Wednesday, October 14, 2009

No, Maureen Dowd, It's Not Alpo

I expected the extreme right to attack President Obama for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The National Republican Committee in the form of Michael Steele - not known for thinking before speaking - didn't surprise me when he said

"...the real question Americans are asking is, “What has President Obama actually accomplished?” It is unfortunate that the president’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights. One thing is certain — President Obama won’t be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility, or backing up rhetoric with concrete action."

On Sunday, Bob Schieffer of Meet the Press said the award would change the way we look at the prize. In her column, Maureen Dowd of the New York Times said that because Gandhi never won the prize and because Kissinger did, "it ain't worth a can of Alpo" writing her column as a conversation between W and Clinton - suggesting that they are now BFF's because Obama's winning the prize had erased every reason for strain between the two of them.

Thomas Friedman, also of the times, demands that the prize should instead be given to the American military as they are the ones who have actually brought peace. WTF? Isn't the military made up of soldiers who are sent by their commanders to invade a country that did not attack us? Isn't that called waging war? How does he get waging peace out of that?

Bill Kristol, late of the Times, states that President Obama's receipt of the Peace Prize is anti-American. Excuse me? I find myself insulted by that. I'm an American. I'm not always pleased with the decisions made by the President, but he was elected by a majority of Americans. He has already accomplished a lot. The American people elected an overwhelming majority in both houses of Congress - a clear message that we reject the ideology of the Republican Party and of the previous administration.

The day of the award, the Taliban stated that President Obama did not deserve the award. On his show, Rush Limbaugh said that, amazingly enough, he agreed with the Taliban. And laughed.

And I could go on, and on, and on.

Regardless of what a few people with a very loud platform say, the majority of Americans approve of President Obama, approve of how he is doing his job, approve of his winning the Nobel Peace Prize, and are proud that the prize was awarded to an American. Most people understand that whenever something good happens to an American, we can all be proud.

He won the prize because he campaigned on a platform of ending the two wars the George Bush got us into. He campaigned on a platform of closing Guantanamo and ending torture. He campaigned on a platform of restoring America's place in the world community. He convinced the American people to elect him to change the direction of this country. Archbishop Desmond Tutu was awarded the Peace Prize for his work towards ending apartheid despite the fact that apartheid did not end for another 10 years. Martin Luther King, Jr., was awarded the prize although the issue of race is far from over in this country, Jimmy Carter won the prize for his work towards Middle East peace, although it is obvious peace is still a distant dream. Al Gore won for his work on global warming, yet the earth gets warmer every year.

Clearly, the committee rewards vision and possibility. Clearly, the committee respects work that begins healing. Clearly the committee sees the healing that has begun as President Obama travels the world and repairs the damage done by George Bush and his administration.

So yes, President Obama most definitely, according to the precedents set by the Nobel Committee does deserve the Peace Prize. Because it is, however, based as much on possibilities as actions, we can all look forward to watching him realize the change that he promised us.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.

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