Friday, October 09, 2009

Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize?!

I imagine I was just as surprised as anyone to wake up to this news. I do admire many of Obama's goals, even if it is yet to be seen if any of them work in practice or not. I admire the idea of universal health care, although I'm nervous about putting it into practice. I admire a more diplomatic approach to foreign affairs, although I hope it doesn't compromise our security. I don't like nuclear bombs, but I'm not sure it's a good idea for us to get rid of all ours quite yet. I admire the greater emphasis on a cleaner environment, even if I'm not qualified to comment on the science.

But Obama's not really done anything yet, and it remains to be seen if he will accomplish any of his goals. Afghanistan may very well fall apart. All versions of a health care bill may fail. Israel has rejected any peace settlement in the near future. It seems inevitable that Iran and North Korea are going to be having nuclear bombs for the foreseeable future. We are massively in debt to China and it doesn't look like that's going to change any time soon.

So what do I make of all this? More than anything else, I think it is an affirmation of Obama's trajectory over that of the Bush administration. If there had been no Bush, Obama would not be getting this prize. It is an indication of how drastically the very election of Obama has, whether rightly or wrongly, improved the world's perception of the United States as their friend rather than as something to be scared of.

Not sure that this prize will have much of an impact on anything. Maybe it will. In the short, run, it will certainly cause a spike in those chain emails I get claiming Obama is the antichrist. ;-)


::athada:: said...

"improved the world's perception of the United States"

I now realize that I heard the same thing on Hannity radio this afternoon, just said differently ("Obama apologizing for America" "The world loves a weak leader who won't go after the terrorists").

Like a crafty pitch of a baseball, it's (mostly) in the spin.

Thanks for the insight: that this says more about what the rest of the world thinks than it does about the president who's still getting used to the smells of the Oval Office.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Wim told me that all the headlines across the world were no positive.

In light of some human right dissendents thinking they had a chance, it seems a little politically motivated. But, by who?

Since Obama did not meet with the Dalai Lama when he was in Washington last week, one wonders, especially in light of his meeting with the Chiness and N. Korea in the near future.

Is it possible that our debt to China has any connections? And why didn't the Chinese want to continue to invest in our economy? Was it because of our debt and our forseeable universal healthcare plan that will increase our debt even more?

Ken Schenck said...

I think it was the endorsement of a way of relating to the world vis-a-vis the way the Bush administration related to the world. It is an endorsement of diplomacy over military force, an endorsement of environmental initiative over resistance, an endorsement of global participation over national isolation. It had to do with what Obama represents in the minds of the committee rather than with Obama himself as an individual.

That's my take at least.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

That is the "mantra", from the intellectuals, but the World community, as a whole are not readily embracing an America without a military force. And those whose loved ones are in harm's way, I'm sure don't think that this is a way to go "forward".

Bush cannot be the basis of a "wholistic change" of direction (revolution?). America's Founders had wisdom that must be followed and it was a Sovereign nation that upheld its Constitution. Human rights will suffer, I am afraid, as civil liberties.

Anonymous said...

I hear he will also be the MVP of the World Series, Super Bowl and rumored to win the Heisman Trophy. No doubt he will be pronounced winner of American Idol, Dancing With the Stars and crowned Miss America.

So many honors and high hopes for such an unaccomplished telepromter reader.

Ken Schenck said...

I'm personally looking forward most to his appearance on Dancing with the Stars.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Ken you will miss that dazzling event...No doubt Obama will win without having to do anything, just like his Nobel Peace Prize victory!

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Politics is driven by who you know, not what you have done. Otherwise, there would not be a need to have laws that protect from neopotism.

This is the real world's value and experience, "connection".

Christopher C. Schrock said...

Dr. Schenck,

Please forward all said chain emails to me. I have been needing a good laugh. ;)

Ken Schenck said...

This isn't about Obama, but it's the sort of thing I get every once and a while:

"The entire Congress of the United States is corrupt. And I mean both Houses and I mean both major parties. I realize that a few Members of each House are Independents and at least one is a declared Socialist but, as a group of people, they are absolutely the most corrupt bunch to ever disgrace our Nation.

In November of 2010 the entire House of Representatives will have to stand for re-election; all 435 of them. One third of the Senate, a total of 33 of them, will also stand for re-election. Vote every incumbent out. And I mean every one of them. No matter their Party affiliation. Let's start all over in the House of Representatives with 435 people who have absolutely no experience in running that body, with no political favors owed to anyone but their own constituents. Let's make them understand that they work for us. They are answerable to us and they simply have to run that body with some common sense.

Two years later, in 2012, vote the next third of the incumbents in the Senate out. You'll know who they are because their names will be on the ballot and, in most cases, will be shown as the Incumbent. If you don't know who your Senators are, (there are only two for each State) find out. And then vote them out, too!

We can do the same thing in 2014 and, by that time we will have put all new people in that body as well. We, the People, have got to take this Country back and we HAVE to do it peacefully.

That's what the Framers of our Constitution envisioned. Please, if you love this Country, send this (as I have done) to absolutely everyone whose email address appears in your address book. This thing can permeate this Country in no time. Let's make it happen.


Ken Schenck said...

I love the line, "That's what the Framers of our Constitution envisioned." Yep, let's put completely inexperienced people in Congress every cycle! Go America!

Christopher C. Schrock said...

"Vote every incumbent out. And I mean every one of them. No matter their Party affiliation. Let's start all over..." I think I’ve heard something like that before…the student doing poorly in class says, "Things have to change!." So he goes out and buys all new pens, pencils, highlighters, paper, and puts them in a new trapper-keeper and thinks somehow, wah-lah, he will start getting better grades. That was a great laugh – thanks!