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Nobel Follow-up

October 11th, 2009

First of all, you may recall that yesterday, I predicted that conservatives would quickly begin to call Obama’s Nobel Peace Price the result of Affirmative Action, and they did not disappoint. Almost immediately after (or perhaps just before, depending on time zones) I hit the “post” button, they started doing exactly that. Thanks to reader “Kitty” for bringing to my attention the first right-winger to make that claim–and surprisingly it wasn’t Rush Limbaugh. It was Erick Erickson of Redstate.org. Congratulations, Eric, you win the Limbaugh Prize for Gasbag Racism! Just an hour or so behind him was the “we’re not white supremacists” VDare Blog and an Aussie columnist, followed later by a columnist for the Naples (Florida) News, and, more predictably, Michelle Malkin on Fox.

But there have been questions from all sides about the legitimacy of the prize. I would like to make a clearer statement as to why I think the prize is deserved, in unconventional.

Obama has taken the world’s strongest superpower and has changed it’s considerable momentum in substantial ways. Has he changed it’s arrogant stance to one of humility; he has changed its belligerent mindset to a conciliatory one. In contrast to the prior administration, which broke international nuclear treaties from the start and waged a dangerous game of nuclear supremacy, Obama reversed course, reconnecting with the international community, ending the Star Wars farce, and coming forth as an advocate of nuclear disarmament. Granted, he hasn’t done everything we’d like to see him do. But he has changed the most powerful nation on Earth from a frighteningly aggressive bully back to the Nation of Hope that much of the world very much appreciated and missed. I think too many people simply take that for granted.

As much as this may be contrastive with the previous president, as much as it may have been achieved by winning an election and beginning to implement a political agenda, it is nonetheless a powerfully significant action that means a great deal to the hopes for peace in the world. In real terms, Obama has already made a bigger difference in the course of history than many past winners of the award.

And when it comes down to it, aren’t most of the great figures in history exactly this: people who took unreasonably violent and aggressive environments and turned them toward peace and sanity? Does it matter that Obama didn’t suffer as much to achieve it?

I guess if he had spent years in jail as a political prisoner before being allowed to bring this change, it would have seemed like a more worthy accomplishment. But the net effect is the same.

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