The Nobel Peace Prize is one of five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist and inventor who died in 1896. Nobel left 31 million Swedish Kronor (approximately 250 million U.S. Dollars) to fund the Prizes to be awarded annually. His will stipulates that the Nobel Peace Prize be awarded to the individual who “shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses” in the preceding year.”
In 1906, Theodore Roosevelt, in recognition for negotiating the 1905 peace treaty between Russia and Japan, became the first United States president to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. President Woodrow Wilson next received the honor in 1919 for founding the League of Nations, and in 2002, former President Jimmy Carter was singled out for his “untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.” On October 9, 2009, President Barack Obama received the Prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
Pardon me, but I fail to see any such “extraordinary efforts” on the part of Barack Obama.
During 2008, what exactly was Obama's “best work for fraternity between nations?” As I recall, he was busy running for presidential office. What was Obama's “abolition or reduction of standing armies?” His “promotion of peace congresses?” President Barack Obama does not meet the criteria for the Nobel Peace Prize as set forth by Alfred Nobel so many years ago. Yes, President Obama has a career in the United States Senate. Yes, he made history when he became the first black American president. And yes, school children sing songs of praise about him, and it has become trendy for people who know next to nothing about his policies to join that praise, but the man has done nothing to deserve this award – yet. Give President Obama time to earn it. Give him time to impact the world.
There lies the distinction between President Obama and past presidential Nobel laureates Jimmy Carter, Woodrow Wilson, and Theodore Roosevelt. These gentlemen had already distinguished themselves as men of great achievement when the Nobel Peace Prize was bestowed upon them. Barack Obama has not yet done so. He has won this honor based purely upon the hope of what he might do, which reduces the Nobel Peace Prize to a trophy in a popularity contest. Thanks to media hype and American naiveté, President Obama has become “Mr. America,” and nothing more – yet.