If the Trump presidency has taught us anything, it’s never to be surprised. But even by that standard, it’s a bit of a shock to learn that there’s an active campaign underway for Trump to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Ostensibly, the effort is to reward the president for helping to make possible talks between North Korea and South Korea. Just a few months ago, Trump looked like he was inching the U.S. closer to a nuclear confrontation with North Korea, whose leader, Kim Jong-un, he belittled as “rocket man.”
But changeability (or inconsistency) is a key principle of the Trump White House, and with now-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s secret visit to North Korea, it looks like the Trump administration may actually have accomplished something.
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Of course, Trump has an uncanny ability to blow things up, and he is invincibly ignorant on foreign policy. Kim Jong-un’s promises of denuclearizing may be bogus. Until there’s a signed agreement of some sort, the progress is more show than substance.
That hasn’t stopped Trump’s boosters from insisting that the president should be given the Nobel. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has a love-hate relationship with the president, is practically gurgling at the prospect.
“I want to be there,” Graham said of the imaginary award ceremony. “It may be the first time the Nobel Peace Prize was given and there was mass casualties because I think a lot of liberals would kill themselves if they did that.”
Liberals would have a good role model in conservatives, based on their reaction to President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. That award seemed more of a condemnation of George W. Bush’s policy than an acknowledgement of Obama’s accomplishments.
Which raises a major obstacle for Trump’s ambitions. The Norwegian Nobel Committee, composed of five members from Norway’s parliament, clearly has a political bent, and not in Trump’s direction.
In addition, there are all the things that Trump has done that have been giant steps backwards, including his kindness toward white supremacists and anti-trans policies. And then there’s Trump’s bromance with Vladimir Putin, which has cleared the way for anti-LGBT attacks in Russia.
Still, anyone can be nominated for the Peace Prize by outsiders. Putin was. So were Hitler and Stalin. For comic relief, Rush Limbaugh was also a nominee. Surely, there’s room for Trump somewhere in that lineup.