OP-ED: Trump for a Nobel Prize? For what, fiction?

Scott Martelle
Los Angeles Times (TNS)
FILE- In this April 17, 2015, file photo a national library employee shows the gold Nobel Prize medal awarded to the late novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in Bogota, Colombia.

Dear Nobel Peace Prize Committee:

I saw in the news that our president, Donald J. Trump, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by a right-wing nationalist member of the Norwegian parliament for his role in getting Israel and the UAE to agree to like each other.

Frankly, I was surprised he wasn’t nominated for the Nobel in literature, given the depth, creativity and productivity of his fictions, but so be it.

It also made me curious about the nominating process, so I looked on your website and found the criteria for who is allowed to nominate someone.

I was pleased to see that you accept nominations from “university professors, professors emeriti and associate professors of history, social sciences, law, philosophy, theology, and religion.” I taught as an adjunct at a local university for about five years, and following the standards under which Trump claimed Tuesday that he is “the number one environmental president since Teddy Roosevelt” (more fodder for the literature nomination), I am claiming eligibility to nominate contenders for the Peace Prize.

I have some names in mind. For example, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has excelled as an agent of peace during his tenure as Senate majority leader. He’s been masterful, in fact. By not bringing up for a vote some 375 bills passed by the Democratic-controlled House, McConnell has kept the peace in the Senate. Fewer bills on the floor means less partisan rancor.

Then there’s Attorney General William Barr, who deserves consideration for seeking to drop the charges to which former national security adviser Michael Flynn has already pleaded guilty, a move that was certain to smooth relations between the White House and the Justice Department. Barr also sent federal agents to clear protesters from the area between the White House and St. John’s Church a block away, allowing the president to hoist a Bible as a prop for a photo shoot while avoiding any possible friction with the protesters.

And let’s not forget acting Homeland Security chief Chad Wolf, who at Trump’s direction sent federal agents to pacify the streets of Portland, Oregon. That worked really well.

I realize that the Peace Prize committee has a lot of nominations to deal with each year — more than 300 this cycle alone. The nomination deadline for the prize to be announced in October is long past, so I recognize that my suggestions, like Trump’s nomination, won’t be considered until next year.

That’s fine. But I’d like to preserve the right to submit more names as additional members of the Trump administration distinguish themselves over the coming months in the pursuit of peace.

Good luck,

Scott Martelle

— Scott Martelle, a veteran journalist and author of six history books, is a member of the Los Angeles Times editorial board.