"Things that interfere with writing well: Earning a living, especially by teaching."

-William H. Gass

Friday, October 09, 2009

My President Is Awesome

In their continuing effort to be selfish, greedy, and detrimental to as many Americans as possible, the conservatives can't see that when a sitting American President receives the Nobel Peace Prize it is good for America. The very same morons who during the last administration claimed that disagreeing with any president during wartime was treason are now disagreeing with the president on everything, even when he continues policies (bailout...) designed by and initiated in the former administration. That being said, there is a smattering of regular folks who question whether or not Barack Obama "deserves" the prize.

Of course he does.

First, let's understand what the prize's meaning really is. When Nobel died, his will said this: [The prize for peace was to be awarded to the person who] "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding of peace congresses."

Fraternity between nations. Not achieving perfect fraternity, but starting and maintaining relationships. Who else has done more, in the past year, to foster this? Perhaps there are folks, but I don't know who they are. Let's review, briefly, the stuff Obama has done to work toward fraternity between nations:

In Obama's FIRST DAY
-called Israel
-called Palestine
-called North Korea

-appeared on Al-Arabiya, Arab news channel, and tried to normalize basic communications between America and Arab nations
-ended "enhanced interrogation techniques" which were in violation of the Geneva conventions and therefore an affront to the many nations who value those conventions and human rights

-Negotiates a nuclear arms reduction plan with Russia

You know what? I'm stopping there. Who else, I ask you, did more than this? Who?

People seem to be complaining that he hasn't "done anything." The perception is that facilitating conversations isn't "doing anything."

First of all, it isn't just that he's made calls and started these conversations. He entered a river flowing in one direction and he has worked tirelessly to make it flow in the other. The Bush administration's foreign policy was the exact inverse of this one. Obama came to office and had to work out from under negative perceptions of his nation that he did nothing to create. It's like getting a class full of kids that had shitty teachers for eight years and trying to get them to pass the MCAS in 8 months.

Second, conversations aren't meaningless. If conversations aren't "doing anything" then Franklin and Adams and Jefferson weren't "doing anything" when they moved a bitterly divided congress to agreement regarding independence. Kennedy didn't "do anything" when he negotiated the world out of nuclear war. Abraham Lincoln wasn't "doing anything" when he gave a simple speech at Gettysburg.

The Nobel Prize has always gone to people who persevere in the face of adversity, and who make just decisions even when justice is unpopular. When it goes to people in power, it goes to people who consider the whole of the human population before making decisions. I have thought about it long and hard and I can't fathom a more appropriate recipient. Yo go, Mr. President.