>I woke up Friday morning and received a marketwatch e-mail alert that read, “Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize.” My initial reaction was, “huh, really.” Of course in the heading of the e-mail it did not mention what he received it for, just that he received it.
My kids were asking me “What is the Nobel Peace Prize? What did President Obama win the award for?” Of course, I had to stop and think about this for a moment.
I have some mixed feelings about this. As an American, I am proud that the award went to an American. Symbolically, this was a good thing, especially in light of how a lot of the world had perceived us as the “Evil Empire” and “war-mongers,” under the previous administration. Of course in politics, nothing is ever purely symbolic. When you break through the surface, you will find “actual meaning.” As I unfortunately have to teach my children, it is more important what politicians actually do, then what they say. Most of what comes out of politicians mouths are symbolic base-appealing rhetoric that will help them get re-elected or look good in the polls.
As I explained to my children, the real reason that this award was given to Obama was for political reasons on the part of the European Union. The award in part was an anti-Bush statement by Europe that implied that they did not like our previous administrations cowboy attitude towards the rest of the world. It was no secret that aside from England and Tony Blair, the rest of the world was not a huge fan of Bush’s foreign policy. The Europeans were really glad to hear Obama bashing and apologizing for America’s foreign policies in the past, and for him addressing the Muslim world in his speech and asking the rest of the world for help in the war on terror. Which by the way, they said “NO!” A few other countries like Italy offered a few thousand additional troops for Afghanistan, merely symbolic. At least the award went to an American.
The other main reason that this award was given to Obama was the fact that the European countries are thrilled that this administration is moving more and more closer to their socialistic policies. From the government stimulus package, takeover of the auto industry, takeover of the banking industry and now attempting a takeover of the healthcare industry. We are beginning to look more and more like a European country. For this, the Nobel Peace Prize was a gesture of approval on the part of Europe. An arm around the shoulder of Obama, with a “keep up the good work” praise.
When the recipient himself comments that he felt he did not deserve the award, it makes you stop and think about what is really going on here. Were there other more deserving candidates? I am sure. One that came to my mind was former president Bill Clinton, for going over to North Korea and negotiating the release of two young American journalists from an evil dictator. That to me warrants a Nobel peace prize, more than someone in office for only eight months who has not yet passed any significant pieces of legislation.