Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why are we so Arrogant that we Believe we Know more than the Nobel Committee?

I read a lot of opinions yesterday about President Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and to be honest, it really shows how ignorant we are as Americans when it comes to foreign affairs. So many people kept asking "what has he done to deserve this?" And they want others to convince them that the Nobel Committee made the correct choice.

That premise alone is illogical. The burden can't be on others to show why the right person won. The onus has to be on those who feel President Obama shouldn't have won to give us reasons why not. And the only way that opinion can be logically valid is if they state who they feel should've won instead. If they don't provide the name of someone more deserving of the award, their opinion means nothing.

The analogy I have been using is such: Let's say Rwanda had a beauty pageant (similar to our Miss America or Miss USA contests), and the winner was crowned "Miss Rwanda". And then you see a photo of Miss Rwanda, and you don't feel she is that beautiful. If you take the stance that she did not deserve to win, when you have no idea who the other contestants were, your opinion is ignorant. That's not to be mean, it's just the truth- you have no knowledge of the competition, so your conclusion about the results is ignorant. But then, to say "convince me why she deserved to win the 'Miss Rwanda' title" is even more unreasonable, as there is no practical way to do so.

Now I am not saying that President Obama was the right choice. My opinion is that I can't think of anyone more deserving, so I am not going to second-guess the Nobel Committee. It's fair to say that they were more aware of all of the possible choices for this award, so they were in a better position to make the decision. And if I did want to second-guess them, the burden would be on me to say why they were wrong. The only way I could do so would be to state who I feel should've won it, and then have a discussion comparing their actions to those of President Obama.

If you can't think of anyone more deserving of the NPP than President Obama, on what basis do you second guess the people (arguably) in the best position to make the decision?

But to provide an argument in favor of choosing President Obama, here is a more informed individual than I, making a case as to why the right choice may have been made.

And in regards to what President Obama said in his speech yesterday, saying he does not feel that he deserves to be in the company of the past winners, that is a fair statment. It is a valid statement though because he has knowledge about the past winners. If someone made that statement, not knowing anything about the previous selections, their opinion would be ignorant.

We as Americans should be honest with ourselves, and just admit that we don't know whether or not President Obama was the best choice.

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