Last week, President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, eight months into a presidency in which he’s done virtually nothing about world peace.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. The truth is, you should have seen this travesty coming from light years away, for at least two reasons.
Reason No. 1: The Nobel Peace Prize isn’t what it used to be. It was worth something when presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson won it during their administrations. Roosevelt successfully negotiated an end to the Russo-Japanese War. Wilson helped found the League of Nations after World War I.
Even the black Americans who won the Nobel Peace Prize prior to Obama had some solid achievements on their records. Ralph Bunche was instrumental in bringing about a truce in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Martin Luther King Jr. used nonviolent tactics to force the desegregation of buses in Montgomery, Ala. and public facilities in Birmingham, Ala. in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Obama? He really, really wants world peace. He talks about it a lot. He has many good ideas about it, but when it comes to achievement — he really hasn’t done anything. His winning the Nobel Peace Prize because he has some lofty ideas about achieving world peace is kind of like one of us winning the Nobel Prize for Literature for novels we plan to write.
Yes, the Nobel Peace Prize stood for something once. But when Stanley “Tookie” Williams was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize back in 2000, the award lost all of its luster for me.
You don’t remember Tookie Williams? Well, in a way, that’s good. He’s the co-founder of the notorious Crips gang, which started in Los Angeles. Today, there are Crips sets across the nation, terrorizing law-abiding citizens as well as other gang members.
Williams himself was convicted of murdering four people in several store robberies in 1981. He was sentenced to death and finally executed in 2005, but not before the Hollywood crowd raised him to near-sainthood status.
Williams claimed he was “redeemed” and wrote children’s books in which he urged them not to join gangs, as if that somehow wiped out the heinousness of his starting — and refusing to repudiate membership in — one of the most violent gangs in the country. His claims of redemption earned him the praise of Hollywood’s sappy left.
Those of us who were left wondering how a man who caused — directly and indirectly — so much misery, death and suffering could end up being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize soon learned about the nominating rules: Apparently any knucklehead can nominate any miscreant for a Nobel Peace Prize. If that’s the case, what good is the darned thing?
Reason No. 2: The Nobel committee may have simply been caught up in Obamamania. We really shouldn’t blame the committee for this, since many Americans — I’ll be specific here: Those who voted for Obama — have the affliction themselves. Obama has done virtually nothing to merit a Nobel Peace Prize; he did virtually nothing to win the White House either.
I’ll go over Obama’s credentials to lead the most powerful nation in the world one more time … OK, so I won’t go over them, as they simply don’t exist. Before being elected to the U.S. Senate, he was a state senator in Illinois. From that position he began a rise unlike that of any other elected official in the history of the nation.
During the primary campaign for the Illinois Senate seat, Obama’s main Democratic opponent was damaged by scandal, paving the way for the future president’s winning the nomination. During the general election, he had to face former ambassador Alan Keyes, whom Illinois Republicans had to import from Maryland.
Then, after winning the Democratic party’s presidential nomination, the economy went south three or four months before the general election, which helped cement Obama’s win. Years ago, young black men hip to street talk and slang would say that Obama won both his U.S. Senate seat and the presidency on what they referred to as a “jive humble” — a set of circumstances so improbable and unlikely that they make even the most ridiculous fluke seem well-planned.
It looks like he may have won the Nobel Peace Prize the same way.
Examiner columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to Sudan.