A Nobel Responsibilty – Obama Wins the Nobel Peace Prize

In a controversial and surprising move, the Nobel Peace Committee nominated Barack Obama today for the Nobel Peace Prize. They cited his steps to promote world peace, and especially his efforts to create a nuclear free world.

The nay-sayers are already out in force, citing that there Obama’s presidency is in its infancy (he’s only within the first year of his tenure), that the U.S. is heavily involved in many wars, and there are more deserving candidates.

But despite this almost pavlovian anti-Americanism  that is rampant among the world, this signals a fresh break and a signal of change from the Peace Committee. And one that I believe is important to take a closer look at.

Obama does not have an easy road ahead of him, and people tend to forget that he is dealing with a plate full of problems that he did not create. The wars in Iraq (which he was from the get-go against) and Afghanistan; the financial crisis; a plate full of domestic issues including health care reform; and an increasingly global world in need of cooperation on a global scale.

These, like it or not, are some of the main problems that face our generation today. And I cannot think of any figure in the world who has more of an ability to make a positive change on all of these issues.

Political scientists talk about soft power, or the power a person’s personality or reputation can do to move or change politics. By giving Obama this award, it only increases his political clout, and gives him a much needed boost when people are starting to think his vision and ideas are waning.

One of the main reasons for giving Obama the award was to increase his soft power. Increasing and encouraging Obama’s reputation will promote changing these visions and ideals of hope into a reality. Obama is deserving of this award, but with it he gets a greater responsibility to pursue the vision he created when he started on his presidency campaign. Hopefully Obama steps up to the challenge.

What do you think? Was he deserving? What does this decision mean?

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “A Nobel Responsibilty – Obama Wins the Nobel Peace Prize

  1. Jon

    I’m all for Obama, but I don’t think he should have been awarded the Peace prize. His ambitions are in the right place and he is certainly doing his part to line up all the ‘peace ducks’ in a row worldwide, but the prize should be awarded to someone who has actively pursued, and then ACHIEVED something monumental. Mandela didn’t get it until decades after he spent a young adult’s lifetime in prison. It almost seems like Oslo bestowed this award upon him as a morale boost to encourage him in his fight. Sure he’s a dynamite guy (pun on the origins of the Nobel Prize, if you didn’t catch that), but couldn’t we have withheld the prize until peace he has created somewhere has had at least a little chance to sprout and stand on its own? It also gives his naysayers here at home added fodder for the ‘he was only elected for his starpower’ argument. I hope he accepts it humbly and donates the money to something worthwhile.

  2. I was a little surprised at the award, given the short time he has been in office and that what he has done is not complete.

    I found an article that brought out the point that “…the prize is awarded to encourage those who receive it to see the effort through, sometimes at critical moments.”

    Under that standard, I see how the criteria were met. The man has a lot to fix, perhaps this is a ringing endorsement of his method.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091009/ap_on_re_eu/eu_nobel_peace_myths_2

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