I’m writing this as most of America still sleeps, and the announcement by the Nobel committee is still fresh. The committee announced its decision was due to "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples." Anyone who has been paying attention to international media even since before the President was elected can see how strong of an effect he’s had on US foreign relations. From attempting to heal US relations with the Islamic world to Russia and the missile defense shield to Iraq to Afghanistan to the United Nations to China to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, President Obama has arguably made more strides to improving America’s image and working towards sustainable peace than any President in years.
But that’s not why I’m writing about this. I’m writing because I get that feeling that even now keyboards are clacking away as the hate machine rolls into full gear. I can almost see the headlines: "OBAMA SHOCKER – WHAT HAS HE DONE TO DESERVE THIS?" "OBAMA, AL GORE, JIMMY CARTER – IS THE PEACE PRIZE AN AWARD FOR FAILURE?" I say this because we’re living in a time where anything, absolutely anything the President does is spun by the cable news networks as an awful, controversial thing. The very things that the President has done to even make the list of nominees for this award are the things for which he is castigated by the citizens of this country. "Why is he spending so much time in Europe?" "How dare he reach out to the Muslim community!" The rabid jingoistic element in the country will froth at the mouth, saying that this international recognition means nothing. This element longs for the days of "You’re either with us or against us!" that is exactly what led to America’s image going from "shining city on the hill" to "schoolyard bully."
As the rest of the world lauds our President in recognition of his effect on the rest of the world, it would be wonderful if we as Americans could do the same. I doubt sincerely that we will.
Update: Yeah, pretty much.