10 October 2009

Awards, America, the World, Politics

I intentionally haven’t read any of the reactions to the surprise announcement yesterday by the Nobel Prize committee, awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama. I thought I’d voice a few thoughts first, unaffected by others’ opinions.

My first though is that it’s an award, freely given and freely received. The Nobel committee is (presumably) an independent body that can do whatever it wishes. Colleges give honorary degrees to folks; Hollywood selects the Oscar awards in secret; dozens, hundreds of real, humorous, serious, fun awards are doled out every day.

Secondly, I hope the opposition party of the U.S. government doesn’t use this to drive a wedge even deeper into the heart of our political system. If I were a Republican member of Congress, I would view this as an award for America. I hope that the politicians on both sides of the aisle can rise above petty politics regarding President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize.

Finally, it seems like the Nobel committee is doing the same thing – giving an award to America. How incredible would it be to believe that America is actually “joining” the rest of the world, and that the rest of the world is welcoming America.

Let us read the headlines and listen to the talking heads and pundits over the next few weeks to see if I’m justified in my hopes, or if things remain with the same adversarial negativity.