Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Explosive Pride of Narcissism

One hundred and thirteen years ago today, Alfred Nobel died. Today, his mortal remains set a new grave-spinning speed world record. On the fifth anniversary of their benefactor's death, the first Nobel Prizes for accomplishments in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace were awarded. Upon his death, Alfred Nobel, perfecter of the use of nitroglycerin, inventor of dynamite and the blasting cap, and, paradoxically, an avowed pacifist, bequeathed a fund from which monetary prizes would be awarded "...to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind." Nobel's Peace Prize, decided upon by a committee chosen by the Norwegian Parliament, was to be awarded to "...the person who has done the most or best work for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

Our young President was chosen for the Peace Prize, presumably, for his speeches. He has done nothing else of substance to merit the award. Even Jimmy Carter, as misguided in his decision-making and prone to pompous pronouncements as any President in the history of the Republic, has a resume of accomplishments (if mostly unmitigated disasters; with the one exception being his work with Habitat for Humanity) upon which one could deliberate for the purpose of such an award. President Obama has speeches.

Seems to the Colonel that President Obama could have boosted his stock enormously among adults by laughing off (and declining) the Peace Prize. He would have demonstrated that he "got it." Instead, he showed that he wanted it.

Therein lies the measure of a man.
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