by Robert Fuller, President of Obertin College
Some will say that Barack Obama's Nobel Prize is premature. "What has he done?" they'll ask.
Obama got the prize not for doing, but for being. Not for making peace, but for exemplifying something new on the world stage -- the politics of dignity.
The Nobel Committee has simply made explicit what many have sensed. President Obama is the herald of a dignitarian politics. Not libertarian, not egalitarian, but dignitarian.
Dignitarian politics represents a modern synthesis of libertarian and egalitarian politics. War between these two battle-scarred, now exhausted ideologies shaped both national and international politics throughout the twentieth century. Obama is the first politician of world stature to identify and model an alternative that can meet the challenges of the twenty-first. Awarding Obama the Nobel Prize is an expression of the hope that our best chance for world peace lies in the dignitarian politics of which he is an exemplar.
What is dignitarian politics? It is the recognition that people the world over actually want dignity more than they want either liberty or equality. In policy terms, it means ensuring dignity for all -- within and among nations. Read more.