When I think of Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize, for which, after all, he didn’t audition, I think about that photograph of him with his feet up on a desk, and there’s a hole in one very worn shoe. This is someone who has stood up for himself and for the good of the human group for a long time, even though he’s still relatively young. I personally think all prizes are risky, they often come with strings, even if a “string” is just other people’s freedom to tell you how much you didn’t deserve to win. But this one is a timely confirmation of Obama’s dogged faith in humanity and more particularly, in Americans: that if talked to as if we have sense, we will, possibly, act sensibly. The Prize recognizes that we are at long last being guided by someone who deeply cares for us, wants us to have peace (though how to achieve it will take everyone’s best behavior and thought and a bit less blaming of the recently elected Commander) and who is, as he has stated, “not naive” about the politics of the world we live in and the frightening war machinery he has inherited.
It’s healthy, I think, to face the reality that, having built so much war technology, our military may well be unable as well as disinclined to refrain from using it. War is big business, and, as one of our former presidents put it: the business of America is business. Still, the Nobel Peace Prize is confirmation that one’s peaceful intentions have been noted, and, as well, in Obama’s case, the deep inner peace that appears to be his very nature.