President Barack Obama is the most transformative figure in the world today. And it won him the world’s most coveted prize -- at least in the modern world’s eyes -- the distinguished Noble Peace Prize. The prize was established by businessman, Alfred Nobel, in 1895, for a person or persons or organizations “who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses.”
President Obama, in his speech after the announcement, suggested in his surprise that he didn’t “deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who have been honored by this prize.” Oh, but he does, and what he did, and is doing, is not lost on the world (though it is completely lost on the Republicans). Obama led a most unlikely political and cultural shift in America, before the eyes of the world. And it was a peaceful and non-violent one, which has been even more impressive, given the nation’s hawkish and violent history.
Breaking the race barrier to be elected top the nation’s top office in the most racial society in the history of the modern world was a transformation many throughout never expected to see and it wasn’t lost on the world that there was a different sentiment coming out of America. America is a racial hegemony that demonstrated a hint of racial tolerance and maturity in the last election.
Whether President Obama is to be tolerated or followed is still playing out, but what is clear is that the world is ready to follow his lead. The world is also watching to see if Obama’s election was a sincere transition toward a different “change” mindset or a false signal while America ideologically recasts itself. More critically, the war-ish, environmentally whorish, and unilateral behaviors coming out of the United States the previous eight years had turned the world against America. Anti-American sentiment, documented by Oprah and others, was deeply entrenched and growing. China, Russia, and the Middle East knew, at some point, they were going to have to check America. What that was going to look like was going to be very different than what 9/11 looked like, but similar to what America has inflicted on other nations. The election of Barack Obama has brought a pause in that anti-sentiment. But just a pause, as this most unlikely hiccup in American arrogant politics has granted it a reprieved in the global community.
Even the American-labeled despots, like Ghadafi and Hugo Chavez, have held on their usual anti-American rhetoric to watch this transformation going on in America, and as cynical as they are about America-the capitalist hegemon, they do like what they see in Obama, the man. Transformation doesn’t have a timeline, but it does have a transition point. Transformation has an outcome. Both the transformation and transition point, are in evidence in America. Obama's popularity is the same as Mandela’s is, Desmond Tutu’s was, as the Dalai Lama’s is, as Lech Walesa’s (who stated Obama’s award was too soon) was when the Noble Committee acknowledged them as central figures in the midst of cultural revolutions that were playing out on the world stage. Barack Obama is at the center of America’s cultural revolution. The nation and the world are awaiting the outcome, as they awaited the outcomes of other Nobel laureates. Some transformations were completed and some were not. It’s the effort that the Nobel Committee recognizes. We know which Noble laureate was the last to try to bring about a wholesale culture change in America (Dr. King). It is still an incomplete transformation.
All the “Obama-Haters” and Republicans (because they’re not all Republicans) are criticizing the choice, given that Obama has “only” nine months in office, but again the choice was not only about his election as President. It was also about his message of reconciliation across racial, religious, and cultural boundaries. What he has done as President is stave off the collapse of America’s economy, and relaxed our nation’s hostility toward the Muslim world. American hatred toward Muslims (which many have made a term synonymous with terrorists) is going to be the fall of America, and China and Russia are going to side with the world’s Muslims as America tries to defend Zionism.
The Nobel Committee acknowledges that Obama’s “winds of change” has caught the world by storm because it is a resilient message that all acknowledge needs to occur. It’s a word of reason, a reason of tolerance and a mindset of visionary temperament that the presidential administration didn’t demonstrate and was hostile to the notion of world peace.
If you look at all of the recent Nobel Peace Prize winners, they were involved in causes that were producing highly detrimental circumstances to their country and the world. Obama’s selection is not less justified because his turnaround of America is an extreme challenge, given America’s detrimental circumstances at home and abroad.
The Nobel Committee got it right. Congratulations, President Obama.