Walter E. Williams

Typically, the Nobel Prize is awarded to someone, or an organization, that has actually done something, even if that something is controversial or unwise. But what has President Obama accomplished compared to other Nobel Laureates? One might speculate that the Nobel Committee selected Obama because it has started an affirmative action policy and has seen the virtues of racial diversity, which is all the rage these days, particularly among the elite. After all, the committee hasn't seen fit to give the award to a person of African ancestry since it honored Nelson Mandela in 1993 and earlier Desmond Tutu (1984), Martin Luther King (1964) and Ralph Bunche (1950). So far as people of African ancestry, the Nobel Committee has a ways to go. While people of African ancestry are roughly 14 percent of the world's population, they are only five percent of the 98 individuals, since 1901, seen fit to be Nobel Laureates. Having awarded the Peace Prize to only three Asians, while Asians are almost 55 percent of the world's population, suggests that the Nobel Committee's Far Eastern diversity problem is insurmountable.

There might be other reasons why Obama was chosen. He has generated considerable goodwill among Europeans because he shares many of their values. Europeans are a people with little willingness to defend themselves. They are people who believe that peace treaties, appeasement and disarmament produce peace. As such, Obama has thrown in with their lot not to be a unilateralist and pledging to pursue a world without nuclear weapons. If Europeans had any sense, they should be worried about Obama's vision. Americans pulled their chestnuts out of the fire in World War I, World War II and prevented them from being gobbled up by the communists during the Cold War. If we become a military weakling, who is going to protect Europe against a future tyrant? In addition to Obama's goodwill among Europeans, shouldn't we be worried about the goodwill and praise our president has received from enemies of liberty such as Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Muammar Qaddafi and Vladimir Putin?

President Obama could rise several notches in my book if he refused the Nobel Peace Prize, with a nice letter to the Nobel Committee that might read: Since you did not see fit to award Ronald Reagan, the U.S. president who did the most for world peace in this century, by peaceably shutting down the Soviet Union, I respectfully decline your offer.


Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Walter Williams' column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.