Of course Obama has much to do to prove that he merits the Nobel prize, but I imagine that those who awarded it anticipate that he will (and is already) doing whatever he can to bring us greater peace in a world torn by conflict and suspicion.

On this latter point, I don’t think I can remember a time when so much just plain madness prevailed in the thinking of so many people, nations, ethnic groups, and individuals. The actions of a few have been generalized into smears of the totality — whether religions, nations, or ethnic groups.

The stats that I saw a few minutes ago indicated that attitudes towards Obama are splitting along racial lines — approval by whites down and the reverse with minorities. This is not good news for a country with an horrendous history of racist divides. The genealogy of Michelle Obama recently reported is a reminder that most African Americans were ultimately the product of rape by the dominant ones. Obama, himself, is one of the much rarer real African/European Americans.

The other phenomenon is the madness put forth as reality. I saw a comment on Obama’s prize award claiming that he was a proponent of Stalinist Communism which he is trying to introduce here. Were this an exceptional instance one could say that we all have a few nut cases around. But this is not so far off from the none too subtle equivalents being promoted by the Republican Party, so far as one can identify it as a single party these days. I cannot remember more vicious attacks on a president — especially one who looks to be a model moral person with values to be emulated by good people — family, peace at home and abroad, assistance to those in need, reform of corrupted institutions, etc., etc.

Where all this will end, I do not know. But I am worried that the bulk of the American public gets its information from sources that peddle such garbage in more and less subtle frames. A misinformed public can be led to shooting itself (and others) in the foot.

Help! What do you think?

— “A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli) — Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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