In 2009, the Norwegian Nobel Selection Committee awarded its Peace Prize to Barack Obama, citing his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples.” The decision was made on Oct. 5, just nine months after Obama was sworn in as president on Jan. 20.
Of even greater note, nominations for the 2009 award had closed a mere 11 days after his inauguration. Members of the committee hastened to assure a skeptical world that they had “not given the prize for what may happen in the future.” Lucky for them, given the path Obama pursued during his next seven years as commander in chief, warring around the world, while damaging our own military at home.
Against this measure, has not President Donald Trump already earned both nomination and acclamation to the 2019 Nobel for Peace? The image of Kim Jong-Un stepping over the concrete curbing marking the DMZ between the two Koreas should literally and symbolically “cement” the award. Even the most liberal members of the American media have not been able to successfully contend that the prospective reunification of the Korean peninsula, the destruction of the North’s nuclear testing facility and the possibility of demilitarization in the region for the first time since 1953 are attributable to any force or figure, except Donald Trump.
A June 12 or subsequent tripartite summit meeting, if accomplished, must certainly earn Trump a unanimous vote from any objective committee. The fact that the President of the United States continues to press for a non-nuclear weaponized North Korea makes him more peace-award worthy, not less.
There is a humorously offered aphorism often encountered in politics: “Lead, follow or get out of the way.” The international diplomacy of the United States, during the Trump Administration, has not followed traditional norms and formalities. But neither did the government of Barack Obama in making bad misjudgments about the Arab Spring, undermining fast friends like Israel, negotiating worldwide accords which were never submitted to the treaty process with Congress and announcing “red lines” that he failed to enforce.
In Donald Trump, we have a leader who doesn’t follow well and never gets out of the way. Even his leadership inconsistency and occasional reversal of tone or tactic seem to develop strategic possibilities. That proves to be a combination which has commanded the attention and perhaps even the respect of those with sufficient national and ideological authority to make peace at various hot spots throughout the world. Of course, no outcome is certain on this sometimes-angry planet. Yet, the prospect of a more peaceful Asia looms.
If it is an honest process, the Nobel Committee should seize the opportunity to redress its 2009 error in judgment and recognize an American who has driven peace as of today and likely will continue to do so in the future. I nominate Donald Trump.
Dave Leroy is a former Idaho attorney general and lieutenant governor. He served as United State Nuclear Waste Nuclear Waste Negotiator in the administration of George H.W. Bush and frequently lectures on Abraham Lincoln.