While George W. Bush liked to claim that he was a “uniter, not a divider,” many people agree that the United States was quite divided beneath his leadership. Barack Obama, on the other hand, has proven that, if anything, he is a person willing to extend his hand “across the aisle” in support of bipartisanship in an effort to keep people united.
But is this effort worth a Nobel Peace Prize?
Some say absolutely. Obama has been attempting to reverse the previous administration’s conflict-heavy rule, opting for peaceful solutions, declaring torture wrong, and calling for diplomatic dialog rather than a hit first, ask questions later policy.
However, there are others–including his own supporters–who say no. Not only were there many contenders for the prize this year with much less celebrity status and many more years spent on their causes; there is also the fact that we still have wars ranging on in the Middle East that Obama has not yet pulled out of.
And whether or not people are in support of that, continuing to wage war does not scream “Nobel Peace Prize.” Even famous liberal Michael Moore said that President Obama needed to “earn” his prize. (He later changed his mind.) Some have even argued that accepting the award is simply unconstitutional.
One thing is for sure: people cannot simply blame the president for winning the award. He didn’t buy it, or order it to be given to him, after all. He’s also not the first president to win a Nobel Peace Prize. But will he–or has he already–live up to the award?