10 October 2009

Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize

Yesterday, President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, in a surprise decision.

Given that Obama has been in office for less than 9 months, and that he has yet to rack up concrete accomplishments in ending the wars that are bankrupting the US, the award is way premature - that's something his supporters, the far-right thugs, and the far-left distractors all agree on.

However, I've heard of some analyses that say that the prize was awarded to Obama as a proxy of the American people. The fact that the Bush Cowboy Diplomacy has ended, and that there is a US government willing to talk to the Muslim world and consider non-combat solutions to various world problems, is a huge change when seen from the rest of the world, be it from the Middle East, Europe, or Asia. And the fact that the American people, after enthusiastically re-electing George W. Bush, turned around and gave a chance to a black man with a short political career, is still huge, even though the American people themselves are too occupied with the domestic mess within the US to realize it. If this is the rationale beyond awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama, then I am all for it.

Obama was elected to the presidency with a huge expectation to fulfill. And the Nobel Peace Prize only makes those expectations even larger. Obama has too much of a mess - not to mention too much resistance from the political establishment, and not enough will to push what's right. I think if he can simply end the madness started by Reagan-Bush and the Southern California-based far right ideologues, that'll be more than enough, and it'll be up to his competent, more progressive successors to fulfill what he had promised.

Most importantly, it bears remembering that Obama, unlike W, is NOT the Decider. He must be pressured by the people, and only then will he act. That's something the far left has completely forgotten - they're already joining the far right in destroying Obama's credibility and criticizing the Nobel Peace Prize, blaming Obama for not acting faster to undo the Reagan-Bush mentality. And to that end, I will be contacting the White House website more often, and sharing more thoughts with Obama's staff; he cannot act on my behalf if he doesn't know what I want. I'll also use my congressional representation for further input into the political process, even though my House representative and one of my Senators is a lost cause, leaving Barbara Boxer as the only one capable of speaking out for me.