Past winners include many notables and also many people most Americans have never heard of, because they brought peace to conflicts in which the United States was not involved. Hard to believe there is such a thing, but they happen; people start shooting and bombing each other and America just ignores them.
The Peace Prize, unlike the Best Supporting Actor award, is not always given out—if no one has been peaceful enough, the Norwegians just keep the money for themselves. This happened for two years in a row, 1966-67, when apparently all the notables of the world behaved like complete jerks to each other, and the Nobel Prize Committee just spent the prize money on appetizers like kippered herring and goat cheese cubes for the Nobel cafeteria, because Scandinavians like snacks like that and also nachos had not yet been invented. They finally gave the prize to a Frenchman, Rene Cassin, in ’68, for being President of the European Court for Human Rights and handed him about the same amount of money they had given out in ’65. Monsieur Cassin was quoted as saying afterwards “Vraiment? Je pensais que ce serait rouler, comme Powerball.’’*
This year, the nominees are just being put forward, and it promises to be an unprecedented gala of peace. Some people no doubt deserve the award. The Greek islanders who have been fishing Syrian refugees out of the Mediterranean to keep them from drowning have been nominated, for rescuing people from a place where everybody wants to kill them and delivering them to a place where everybody just wishes they were dead.
Also Edward Snowden, who blew the whistle on the NSA being able to spy on all Americans’ phone conversations, has been nominated. If he wins, his best course is to have the statuette shipped to Moscow because another Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama, is gunning for his traitor hiney.
I don’t think this has ever happened before, and when I looked up the list of past winners, it’s tough to imagine. Jimmy Carter would never throw down with Mother Theresa, and you’ve never heard the Dalai Lama trash-talking Nelson Mandela. But Barack and his pals have a special can of whup-ass in their cupboard with Edward’s name on it, and he’ll spend his Nobel winnings in the lunchroom at Leavenworth if they have their way.
Donald Trump has been nominated as well, which most people think would only happen if you could nominate yourself. You can’t, so someone else thinks The Donald is worthy of the Peace Prize. It’s tough to say what for. Planning to forcibly deport several million people hasn’t snagged a Nobel before, and it’s not like no one has ever tried it—Mao and Stalin come to mind, and no one thinks that either of those guys failing to get a Peace Prize to hang on their walls was an oversight.
And if Donald deserves the prize, what about the rest of the Republican field? I mean, some of them are obviously not big peace guys, but at least Ted Cruz deserves consideration, for machine-gunning bacon for his breakfast and promising to bring tranquility to the Middle East by “making the sands glow” over there.
But he hasn’t even been nominated. Sad.
*"Really? I thought it rolled over, like le Powerball."