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President Obama Wins The Nobel Peace Prize...Politics As Usual!

Updated on October 22, 2009
President Obama (Before the announcement)
President Obama (Before the announcement)

It’s Friday, October 9th. I awoke this morning to the surprise announcement that America’s very own sitting president, Barack Obama, has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for what I imagine to be the promise that his administration—behind his rhetoric—holds in the area of global diplomacy. Actually, surprise is something of a criminal understatement; the assembled reporters covering the announcement could be heard letting out a collective gasp.

And as I continue to watch and listen to news coverage of the announcement, just as predictable as the astonishment of the award are the shrugs of so what?, who cares? and no big deal from those who oppose his policies, either on purely ideological grounds, or as a reflex against his popularity in many domestic and global quarters (with regard to his popularity and the fervor by which those who support him embrace him, opponents often refer to him—mockingly so—as the “Messiah”). Indeed, the doubts surrounding his surprise nomination and being awarded the prize are merited, especially given the immaturity of both his administration and his standing on the global stage as a policy-shaper. Its questionable to be awarded such a prestigious recognition only 9 months into the administration based on presumption alone. But in the Grand Scheme, it seems that the award is a unexpected counterbalance to the relentless criticism of the administration's staunchest and most vocal critics, who unfairly charge that his policies are ineffective...after only such a short amount of time in office (again, based mostly on ideological differences rather than substance of policy. I myself gave Bush II the benefit of the doubt far longer before than that before the counter-productive nature of his policies became apparent).

But while I do not find favor in every policy of the Obama Administration (especially as they relate to the soft-handed handling of terrorists), I do applaud among other endeavors, his efforts to craft a policy of universal affordable health care coverage for every American. And while this accolade for efforts made toward peace is no halo or conferring of sainthood, in a perfect world, it should give his opponents pause for unswervingly embracing their political ideologies at the expense doing what is simply right and practical by the American people. It’s a sign that the world is watching America, and that many others actually embrace the hope that America can live up to its promise as an example of progressive global (as well as domestic) leadership…despite how we Americans often live and think inside a fishbowl.

However, I’m sure as tomorrow’s sunrise that in the coming days, opponents of health care and other much-needed people-oriented and practical legislation will spin this award as reflective of the irrelevant opinions of other nations, or some other such rhetoric. But maybe the awarding of the 2009 Nobel Peace prize to our president wouldn’t be such a shock to Americans if we would learn to see ourselves as others see us. Maybe if we could see in ourselves—both as leaders and citizens—with having as much promise in America as the Nobel Nominating Committee, maybe we finally be smart enough to craft policies, both domestic as well as global, based on the progressiveness of need, and not out of some adherence to some vision-limiting ideology.


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    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Well written hub. I agree with most of what you say, too. I definitely believe we need health care reform, but I'm not sure about the bill that will eventually make its way out of Congress.

    • MagicStarER profile image

      MagicStarER 8 years ago from Western Kentucky

      Things that make you go "hmmmmm..."

      This is another viewpoint, for sure. After the last administration, the rest of the world sees us as murderous invaders, brutal torturers, and tramplers of human rights.

      Maybe you are right, maybe they are giving the award as a way to "inspire" peace and good will, as wishful thinking. Maybe now our government will have to live up to that.

      I know you are definitely right about one thing. The "2 party" myth is just that: a myth. There are powers much greater than that - that run this country and the world itself. People need to clear the smoke from their eyes and wake up to see the truth of what is really happening. If everyone could see it, there would be more unity in this country, and much less name-calling and hate-filled diatribes.

      As long as we focus on each other as the enemy, we can not see the real one, nor can we fight it.

    • Jewels profile image

      Jewels 8 years ago from Australia

      It's not very often you hear an American speak from the global standpoint about their own country as you have. The fishbowl is noticeably big so it's great to hear from those not swimming in it for a change.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I seem to agree with your views pretty much. This was a good read, thank you!