President Donald Trump started out the week on a positive note, telling a group of reporters on Monday he was positive he deserved being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but would not likely be receiving one this year only because the selection process is rigged against him.
“I would get a Nobel Prize for a lot of things, if they gave it out fairly, which they don’t,” he said during a news conference at the United Nations.
Instead of being corrupt, perhaps the Nobel selection committee is merely having difficulty deciding which of Trump’s world peace milestones should be honored:
- Making friends with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un? Probably not the best choice for a Nobel, since talks between the two heads of state broke down earlier this year, with the former “Little Rocket Man” test-launching at least 10 missiles since then.
- Taking a lead in common-sense firearms regulation? The president did talk briefly about supporting background checks until the NRA flooded Congress with phone calls and Wayne LaPierre personally urged Trump to back off.
- Negotiating to bring an end to American involvement in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? He seemed to have an agreement ready to sign, and arranged for the warring parties to meet at Camp David about the same time as the anniversary of 9/11, then suddenly scrapped talks with the Taliban.
- An Israel-Palestine peace deal? That would be Nobel-worthy, but so far, no breakthroughs by Jared-of-all-trades Kushner.
While Trump may yet have done nothing deserving of a Nobel Prize, neither have a number of other individuals who have received the award.
Probably most significant person on that list for the current president is his predecessor and least-favorite person on earth, Barack Obama. The previous president, to his credit, sincerely liked the idea of peace, though he hadn’t had time to make much of it yet. But unlike Trump, Obama was self-aware enough not to expect being awarded the prize, realizing that he got it mainly for not being George W. Bush.
Other questionable Nobel winners include Henry Kissinger, who received his for co-negotiating a Vietnam War cease fire which was broken almost immediately, followed by two more years of war. Portuguese neurologist Egas Moniz won the 1949 Nobel for medicine thanks to his creation of the frontal lobotomy. Bob Dylan was awarded the 2016 Nobel for literature for his songwriting prowess, and was apparently so uncomfortable about receiving the honor, he waited until the following year to accept it, telling Nobel officials that “songs are meant to be sung, not read.”
Had Newt Gingrich won the Republican primary back in 2012 and then gone on to defeat Barack Obama, he may well have become a Nobel laureate. A self-described visionary, Gingrich pledged to make possible a permanent manned base on the moon by the end of his second term and flights to Mars by 2020.
Before his presidential run, as a member of Congress, Gingrich authored a bill that would have allowed residents of an American lunar colony to apply for statehood, once the colony’s population reached 13,000. He was criticized for his grandiose plans, but said “Americans are instinctively grandiose, because we believe in a bigger future.”
For those who don’t want to wait until the population of prospective Moontanans reaches the magic 13,000 mark at a U.S. lunar colony, the White House’s website lists an online petition titled “Annex the Moon as the 51st State.” As of this writing, 777 people have signed on.
So, to earn a Nobel, Mr. President, you have to think big.