Are Americans asleep, not paying attention, or simply stoned out of their minds? Has the zero-sum mentality become so prevalent that unearned triumphs are something to take pride in? Does seeing “Our Team” wearing medals, while the real winner of the race stands in the shadows, feel good to more than one third of Americans?
Anderson Cooper 360 yesterday discussed recent polls regarding public approval ratings of President Obama. The polls revealed some rather startling information that, if true, shows a significant portion of the population to be uninterested in fair play:
Most Americans, 56 percent, don’t approve of the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama, and only a third believe that Obama has done enough to deserve the prize. But seven in 10 are proud that a U.S. president won the prestigious award.
Now, my math is not in the rocket science class, but those numbers say a lot to me. Only one-third of Americans think Obama deserved the Nobel Peace Prize but more than two-thirds are proud “our guy” won it. Doesn’t that add up to about one-third of the country being proud to win something undeserved?
Now, I would assume that most of the one-third who are sure he deserved the prize occupy the far Left of the political spectrum. In that case, it seems that a fair number of self-described Conservatives and Moderates are happy to win a prize that everyone knows is not rightfully theirs. The numbers say that a large block of Americans think being told “You’re Number One!” is as significant as actually earning first place.
If this subset of America saw their team win the Super Bowl because of a call that two-thirds of spectators thought to be bad, would they be proud of that as well? Has the legalistic mentality so overtaken us that we would rather parade around with an unearned gold medal than be awarded the bronze we actually deserve?
“I think Americans are always pleased when their presidents are recognized by something on this order… And I’m sure the president understands that he now has even more to live up to. But as Americans, we’re proud when our president receives an award of that prestigious category.
Why are we pleased? What is there to be proud of? It was obvious from his acceptance speech that Mr. Obama himself did not feel he deserved a prize for goals he had not yet accomplished. Should we be pleased that a dedicated Leftist organization like the Nobel Committee seeks to use its prize as a lever to influence the President of the United States? Should we be “proud” that it seems to have worked?
From Barack Obama’s Nobel Acceptance Speech:
“I will accept this award as a call to action..”
Is this something to make Americans proud? It may be to one-third of Americans including John McCain, but not to this one. To me, the joy of being a winner has always been contingent upon actually winning something.