What is the first thing you associate with President Donald Trump? Peace?
For many this is not the first thing that springs to mind, but earlier this month it was revealed that far-right Norwegian politician Tybring-Gjedde has nominated Trump for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
This is not the first time Trump has been nominated either, as back in 2018 he was put forward, also by Tybring-Gjedde, for his efforts to reconcile North and South Korea.
This year the nomination is for his role in the Abraham Accords- a recent peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
In itself, it is not unusual for the President of the United States to be nominated or even to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
If Trump was to receive the award, he would become the 5th US President to do so, joining his predecessor Barack Obama who won in 2009. Yet for many people, this nomination is more of a stunt than anything else.
Trump is certainly a divisive figure, often associated with inciting hate rather than brokering peace
Trump is certainly a divisive figure, often associated with inciting hate rather than brokering peace. This was especially the case during the recent resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement when he worsened racial unrest by pledging to crackdown on the protestors- as reported by CNN.
More generally, his unfiltered, blunt style and copious tweets are not exactly in line with a diplomatic, peace-focused attitude.
As a result, many people, especially those that have felt directly attacked by Trump’s policies and rhetoric, are likely to be somewhat shocked by this nomination.
At the heart of the issue is whether Trump’s role in the Abraham Accords can be separated from the rest of his Presidency.
Does one peace deal stand above his numerous inflammatory actions and comments? His failure to negotiate any kind of deal between Israel and the Palestinians? The ever-widening political divisions in American society? For many, the answer to these questions is no.
So, what is the likelihood of him actually winning?
First of all, it is important to note that the nomination criteria listed on the Nobel Peace Prize website are not exactly stringent.
All members of government, those sitting on the international court of justice, university professors, past winners of the prize and both current and former members of or advisors to the Norwegian Nobel committee can all put forward a candidate.
Consequently, although the number of nominations is yet to be announced for this year, there will be hundreds who have made it into the mix. Last year, for example, there were 318 total candidates.
This means that Trump must fight off a lot of competition even to make it onto the shortlist, which is formed by the Nobel committee prior to the election of the winner.
This process is not very selective and has led to some questionable nominations in the past; not least when Adolf Hitler was put forward in 1939
Clearly, this process is not very selective and has led to some questionable nominations in the past; not least when Adolf Hitler was put forward in 1939.
Hitler’s nomination was withdrawn shortly after, though, suggesting it was made in satire, whereas BBC News quoted White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany as insisting that Trump’s nomination was “a hard earned and well-deserved honour for this president”.
Moreover, according to Political Insider, at a recent Trump rally in Wisconsin the crowd began to chant ‘Nobel Peace Prize’, suggesting that despite the controversy, Trump’s nomination is receiving some support.
Ultimately, it remains to be seen whether Trump can beat the odds and receive the prize. Tune in on October 9th to find out!
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