On Wednesday, far-right Norwegian lawmaker Christian Tybring-Gjedde announced that he nominated President Donald Trump for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to the new Israel-United Arab Emirates Agreement.
Fox News excitedly broke the story of Trump's alleged honour, but left out some very important context: Each year, hundreds of people are nominated, and that any lawmaker serving in a national legislature can nominate someone for the Nobel Peace Prize.
So who, exactly, is the person responsible for bestowing this Fox News bonanza upon us? Tybring-Gjedde, a member of the Progress Party known for his staunch anti-immigration stance, believes Trump should be considered based on this one act alone, referring to the historic deal made between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to normalise relations between the two nations.
“No matter how Trump acts at home and what he says at press conferences, he has absolutely a chance at getting the Nobel Peace Prize,” he told the Associated Press. Tybring-Gjedde echoed similar sentiments in a Facebook post: “It is now to hope that the Nobel Committee is able to consider what Trump has achieved internationally and that it does not stumble in established prejudice against the US President.”
This isn't the first time he has nominated Trump for the prize either. In 2018, Tybring-Gjedde was one of two Norwegian lawmakers who nominated Trump, citing his reconciliation efforts between North and South Korea. Given his history, though, it's not much of a surprise that he is fond of Trump. Tybring-Gjedde was heavily criticised in 2011 for suggesting that Muslims, by nature, were more aggressive than Norwegians. He also likened hijab head coverings to Ku Klux Klan robes.
Despite Tybring-Gjedd's history, Trump is very pleased with the nomination. In fact, he's so excited that he tweeted a New York Post headline about himself (in the third person). But based on comments from previous years, Trump seems to think that he deserves a Nobel Prize, but doesn’t have complete faith in the process to come to the same conclusion. Last year, Trump predicted that he would win “for a lot of things if they gave it out fairly, which they don’t.” Though it seems the president has now changed his tune about the process.
Although Trump might be elated to be one of the hundreds of randomly nominated officials — which, again, has no bearing on who would actually win the prize — the nomination alone was enough to stir up Twitter into a frenzy of outrage.
The award committee said that it chose to honour Obama for his commitment to “seek the peace and security of the world without nuclear weapons.” Perhaps they can evaluate Trump's "law and order" record — including the armed forces he's deployed to terrorise anti-racism protestors — as they evaluate his eligibility for the, erm, peace prize. Or maybe not.