John Ransom

It was just gag gift. A joke.

That Nobel Peace prize that the Norwegians, on behalf of the Swedes gave Barack Obama.

I always found it ironic that the guy who was a major weapons manufacturer and inventor of dynamite would put up a prize for peace to begin with. But at least he tried to make amends for being known as a merchant of death.

Not so with Barack Obama.

As wars break out all over the world, our weakest man is stuck saying what he always says: “Who? Me?”

This is the same man who so quickly returned the Churchill bust standing in the Oval Office to the British Embassy that it offended some Englishman and some Americans.

Obama could have learned something from Churchill’s life. Or Nobel’s.

Churchill, half-American, most decidedly was a man of war and an imperialist, yet he knew more about making peace before he was 40 years old than Barack Obama will ever know.

Churchill fought Pashtuns in Afghanistan, dervishes in Omdurman and Boers in Pretoria. Yet he made peace with South Africa and with the “terrorists” in the IRA—at least most of them— to create the Republic of Ireland. He also negotiated peaceful relations with a communist Russia, a country that he called a blood stained bear.

He negotiated with striking transport workers and coal miners and was always willing to sacrifice everything short of honor for peace and goodwill.

That’s because Churchill was a strong man, comfortable in his strength.

And people who negotiate from their strongest positions are always in the best position to ensure peace.

And that stands in stark contrast to our weakest president, Barack Obama.

For all of Obama electoral success—the only resume item worth bragging about-- one might remember that U.S. Grant also was rewarded with two terms as president.

Grant, like Churchill, was a man of war, but not a strong man outside of the battlefield. The presidency for him was a gift from a grateful nation that wanted to believe that war meant something besides killing.

Obama could learn something from Grant’s life too.

“Ulysses Grant in his throw-away lines—in his throw-away life—kept trying to get people to see the colossal sick joke,” writes biographer William McFeely. “All you do is take the nicest guy on the block—the one who won’t be diverted by the dreams of vainglory or revenge or the sense of masochism—and knowing he is not good for much else, let him act on the bald fact that war means killing the guy on the other side, or at least scaring him badly enough that he will quit fighting.”

Grant alternately spent his life basking in the adulation of crowds or apologizing to himself for finding his calling in war.

Like Nobel, he tried to make amends.

He is remembered today, like Churchill, as a great man.

Obama, however, has no throw-away lines.

He does have Grant’s throw-away life.

That’s because Obama can’t see his own colossal sick joke: He was bestowed the presidency not because of the ascendancy of his ideas, but because of ascendancy of his race. And his race is political device, not a moral one.

The presidency, for Americans, has been a gift from a repentant nation, still ignoring the wrongs that took a great civil war to even begin to acknowledge.

And mixed amongst the national psyche, now merged with Barack Obama’s ego, is vainglory, revenge and masochism.

Alfred Nobel was a noble man and a smart one.

Winston Churchill was a strong man and just one.

Ulysses Grant was a determined man who tried to make himself a good man and succeeded.

Each understood that while peace is the ideal condition, there are worse things than war, real war.

Each was known for war, but their most lasting legacy was one of peace.

Obama understands none of it. He learns nothing from life that he doesn’t already know.

And that’s why he’s the only guy who still doesn’t get the colossal sick joke.

He got a prize though.

But the joke’s still on him: These days, everyone gets a prize.


John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.
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