So, he didn’t turn it down, as I had hoped he would.
He did say that he felt that he did not deserve the honor, but that he’d accept it “as a call to action.” (Which is, according the Committee, the exact purpose.)
Andrew Sullivan posted a reader’s letter which really hit home for me:
“So, it’s a bad thing that the world is so optimistic about America’s role as a world leader with Obama as President that the Nobel Committee gave him the Peace Prize? Really? So bad he should turn down the honor? Really? Have we gotten so cynical in our views that when a segment of the world shows optimism toward our country, we think the best reaction is to double down on our cynicism?”
My initial reaction was one of political cynicism — that turning it down would be a brilliant move for him, politically. I really didn’t even think about the belief in America’s potential that the award clearly communicates.