Monday, October 12, 2009

The Noble Nobel

This past June, we shared dinner with folks at a water-buffalo farm in Paestum, Italy. We were 15 travelers from 7 different countries who just happened to be at the same place on the same evening.

Everyone around that table expressed to us their relief that the American people had elected Barack Obama as President. It was clear from the conversation that Obama's emergence onto the world stage had already had a significant impact on people across the globe.

Yet, some here are saying he hasn't accomplished anything that deserves the recognition of winning a Noble Prize for Peace.

Well, first, although he didn't single handedly resolve the banking and economic crises in this country, his leadership was central to the efforts of folks here and around the world that were instrumental in avoiding complete collapse. Second, he hasn't provided every American with full access to affordble healthcare yet, but there are over 500 legislators working hard on reforming our healthcare system. Third, there are those in the world who want America destroyed, but their arguments are beginning to ring hollow because this President understands that it takes more than "shock and awe" to promote democracy and bring peace.

We are fortunate enough to have a President who by his very demeanor sets a high level of expectation and whose personal story provides an positive example for our youth. The rest of the world seems to be able to recognize the leadership capabilities of our President. Maybe it would a good thing for the nay-sayers here at home to broaden their perspective just long enough to take a fresh look at this President.

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