Friday, October 9, 2009

Award-winning performance? Unfortunately, not yet

So Barack Obama has won a Nobel Peace Prize. I should be pleased but I’m not.

I’ve always believed the Noble Peace Prize should be awarded to someone who has done inspirational things. The choice of Obama for the prize this year feels very political – a gesture of approval to the American public for electing someone whose politics are more in line with those of Europe. And while that may be a good thing, it’s an award to Obama for his approach not an accomplishment. (Okay, maybe a Democrat winning the presidency is an accomplishment these days!)

I’m also saddened to see the prize awarded to a politician, unless it’s one who has taken an extraordinary position or is fighting an extraordinary cause, the obvious example being Daw Aung San Su Kyi. In Obama’s case, making overtures around the world, viewing policies from a global as well as an American perspective, and generally acting as a statesman for one of the world's premier democracies is part of his job as president. I expect nothing less. Has the quality of American presidents declined so much that someone who is thoughtful in manner deserves an award?

Before I had even heard today’s announcement, I was actually thinking back this morning about my decision to support Obama during the democratic primary in 2008. One of my concerns was whether or not Obama would be “tough enough.” Would he be able to withstand the right-wing juggernaut, and fire back? Would he vigorously defend core liberal values (something Bill Clinton with his great need to be loved failed to do)? I had some doubts, but decided to give him a chance.

But as I look at Obama’s progress on a number of issues – health care, homosexuals in the military, Israeli settlements, and others – I’m feeling very worried indeed. As head of the U.S. Democratic Party, I’m still waiting for his leadership on issues close to this Democrat’s heart.

He hasn’t done anything prize-worthy on the American, let alone the world stage…yet.

I'm almost embarrassed for the guy!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Är du svensk? Det går även alldeles utmärkt att skriva kommentarer på svenska!/Comments in Swedish are also welcome!