11 October 2009 @ 06:39 pm
Barack Obama, Nobel Laureate  
I imagine that everyone on this reading list has heard about Obama and his being granted the Nobel Peace Prize. Like others, I think that this award was granted prematurely. He has simply not been president long enough to merit such recognition, nor has he fulfilled what he said he would. (This is not an indictment on Obama; he must try to strike compromises with the Republicans in Congress, which is an arduous task for any Democrat.) The United States is still at war with Iraq and Afghanistan, which makes a Peace Prize quite inappropriate. He has pledged to remove troops, but he has not removed them yet. Why award him a prize for something that has not yet been accomplished, and may never be accomplished, considering how the Republican Congress has behaved towards him since his election? 

I have heard that the Nobel committee may have granted him the prize to 'encourage' him, but this still makes little sense to me. The Nobel Prize doesn't exist to merely 'encourage' people; it exists to recognize pre-existing achievements. Would a scientist be awarded a Nobel Prize for an experiment whose results have not yet been confirmed? I doubt it. Why, then, does Obama merit this award? Yes, he is a better President for foreign affairs than Bush was, but in 2008, most presidential nominees would have been better than Bush, McCain included. (A notable exception is Mike Huckabee, who struck me as a Christian Right war-mongering fool.) If McCain, Clinton, Edwards, or any of the other nominees were elected, would they receive this prize? Probably not, at least in my opinion.

I must make it clear that I am not saying that Obama is a poor president; Bush and his ilk were far, far worse at managing America's affairs. (And I know John McCain would be horrible, and Sarah Palin a travesty.) I am just saying that it is far too early in his term for him to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, especially since he has not done anything to MERIT it.