Archives Reveal Family History

Archives Reveal Family History
Paternal Geat-grand Parents, Mittie and Jacob Smith

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dancing to the Obama Shuffle

I was awakened from a sweet slumber at about 5:15 a.m. EST to breaking news that President Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize. I literally danced around my New York City apartment – to the amusement of my better half.

Joy was short-lived however. By the time TV news pundits got into full throttle around 8:00 a.m., conservative media network Fox News had made the president seem more like a suspect than a celebrant. Fox broadcasters were weirdly dismissive of the prestigious award, with one talking suit chiming, “He, (Obama) ought to share half the prize with President Bush. Well, go figure! Not one congrats came from the political Right or Republicans. RNC Chair Michael Steele's statement detracted from the greater global and moral significance of securing world peace, which is being spearheaded by Mr. Obama in his shepherding of the United Nations Security Council resolutions and US/Russian agreements reducing nuclear war heads, and in forging a consensus among Western powers on nonnuclear proliferation. Instead, the radical right is stirring the regional fringe base, highlighting the nation’s bleak unemployment rate and a perceived lack of concrete accomplishment by Obama since he took office nine months ago.

This is ludicrous ''stinkin' thinkin'" in the scheme of attaining world peace. The Nobel Prize is in part awarded for consensus building and creating a climate around the pursuit of peace – fetes which Obama has and continues to perform. President, Obama's rhetoric and actions have recast the United States as a conciliator willing to engage diplomacy and nation building over coercion and militarism. These initiatives, despite a global economic downturn, create a sense of global hope and optimism for a world at peace, which the Committee on the Nobel Peace Prize did not choose to ignore. Obama has used his bully pulpit as leader of the free world to usher us into an era of reduced nuclear threat and conflict resolution through negotiation and mediation. For this reason alone I believe our President deserves the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

Failure to accept the good will Obama has generated for enhancing world peace, ensuring a climate for muti-lateral solutions to end world conflicts, and urging a robust diplomacy within the United Nations Security Council’s fledgling process – even delimiting the full deployment of missile defense systems in Eastern Europe, thereby reducing stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction – suggests that neoconservatives, hawks, and Obama naysayers are unable to see the forest for the trees. Their criticism of the Committee’s choice fails to take into account these accomplishments that could have long term impact on a sustainable peace.

As the late Speaker of the House Senator Tip O’Neal stated, “All politics is local.” President Obama has his work cut out at home. Indeed, if he fails to deliver on major challenges, like health care, unemployment, and honorably ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, then building a global consensus that peace, not war, is the answer won’t be enough to appease the home front. But until he does deliver the local goods, both John Lennon from the grave and I from my Harlem apartment will dance this day because all we are saying is “Give Peace a Chance,” Congratulations, Mr. President, and keep on truckin' !

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