. But the Nobel Peace Prize?

I voted for Barack Obama. I think he has some great ideas. (Whether he will actually get to implement them as he’d like, thanks to obstructionists in his own party and outright lying by members of the other party, is another story altogether.) I like his idealism. I like how he is re-connecting progressive politics to a spiritual and moral framework. I like his message of personal responsibility in education, and his attempts to get us all to re-awaken the idea of civic engagement and unity. (That rich pundits and talk show hosts have more of an interest in keeping us divided and angry, and do so through lies, distortions and general rabble-rousing, is a disgusting commentary on what “political discourse” has become in this country.)

I like lots of things about Barack Obama. I think he’s a good man, who’s trying his best, and discovering that the reality of today’s politics are ugly, and he’s probably frustrated at being thwarted at every turn by people whose main motivations revolve around either keeping special interests happy (and the money from them flowing), or just seeing him fail for whatever reason they have for wanting a completely failed presidency.

But I’m not sure that the Nobel Peace Prize is really warranted. Obama’s got good ideas, and he’s trying his best to help the situation here in the country and around the world, but perhaps someone else might warrant the Nobel Peace Prize. Piedad Cordoba has been trying to get peace in Colombia for years, and has even arranged for the freeing of captives. Another interesting choice might have been Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad in Jordan who has been encouraging peace through inter-faith dialogue. Also, Sima Samar, an Afghan doctor who has campaigned for human rights and done a lot in Darfur. These were considered the three main front-runners.

I wonder if the committee just wanted to recognize an achievement, or if it is banking on Obama’s future potential. But either reason, I think, is probably not good enough to get the Nobel Peace Prize. The committee cited his work in international diplomacy and his thinking toward nuclear disarmament, but I think that, perhaps, the prize could have waited a couple of years for some more solid accomplishments. Especially since this move is only going to inflame elements waiting to pounce, and cause even more spiteful rhetoric toward him.

At any rate, he was a class act, a stand-up guy as he delivered remarks upon receiving the prize.

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3 thoughts on “I Like Obama. But the Nobel Peace Prize?”

  1. As a “pouncing element” I see this as more fuel for Obama’s Messiah complex. However more than anything to do with Obama, I think that this simply undermines the credibility and diminishes the importance of the Nobel prize.
    Past Nobel winners from the US have also greatly clouded the honor or the Prize. Al Gore won for making a slideshow about drowning polar bears, and Jimmy Carter did, well, something, I think. I know he talked bad about Bush, was that why he won? Or was it because he wrecked the economy, sold the canal, and couldn’t negotiate with Iran?

    You are very right that there are others more deserving of the award, who have made real strides toward peace in the world rather than just talking a big game.
    I am not sure if this is a play by the Nobel Committee to garner favor with the US administration, or to help ressurect Obama’s mystique for some reason, but it just doesn’t feel like the man has done anything yet. Of course, he got the White House with a blank resume, maybe this is just more of the same, proof that the power of his personality is greater than his deeds could ever be.

  2. Uhhhh…I don’t think he has a Messiah complex. I think that he wants to make things better, and that he is an engaging person. Just because the media likes to make a big deal of it, and just because the Right wants to crucify him (figuratively) mercilessly for everything, doesn’t mean that Obama has a Messiah complex.

    Obama doesn’t have a Messiah complex, any more than G.W. Bush was actually “just regular folks.”

  3. Miranda, I agree with your less harsh reasons as to why Obama shouldn’t have received a Nobel Peace Prize. From some articles I read yesterday it sounds like many who awarded him the prize think it will give motivation and fuel his fire of change. Perhaps they feel world leaders might respond better to someone who has received this prize?

    But I think a prize should be given after the achievement. And as you said I think it will hurt him with his critics. Perhaps there is a prize for “best plan to start and intentions” Obama could win.

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