By Jacob Leichter
On September 9, reports broke that President Trump was nominated by Norwegian Parliament member Christian Tybring-Gjedde for the Nobel Peace Prize, his reason being Trump’s brokering of the August 2020 agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. This is the second time Tybring-Gjedde has put forth Trump’s name for the Peace Prize; the first being in 2018 following the US-North Korea summit in Singapore. Whether or not he wins, this news is a boon for the president’s reelection campaign as we draw closer to the election on November 3.
The nomination has stirred up strong responses on both sides of the political aisle in which his supporters applaud the decision, while his detractors disagree, arguing that Trump’s brash personality fails to merit such an award. Before deciding whether or not the president is deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize, it would be wise to look at past presidential laureates, of which there were four. The committee gave the prize to Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 for negotiating peace in the Russo-Japanese War. Woodrow Wilson was next to receive the accolade in 1919 for his efforts in creating the League of Nations. Jimmy Carter, for his efforts for peace in Northern Ireland, North Korea, Uganda, and for the Egypt-Israel agreement at Camp David, was granted the award following his presidency in 2002. The most recent recipient was Barack Obama in 2009. Obama won the prize less than a year into his first term, for “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people,” as the Nobel committee justified the seemingly premature accolade.
Considering the reasoning behind previous leaders’ nominations and receptions of the Peace Prize, Trump is likewise deserving of the nomination and, should the Norwegian organization deem it so, the award itself. Trump and his administration have made significant strides in improving and strengthening diplomacy between countries that in the past were at odds. Besides the UAE-Israel talks, the United States brokered a Serbia-Kosovo normalization agreement and accords between Israel and Bahrain on September 4 and 15, respectively. Trump earlier this year as well offered to help ease tensions between India and Pakistan who were engaging in disputes over territory at the Kashmir border. These landmarks in the realm of foreign policy, as well as Trump’s withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, signaling an end to the protracted wars in both countries, deserve recognition and should be commended.
Yes, it is true that the president’s personality and proclivity for voicing his opinions on Twitter are some of his character flaws, but that should not detract from his efforts and success in negotiating peace around the world. Other Nobel recipients’ records as leaders were tainted with greater injustices than narcissism and name-calling. Such examples include U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt (1906) and his imperialistic conquest of the Philippines, U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull (1945) and his opposition to taking in Jewish refugees on the SS St. Louis in 1939, and Yasser Arafat (1994), a sponsor of terrorism through the Palestinian Liberation Organization. If individuals like these can have their efforts towards peace solidified with a Nobel Prize, it goes without saying that Trump, who has tried and triumphed in achieving amity between nations on several occasions, is more than a worthy candidate for such an award. The die has been cast, so all that’s left to do now is wait for the Oslo-based committee to announce the winner of the Peace Prize on October 9. Whether Trump joins the ranks of presidential laureates or is snubbed again, his foreign policy endeavors will remain a testament to his strides towards peace and serve as hallmarks of his administration’s achievements.