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One Third of Americans Proud to Win What They Don’t Deserve

October 21, 2009


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?

It seems even John McCain thinks so, in this excerpt from his interview with CNN’s State of the Union trumpeted by The Huffington Post on October 9th:

“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.

Silly me.

  1. October 21, 2009 4:22 pm

    If those numbers are correct, it looks a lot like the kind of math brought to us by those wonderful folks who gave us derivatives and credit swaps. Everyone liked those winners, too. Short memories, it seems.

  2. Albert47 permalink
    October 21, 2009 6:32 pm

    I have ruminated upon the selection of a man who hasn’t done a thing so far. As far as I am concerned, he’s over his head and so are his cohorts in government. This country is in deep trouble and I don’t see how we will get out of the current situation. Time will show this group of folks they made the wrong choice.

  3. donnamarie permalink
    October 22, 2009 2:56 am

    This type of thinking might come from the “everyone’s a winner” mentality that has taken over all of our youth sports organizations. Our kids are being raised with the belief that by “just being there” they have really participated. It is a joke, our children are being disserviced and then they grow into adults that have no sense of real accomplishment.

  4. October 22, 2009 3:22 am

    Bill O’Reilly said much the same thing as McCain the other night. Something along the lines of “It’s good for the country when the POTUS wins a prize like this.” But if the prize is meaningless, or worse – awarded as behavioral reinforcement (google operant conditioning, positive reinnforcement, skinner box) – what’s to be proud about?

    We have a POTUS so full of himself, so narcissistic, that he will accept at best a meaningless award and at worst a veritable skinnerian positive reinforcement pellet only because he enjoys the feeling of mass adulation.

  5. oldwolves permalink
    October 22, 2009 3:50 am

    These are the same people, who when seeing money fall from someone else’s pocket, would wait for the person to leave and pick it up and keep it. These are the same people who are in the back of the line, and when a new cashier opens up, runs to the front of new line cutting everyone else off.These are the same people who sees their candidate as someone with zero experience, criminal and anti American ties, obvious tendencies towards marxism and socialism, and STILL elect him president, because they feel guilty about the money and line jumping. Welcome to the new and improved progressive thinking of the USA.

  6. Jack Hampton permalink
    October 22, 2009 4:03 am

    Mc’Cains comment another example of why I could not do as his mother said hold my nose and vote for him. I fumigated.

  7. MaryAnn permalink
    October 22, 2009 4:45 am

    I sometimes think Americans must be schizophrenic. The results of many of these polls don’t seem to make sense.

  8. Freeme permalink
    October 22, 2009 6:01 am

    Why do people even believe in POLLS? They are contrived and manipulated just like the Puppets in the WH being used by the real PUPPET MASTERS.
    As HENRY HYDE once said, “Polls are not a Science, they are an Art.”

    • October 22, 2009 7:00 am

      I am aware of this. I thought it interesting that Huffington only cared about the approval. Not the sources or the substance.

    • October 22, 2009 10:54 am

      And Mark Twain said “There are lies, damn lies and statistics.” Polls are feedstock for statistics, if that helps explain anything.


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