Monday, October 12, 2009
Credibility and Potential
In case you missed this news late last week, most of the world was shocked (or maybe not so much) that Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize this year. On the one hand, he's been President of the United States for nine months and I really can't see where he's done much to promote peace throughout the world. Except of course for that apology tour he took right after he got into office. I'm sure that appeased some of our enemies. And the pandering he's doing about sending more troops into Afghanistan. I'm sure that's appeased the Taliban. And that fact that we've got a great semantics game going on where we no longer have terrorist threats or terrorists. Now we have man-made catastrophes. (Government rule: add more words in order to confuse the issue). His slap at Israel while he was speaking at the United Nations? It didn't set too well with our allies (namely Israel), but I'm sure it made a lot of the other middle east occupants (Hamas, Palestinians) feel more peaceful.
But if Obama hasn't done much for peace in the last nine months, he certainly hadn't done much for peace in eleven days. That's how long he'd been in office when he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Yep. Eleven days. That seemed awfully surprising to me, but then I wondered if perhaps they were looking at his record before he became President. Had he accomplished some major things that caused this award to happen? Let's see ...
He achieved a seat in the United States Senate with little more than "community organizing" experience under his belt. So did he accomplish great things in the Senate? Actually, he spent less than two years total time in his Senate seat. He spent the rest of the time running for President.
And there you have it. The sum total of his experience. And now he's the leader of the free world. Oh! And he's done something else as well.
He's toppled the credibility of the committee that awards the Nobel Peace Prize. I've heard that they more or less admitted they awarded the prize based on potential rather than accomplishment. And in their efforts to do that, they destroyed their own credibility.
Potential is a wonderful thing. I know many people with incredibly potential. The problem is, not all of those people will reach their potential. In fact, many people never live up to their full potential. Awards are not supposed to be given for what you can do, but what you are doing. I sincerely doubt that Obama will ever earn a Nobel Peace Prize. But it would have been more legitimate if they'd at least waited until he'd done something before they gave it to him.
In his acceptance speech he said that he wasn't sure he'd earned it yet. But then he accepted it anyway. There have been people in the past who were awarded but they turned it down. They didn't feel it was for them. If Obama had turned down this farce, that would have increased his credibility with many people. It would also have given him some sorely needed humility points. But I guess in this world gone mad, we should have expected this.
I wonder if anyone's entered his name for the Nobel Prize for literature. Do they have a fiction category?
Posted by Jill at 7:11 AM