Whether it was rewarding Jimmy Carter for criticizing the Iraq War or supporting Al Gore in his crusade against global warming, the Norwegian Parliament -- which chooses the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize -- has sought to use the award as a political tool to influence American politics. Its prestige and moral power make the prize a potent weapon with which to help steer the direction of the colossus beyond the seas that controls a quarter of the world's economy and most of its military power.
Now, the Norwegians have weighed in to support Barack Obama in his bid to reshape America so it looks more like, well, Norway -- or at least like Europe.
European socialism cannot succeed without conquering the United States. If the European Union has high taxes and the U.S. keeps its levies low, business and brains will flow to America. If the EU's labor standards require long vacations and high benefits and proscribe layoffs, and ours do not, employers will migrate across the ocean to do their business in the States. If the Old World curbs ambition by taxation, regulation and social opprobrium, the ambitious will flock to the New World, as they have done for four hundred years.
So, Vladimir Lenin was right. Socialism cannot exist in just one country -- or one continent. It must dominate worldwide, or wealth and power will flow to those who remain committed to the free market. Europe realizes this reality, and it makes Obama's election as president of the United States all the more welcome.
Does the United States let its entrepreneurs run wild, coming up with fanciful new ideas and making billions from them? Obama will regulate and subdue business just like they do in Europe. Do U.S. businesses compete by slashing prices, aggressively pursuing markets and jockeying for market share? Obama will make them behave themselves and stay in line, just like European companies do. Do Americans work hard and push aggressively to make as much money as they can? Obama will raise taxes, emphasize community values and narcotize their ambition by offering government largesse.
And does the United States still believe in a sloppy, contrarian democracy in which ordinary people can directly affect their government, states have powers and courts can reel in executive authority? Obama will use his rubber stamp majority in Congress to pass new laws regardless of public opinion and make us obey.
All this heavy lifting, this conversion of America into a European state, deserves a reward. And what is a more fitting one to give Obama than the Nobel Peace Prize? He obviously doesn't deserve the award for economics or, given his health care ideas, for medicine. But the Peace Prize expresses Europe's longing: to take back the nation its overly ambitious and uppity children founded.