Friday, October 09, 2009

Thoughts On This Morning's News ...

Where do I begin?

I feel beleaguered when I should feel numb.

I should be used to the incessant outcry from the Right.

I truly wonder, macabre as it may be to consider: If, God forbid, Obama is assassinated, will they celebrate?

If America loses out on an honor, they cheer.

If an honor is bestowed upon us, they jeer.

Obama is damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

I was surprised by the news this morning that he had won the Nobel Peace Prize, but I certainly didn't think he didn't deserve it. And I think the calls for him to decline it were absurd.

To those who yell that he hasn't earned this honor or that the Nobel committee has embarrassed itself, I submit that they truly do not understand how completely, how grotesquely, the Bush administration had decimated the standing of America in the world.

We are a powerful nation, but we are not all-powerful. We do not have the right to invade sovereign nations. We do not have the right to torture. We do not have the right to detain people indefinitely and deny them due process. We do not have the right.

Obama did not seek the Nobel Peace Prize. He was not aware that he had been nominated.

And in his acceptance speech this morning, he was the height of humility, accepting it not as his own honor but on behalf of everyone who is working toward peace.

At the helm of this nation, he is a calming presence around the world. He may be reviled by many at home and around the globe. But he represents a seismic shift in diplomacy.

Some say that this award was a repudiation of Bush, not an acknowledgment of Obama's accomplishments.

In part, I agree.

But peace is not achieved solely as a checklist.

Obama was named as this year's recipient both for what he has accomplished as well as because he represents the possibility of peace in the future, the foundation of which he is laying today.

We live in a world of instant gratification. But lasting change is made slowly, and sometimes that pace may be misunderstood as doing nothing at all.

So the award was unexpected. The circumstances may be atypical. But what about Obama is typical?

The question on my mind is this: What person, circumstance, or event will reunite our country?

Because today, it feels as though we as a nation are permanently torn asunder.

Where do we go from here?