Richard Carnes: Who really cares? |

Richard Carnes: Who really cares?

I am not sure which is more sadly enter-taining to watch concerning President Oba-ma’s Nobel Peace Prize: those insisting the prize has “now” become meaningless or Sean Hannity’s head exploding on network TV.

Both have such long-term enjoy-ment potential.

Was the prize meaningless last year when award-ed to Martti Ahti-saari for helping bring an end to the long- running con-flict in Kosovo or in 2006 to Bangladeshi, Muhammad Yunus, for develop-ing the concept of microcredit, which has helped literally millions of the world’s poor help themselves?

I’m guessing all “some” choose to remember is Al Gore in 2007.

Perhaps it was meaningless when award-ed to Shirin Ebadi, the first such decorated Iranian, for her human rights efforts in the Middle East or John Hume for Northern Ireland or Peres and Rabin in Israel, Man-dela in South Africa, USSR’s Gorbachev or Tibet’s Dalai Lama.

But I’m assuming all those same “some” remember is Yassir Arafat and Jimmy Carter.

The main point is, of course, who really cares?

Everybody knows the prize is superficial in nature, but it is awarded by a private committee with private funds, and they can award it to whomever the hell they wish.

To actually be upset over the Norwe-gians’ choices is like being livid over a rap song winning a Grammy because you hate rap music or a movie taking home the Oscar for Best Picture and you just can’t stand the lead actor therefore it is not deserved. What’s painfully obvious is the conserva-tive extremists of this nation have no con-cept of humility, once again using their self-righteous indignation to prove political power trumps patriotism in their destruc-tive quest to bash the American president, even when it is to the detriment of their own.

You want to know who else cheers when the U.S. dollar loses value or America loses the Olympics and then boos at positive eco-nomic news or when an American wins the Nobel Peace Prize?

Al-Qaida, along with a few million Mus-lim clerics and a guy named Castro.

To that end, over the past year I have nev-er heard or read anyone referring to Presi-dent Obama as the “anointed one” or the messiah except for these ideological extremists nutjobs. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear the entire issue involves some twisted logic based upon partisan, race-laden jealousy.

Good thing I know better.

Anyway, President Obama admitted that the award should not be viewed as recogni-tion of his own accomplishments “but rather as an affirmation of American lead-ership on behalf of aspirations held by peo-ple in all nations.”

Although many already have, I find it hard to conclude something negative from such a statement.

On the other hand, let’s not forget the Nobel Peace Prize comes from a Norwe-gian committee that apparently, right or wrong, equates hope with accomplish-ments, and rewarding an American presi-dent with such an honor has no more actu-al meaning than a “Mission Accomplished” banner.

That is, of course, unless it is then backed up and followed through with positive actions for the benefit of the nation as a whole.

Now THAT would be an accomplishment.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes a col-umn for the Daily. He can be reached at

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