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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

President Trump Does Not Deserve the Nobel Peace Prize

< be in vogue for GOP lawmakers to claim that if North Korea were to denuclearize, President Trump would deserve a Nobel Peace Prize. Lindsey Graham justifies his claim with the rationale that “Donald Trump convinced North Korea and China he was serious about bringing about change.” And Luke Messer, a congressman from Indiana, has been claiming the same since March, even going as far as to rally his peers in Congress to formally nominate the President for the esteemed award.

In fact, just a few days ago, on May 2, 18 Republican House members signed a formal letter nominating the President for the Peace Prize, writing that “we can think of no one more deserving of the Committee’s recognition in 2019 than President Trump for his tireless work to bring peace to our world.”

However, the actions of both Graham his peers in the House are being obsequious and potentially self-serving, stoking the ego of a President who has a history of rewarding people who are willing feed his never-ending appetite for approval. However, perhaps more convincingly, the President of South Korea, Moon Jae-In, has also said that if North Korea denuclearized then Trump would deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.

Yes, Moon undeniably knows much more than I ever could about the geopolitics of the Korean Peninsula, but please hear me out when I say that I do not think that President Trump would deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.

Don’t get me wrong, I certainly believe that credit should be given where credit is due. If North Korea does denuclearize then President Trump should certainly receive some recognition—but a Nobel Peace Prize—he should not. Alfred Nobel, who created the eponymous peace award in 1895, described a Nobel Peace Prize winner as someone who has “done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” 

Based on this definition alone, Trump (assuming the denuclearization of North Korea and future peace talks) would seem like a relatively qualified candidate for the award.

But when I looked back at the list of past Nobel Peace Prize recipients there are certain commonalities between the winners that Trump does not share.

The list of past Nobel Peace Prize winners includes Malala Yousafzai, Martin Luther King, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Liu Xiaobo, who was a human rights activist in China that died in prison while serving a life sentence for his crimes against the Chinese state. Courage, selflessness, civility, and a sincere commitment to bettering the human condition are qualities that each of these past winners embody, qualities that the President does not share.

To include Trump, who scapegoats Muslims and has a long history of Islamophobia, who has sympathized with White Supremacists, and who has advocated for jailing his own political opponents, in this list would be jarring and deeply offensive. His inclusion would undermine the values and prestige for which the Nobel Peace Prize stands. You should not be able to “fire and fury” your way to a Nobel Peace Prize.

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