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Friday, October 9, 2009

The desperation for hope

The Nobel Peace Prize committee obviously did not consider how awarding President Obama the prize would fan the sparks of political and racial hatred into flames in his own country.

People from both parties are puzzling over how and why he was nominated only two weeks into his administration.  The complaint is that he has not accomplished all that he has set out to do.  Preventing him from any accomplishments is the controlling goal of the GOP at this point,    The GOP and the Taliban condemn awarding the prize to him. 

The Nobel Committee made clear its reason for the prize.  What Obama accomplished was simply not to get drawn down by the undertow of malice. character assassination, and oppression that is the mission of the American right wing.  Instead, his very candidacy brought a new expression of good will and constructive approaches to a world that was under a blanket of belligerence, ethnic and religious hatred, and an obsession with violence as the dominant form of self-expression.  His accomplishment was to shine a benevolent light in the dark age of malevolence.

Some have said that the Nobel award was a direct slap in the face of President Bush.  Bush did not throw the world into the corrosive mire of hopelessness  and despair by himself.  He had the support of politicians and citizens who wanted only to match hatred, belligerence, and violence directed at America in kind.  Obama's election suggested to the world that Americans wanted to focus on reason, good will, and peace, and even while being embroiled in terrorist attacks and wars which were only exacerbating hatred and violence upon innocents, they wanted to try negotiation instead of arms.  Simply put,  the world was given a glimmer of hope.

The Nobel Peace Prize demonstrates the depth to which the world and America had sunk.  America is about evenly divided between those who want to try Obama's way and those who want to revert to oppression and violence as abiding values.

The prize is also an admission that American politics is no longer leading the world in establishing equality, justice, and peace.  The prize seems to express the vague hope that those values can be revived and made operative. 


Douglas said...

The attacks by the regressives on Obama, the Peace Prize, Norway, Norwegians, The Nobel Organization, etc. just plain stink.

It is another measure of their emptiness spewing the puss of negativity into politics with no positive positions or perspectives being presented.

Ken Blanchard said...

Douglas: What about the attacks by the PROgressives on Obama, the Peace Prize, Norway, Norwegians, The Nobel Organization, etc.? Such attacks have come from The Nation, the British Guardian, and Mother Jones. Are all these people "spewing the puss of negativity into politics"? Or is it possible that someone might just disagree with you about the Nobel Prize? Just asking.

Douglas said...


Always some outliers in the data pile just as there might even be a few conservatives who occasionally break from the standard regressive and GOP talking points. Doesn't necessarily mean any of them are more or less correct however.

On the other hand, the vast and continuous blast of negativity we get from the GOP and apologists is no bit of out of place data, but the mainline of their political emptiness and irrelevance.

A little grace on the part of left, right, and middle in regard to the Peace Prize award to Obama is a matter of simple politeness.

If your blog gets a huge award from some recognized impartial organization, my response would be "Congratulations." That is the approrpriate response from any civil observers in such situations.

If Obama really were the Messiah as the wingnut loons pretend, and he converted water to wine, the regressives would gripe about the coming intrusive government intrusiona and control of the wine industry and note just for good measure that the taste really wasn't all that good anyway, but Obama lovers will slurp it down like thirsty dogs.

That said, there are reasons for liberals to not be thrilled by Obama. The Peace Prize is a nearly irrelevant distraction. He is trying too hard to find a middle way where there is nothing but a huge ditch filled with sewage in many issues.

Healthcare being one of them. A thousand pages of patches on the present corrupt and inefficient health insurance industry are actually an indicator that single payer universal care is the only way to actually reform the system.

Ken Blanchard said...

Douglas: does it ever occur to you to try to imagine what you look like to the other side? You complain about "spewing the puss of negativity into politics with no positive positions" but isn't there a lot more negative than positive in your comments here?

You largely ignore my point: that the conservative critique of the Nobel award was mirrored by a lot of voices on the left. And these weren't "outliers," they were mainstream left pundits and there were a lot of them. Likewise, some conservatives like Bill O'Reilly spoke favorably about the reward.

Could it be that there are honest and thoughtful people on both sides? Just asking.

Douglas said...


What is positive about attacking the Norwegians, Norway, the Nobel Prize Committee, and Obama for getting it?

Frankly, I have not heard much of anything from the regressives that makes any sense since Obama got elected. It is not just me who believes the GOP is now a bastian of empty negativity with nothing that they can be positive about.

There may be honest people on both sides of the Obama Peace prize issue, but otherwise, I am not seeing much from the right side that offers anything anybody who is not a millionaire would be interested in.

Republicans run on the myth that the Rock Candy Mountain is just around the bend if we just vote Republican. Some poor souls assume that, by golly, if we let Republicans get control, we can be rich.

By now it should be obvious to the unrich that such wishes are absurd.

The National Republican Party is now a dead-end street. The GOP has contributed nothing that has done anything good for the USA of consequence since progressive Republicans went along with the Marshall Plan.

In short, there may be honest and thoughtful people on the right, but they are few and far between and awfully quiet right now.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States