I went on Canadian television on Friday, telling the viewers that I was waiting for Rush Limbaugh to declare that the Nobel Peace Prize became an affirmative action award. I just knew that the self-proclaimed king of conservative talk radio would come out and say that the Nobel Committee was bent on their desire to see the first Black president success that it would drive the media and their own prize in a direction to ensure this “victory.”
Kind of like how Limbaugh said the media wanted Donovan McNabb to succeed at quarterback at all costs just to have a successful Black quarterback to debunk the (now-ancient) myth about Black quarterbacks.
Well, the good news is that Limbaugh didn’t quite go down that path.
The bad news is that other talk show hosts did.
And it’s worse that their opinions seem to carry some merit – even if it’s not true.
And the worst of it is that it will only be another cog in the machine to division in America.
The Obama Peace Prize will fall out of the news cycle soon enough, just as other items do quickly in our 24/7 news coverage world. However, the quickness in which the American president was rewarded - for among other things, not being President Bush, trying to negotiate (through the media and one-off communications) with rogue nations, and downplaying the USA’s status as a superpower – will not stay gone. This angst will linger for those that oppose the president for months, becoming an underlying sentiment of frustration and resentment that will fuel more opposition (and theories) in an invisible way.
Opponents of the Obama will have a point as well. As others have said, this Nobel Peace Prize is a clear attempt of the Nobel Committee (and select others) to influence the president in regards to his impending decisions concerning Iran and Afghanistan. What others have not said is that this is also a clear attempt by other influences to tell the American people what type of president they should look to elect and support moving forward. Not only does this include the type of demeanor this president should take with the international community (conciliatory and apologetic), but it also includes how Americans should expect its leaders to move forward with foreign policy (diplomatic relations, even if unsuccessful or inconsequential.)
And that is the problem, not some rant about “affirmative action” or “not doing anything.”
The problem with President Obama’s global popularity is that he is rapidly becoming famous for being…well…famous, instead of being the type of leader that people expected him to be as he was voted into office this time last year. And if there is a weak link to the president, some are claiming that it’s his vanity, something that may come into play as the Peace Prize is awarded to him in Oslo in the near future. Will the president’s insistent belief that “…the respect of our global neighbors around the world helps keep America safe…” compromise his ability to do everything within his power as our leader to keep America safe? With the award this Friday has come rhetoric that President Obama cannot be a war president and a peace prize winner simultaneously. However, if Obama is to keep America safe from enemies that do not see self-destruction as a deterrent, the only means to keep America safe is to pursue war on the offensive – thus, making Obama a “war president” in much the same way that the global anti-Obama (that would be George W. Bush) was since September 11, 2001.
Even more interesting is this: if the Nobel Peace Prize was given to President Obama for what he was going to do (versus what he has done to date), yet he turns around and applies the Bush Doctrine to Afghanistan and Iran, will he lose the award – or, more importantly to him and his supporters, the esteem he currently garners around the world?
Personally, I’m waiting to see what plays out – not the calls of “affirmative action” and others slurs against our POTUS and the Nobel Prize Committee, but for whether Americans’ confidence and appreciation for safety mean more to the latest Peace Prize winner than does the adoration of a left-leaning international community, especially if that includes a paradoxical military directive in the face of very real international threats.