Ours seems to be the only culture in which people riot when their side wins. The ongoing blowback over President Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize — a recognition he neither expected nor lobbied for — is the emotional equivalent of setting a police car on fire because your team won the Super Bowl.
Ours seems to be the only culture in which people riot when their side wins.
The ongoing blowback over President Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize — a recognition he neither expected nor lobbied for — is the emotional equivalent of setting a police car on fire because your team won the Super Bowl.
No president is entitled to a pass on political criticism and second-guessing. But the actual question of whether a rookie president deserves a Nobel Peace Prize after less than a year in office, as well as other issues, are increasingly shanghaied by irrational hissy fits regarding anything Obama.
It’s gotten to the point where some people who say they love their country have, in some instances, cheered against it.
Ho, ho ... hoax
Irrationality leads people to fall head-first for the ludicrous, from bogus birth certificates to charges of Marxism to the recent e-mail hoax that the Obamas have banned Christmas from the White House.
If Obama’s Nobel is indeed premature, even a farce, as Liz Cheney recently put it, shouldn’t the anger be directed at the five Norwegians who awarded it?
Former President George W. Bush left office with barrel-scraping poll numbers, but even Bush’s most vocal critics were taken aback at his being assaulted by an Iraqi journalist in 2008.
It’s not brain surgery: He was our president.
This is not an argument in defense of Obama’s peace prize. It strikes even me as premature, as wishful thinking, a gesture of seed faith. Nobel Committee Chairman Thobjorn Jagland tried to defend the panel’s decision, recently telling The Associated Press:
“Alfred Nobel wrote that the prize should go to the person who has contributed most to the development of peace in the previous year. Who has done more for that than Barack Obama?”
Well, among Americans, Bill and Melinda Gates, for one.
The Microsoft billionaires have devoted their time and hundreds of millions of their fortune to improving children’s health in Third World nations. They also have given millions to improving public-school systems around the country, including Canton City Schools.
Countless other people of all political persuasions have worked tirelessly for world peace, but the majority most likely will have to settle for the satisfaction that comes with loving your neighbor as yourself.
No, the issue isn’t about the rightness or wrongness of Obama’s winning a Nobel. After all, it’s a moot point, isn’t it?
It’s about — once again — the need for civility and an end to the spittle fits that pass these days for debate.
It’s about the Democratic National Committee’s inability to resist the temptation to lump in Republicans with terrorists, simply because the GOP couldn’t bring itself to offer even generic congratulations to the president.
It’s about Obama’s critics not conjuring up Adolf Hitler from the dead every other day — let him burn in peace. I’m sure a biracial Hawaiian liberal was exactly what the Nazis had in mind when they dreamed up the Third Reich.
If Obama was anything like Hitler, believe it — you wouldn’t be calling him Hitler, at least, not out loud.
It’s been said that Obama’s Nobel has angered the Taliban. Deserved or not, anything that aggravates those wife-beaters is worth the trouble.
Charita Goshay writes for The Repository in Canton, Ohio. Contact her at email@example.com.