The pursuit of peace was struck a fatal blow by the stealthy outsider success of Trump’s presidential bid, for both in policy and proverb he has been more invested in victories than in ceasefire. As analysts have observed, he has a self-consciously belligerent managerial style, playing the hard-talking boss. His manner has raised tensions and feelings of alienation and hostility on the world stage. The Republican Party’s nomination of his name to the Nobel Committee as a contender for Peace laureate should be seen as a narrow, self-serving PR exercise.
Their cover rationale is his purported role in a recent successful peace summit between the precariously coexisting states of North and South Korea. It is however a disservice to give him credit for their historic exchange of gestures of earnest goodwill and solidarity. The peace summit was facilitated largely by the collective hard-work of East Asian actors and political institutions.
Giving Trump singular praise and adulation for a cooperative event is an extension of the logic of US statecraft. Statecraft found on doctrines of the nation’s ‘exceptionalism’, and its unique virtue (or lack thereof.) How are we meant to believe a man who views life and the world like its a non-zero-sum game is the reason for Korean détente? More credibly it seems to be the result of their zero sum negotiations, Trump out of the way, far removed from the action.
Since his inauguration, a cavalry of failed, incompetent foreign policies have thundered in, rivaled only by the legacy of Bush’s political ignorance. They have profoundly destabalized international affairs, not only due to his presidential style, but equally by over-promoting shrewd hawks with vindictive vendettas against the Middle East.
Perhaps most seriously, peace in Palestine is indefinitely postponed in the aftermath of an outrageously narrow, self-serving decision to move the US embassy to Israel. Can unconditional support of Israeli power really be the answer? It certainly seems to be when money and Iran is the question.
Furthermore, Trump has decidedly refused a diplomatic approach to diplomacy and international cooperation, ignoring at best and seething at worst in retaliation to requests to remove derogatory and racial rhetoric in references in his delegations to other countries, namely referring to vibrant LEDC’s as “shit-holes.”
In a perhaps refreshing, but decidedly dangerous aberrance from Presidential rigmarole, Trump prefers shouting about policy to other politicians on Twitter when he has a public memorandum to make. This is dangerous, firstly because the pace at which events on Twitter and interpretations of them grow is far faster than in politics away from Twitter. Secondly, making sensitive data available to adversaries is a strategic own goal. He promotes extremely short-term thinking in which he thinks only as far ahead as his next tweet.
The Nobel Prize is explicitly sanctioned to reward consistency in excellence in a field. Trump has been in Politics and diplomacy for all of two years. The Peace Prize winners are megaphones for the oppressed and not the powerful.
The President befriends Israeli and Saudi executioners; it is clear he is not truly pals with peace. By all means give him credit for preventing a Clinton orchestrated bloodbath. Clinton is an arch-hawk of the DC faction which premeditates war as a glorious vanity project. Trump while belligerent is not a conscious war ideologue. But please, no gold laurels for the man demonising minorities and stirring up heinous violence against the Mexican under-ground railroad.