The Norse gods must be crazy! That was my first reaction upon hearing that Barack Obama just became the first sitting president in 90 years to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He has expressed high hopes and good intentions for a more peaceful world, but where are the tangible results that past winners have delivered?

I also couldn’t escape the irony. A recent study making headlines abroad reported the United States expanded its share of the world weapons trade this year to 68 percent. Most Americans probably also missed the study showing this country spends more on its military than the next 46 highest countries combined. We may see ourselves as a force for freedom and peace, but those outside our borders have a different take.

Despite all this, the Nobel award shows the rest of the world still has hope that we can change. This award can truly start to shift the ground underneath our feet. Not since John Lennon has there been a national figure actively promoting peace; those in Oslo must hope the laurels of this award will create a new champion for a world without war. Perhaps the person with his finger on the world’s biggest trigger is the best place to start, after all.

Obama has a historic opportunity to help fulfill this promise of getting over our addiction to war. Yes we can, President Obama, (if you want it).

Ryan Swank, Stow


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