Donald Trump

A Nobel Peace Prize for Trump?

The only thing the president enjoys more than boasting about himself is hearing others brag for him.


Appearing before foreign service officers and other employees at the State Department on Wednesday, Donald Trump commended them for faithfully performing their most important task—applauding him.

"I must say that's more spirit than I've heard from the State Department in a long time, many years," he asserted. "We can say many years and maybe many decades." He wanted to impress on everyone that their show of devotion was more emphatic and more deserved than that accorded any president in memory.

Trump would have no way of knowing this even if he were a keen student of State Department history, which he is not, and he couldn't care less whether it's true. But that's not important. He never misses a chance to use other people to inflate his achievements and feed his ego.

Those in his presence are often enlisted, willingly or not, as disciples in the cult of personality he has tried to create. The only thing Trump enjoys more than boasting about himself is hearing others brag for him. He treats polite applause, such as what he heard at the State Department, as proof of reverence. But what he really encourages and appreciates is the most extravagant praise.

His personal physician, Harold Bornstein, was deployed in 2016 to attest that "his physical strength and stamina are extraordinary" and that he would "be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency." The doctor, who now says that statement was dictated by Trump, obviously knew he had to go along.

White House physician Ronny Jackson was also willing to shower the boss with plaudits. In January, Jackson attested to the "excellent" health and "incredible cardiac fitness" of the exercise-averse junk food addict he had examined.

That spectacle was evidence of Trump's talent for reducing everyone around him to nonstop fawning. At a cabinet meeting in June, his subordinates took turns prostrating themselves. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus thanked the president for "the blessing you've given us to serve your agenda and the American people." Attorney General Jeff Sessions exulted, "It's an honor to be able to serve you."

No one has been more worshipful than Mike Pence, who said then, "The greatest privilege of my life is to serve as vice president to the president who's keeping his word to the American people." Not serving the American people—serving Trump.

Many Republicans in Congress have adopted the same mindset. At a White House celebration for the tax bill, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said, "We are going to make this the greatest presidency we have seen not only in generations but maybe ever." House Speaker Paul Ryan agreed: "Something this profound could not have been done without exquisite presidential leadership."

So it was not surprising to learn that 18 GOP House members have nominated Trump for a Nobel Peace Prize. "Since taking office, President Trump has worked tirelessly to apply maximum pressure on North Korea to end its illicit weapons programs," they said, thus "bringing peace to the Korean Peninsula."

Please. A guy who visited his golf properties more than 90 times in his first year in office has not "worked tirelessly" at anything. And it is only a fond hope that he will achieve anything lasting or important in his meeting with Kim Jong Un.

Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for fond hopes is something Republicans once opposed. When Barack Obama got it in 2009—to the surprise of everyone—the Nobel committee was widely criticized for getting ahead of events. Obama himself said he didn't deserve it. Even The Washington Post editorialized that it "almost makes you feel embarrassed for the honoree."

But it is impossible to embarrass Trump by extolling his accomplishments, real or imagined. No one can utter any tribute so preposterous that he has not said it or would not believe it.

Americans have generally regarded their presidents as fallible humans who deserve endless scrutiny and criticism. Extracting fulsome worship is supposed to be the province of medieval monarchs and communist dictators. But Trump sees the presidency mainly as a way for him to bask in glory.

What the president's sycophants obviously know is that plausibility is not necessary. On the contrary, the less believable the praise is the more welcome he will find it. What Trump wants to know is how far they will go in degrading themselves for his benefit.

The answer? If there is a limit, we haven't found it yet.

NEXT: 'Libertarian Is an Adjective, a Sensibility, a Temperament, not a Rigid Doctrine or Dogma.'

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  1. Fuck your Steve Chapman.

    1. He’s not my Steve Chapman.

      1. Ahh lol I am a fool.

    2. Trump fucked Steve Chapman?

  2. LOL!

    Like with the economy, if there’s anything good that happens during Drumpf’s presidency, it’s really Obama who deserves the credit.

    1. LOL.

      So true!

  3. He deserves it more than Obama, but that doesn’t mean he deserves it.

    1. Yeah, that was a pretty terrible example false equivalence. Obama got the Nobel for running against the Bush legacy and trashing the US in speeches in Europe. That’s not exactly peacemaking.

      He did not do one single thing to promote peace that is any more significant than some hippie holding up a sign at a march. Heck, on balance it was probably less than that. And that, of course, was before he actually took office and began doing things that are the opposite of peace and peacemaking.

      By the Obama measuring stick, Trump has been an angel of peace throughout the world. His methodology seems to be to provoke the issue, moving people off of their long-held sticking points. Whether it works or not remains to be seen, but it does seem to be getting some results in some areas, notably North Korea.

      1. Look at the author. Chapman is incapable of presenting a logically coherent argument. Why does Reason still employ this guy?

        1. He owns blackmail pics of Gillespie without his leather jacket.

          1. I didn’t think that was possible. Doesn’t The Jacket form a permanent symbiotic relationship with its host, which would result in the host immediately dieing were it to be removed?

        2. They don’t.

          Steve Chapman is a columnist and editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune.

          1. Fair enough. Why do they execute the affirmative editorial decision to publish his articles here?

            1. Sometimes, an editor just has space to fill.

        3. They don’t. He works for the Chicago Tribune. Why they re-publish his articles I don’t know.

        4. After reading the first sentence of this article, I said to myself, “This has gotta be a Chapman piece”. Sure enough, it was. Yeah, he’s my least favorite Reason writer too.

          As for Trump possibly getting a Nobel, I fully agree that it’s premature. If we do end up with a lasting peace in Korea, with North and South on a target path for reunification, then he’ll deserve consideration for the prize, but we ain’t there yet.

          BTW, here’s Scott Adams’s take.

    2. Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.

      William Money

      1. He’s got two tickets to paradise.

  4. Trump’s frequent visits to the golf course aren’t recreational; they’re a valid part of making America great again. As students of Korean affairs know, the first time Kim Jong Il ever tried playing golf, he scored five holes-in-one. Unlike his craven swamp-dwelling predecessors, the Orange Leader is unwilling to stand by and meekly suffer this blow to the U.S.’s honor and prestige.

    1. Trump doesn’t actually make ‘frequent visits to the golf course’.

      That golf course is part of the landscaping on his home. It’s his lawn.

  5. Too bad us regular folks can’t drone bomb whoever we please, or we too might be in the running for a Peace Prize one day.

    1. We live in a democratic republic. Via our representative government, we do drone bomb the everloving crap out of whoever we please.

      1. Government is not society.

      2. Government is not the country either.

        As Mark Twain said “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”

        Government is simply the gang of assholes with the last word in violence. Nothing more.

        1. Yup. And if we let them drone bomb the crap out of everyone, we bear some share of the responsibility. Plus, I’m paying for those drones and bombs. (yeah, I have a bit of an attitude about that. Taking my money and pissing it away on things that I’m morally opposed to does that to me.)

          1. if we let them drone bomb the crap out of everyone

            Um, ok. How do we stop them? We can’t change anything at the ballot box. Bureaucratic inertia cannot be stopped by voting. They’re gonna bomb no matter who is elected. That pretty much leaves revolution, and I’m not too keen on that idea. I’m afraid the next constitution would be modeled after this.

            1. We can’t change anything at the ballot box.

              That’s the standard refutation of the concept of Social Justice.

            2. Um, ok. How do we stop them?

              Pray the gay war mongering away?

          2. if we let them…, we bear some share of the responsibility.

            That’s the fundamental idea behind the concept of Social Justice.

            1. Well, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. A lot of evil comes from good intentions. SJWs and Marxists do correctly identify some problems. But then they come up with terrible solutions to them that just make everything worse.

              I’m not sure what I think of the shared responsibility thing. It’s certainly true that an individual has almost no chance of changing how the government operates. But things like Nazi Germany or the USSR don’t happen unless a good portion of the population is willing to go along with it (even if it’s just for the sake of self-preservation). So there is at least some responsibility on individuals.

              But I think that the best thing for individuals to do is simply to live life in an honest and decent way and not to look for answers in politics and government.

      3. “democratic republic”

        No such thing.

        We live in a representative republic.

        1. It’s a Constitutional Republic.

  6. When did Reason start hiring PMSing teens to write for them?

    1. About 12 years ago or so.

    2. It’s a syndicated column, so they don’t hire him. But it is a bit of a mystery why they keep publishing Chapman. Probably because people like to comment on his articles to complain, so they get page views.

      1. Probably because people like to comment on his articles to complain, so they get page views.

        Most likely this. Now to click submit and contribute to the problem.

        It would be interesting if we could somehow get everyone to just agree not to comment on Chapman articles and see if they continue to publish him. Unfortunately it’s probably not possible to get all of these degenerates to agree to that.

  7. The Nobel Peace prized was cemented as nothing more than a joke when one was given to that murdering terrorist Yasser Arafat.

    1. Before that. Kissinger.

    2. The old joke was that the surest path to winning the Peace Prize was to kill people for years and then stop.

      Of course they dropped even below that level when they gave it to Obama, Al Gore, and the EU.

      1. Yes, Obama received it on the mere prospect that he would kill people for years.

        1. Obama got it for the colour of his skin, period.
          If Hillary won she would have got it because vagina, guaranteed.

          The Nobel peace prize is a joke and sadly the others are drifting in that direction.
          Bob Dylan. Please.

  8. Trump deserves a NPP just for keeping Hillary’s claws away from the nuclear button.

    (And frankly, I’m surprised I have to be the one to say this. Where’s the Trumpalos this morning to deflect any criticism of their Messiah?))

    1. Where’s the Trumpalos this morning to deflect any criticism of their Messiah?

      They only read the headline: “A Nobel Peace Prize for Trump?” and didn’t bother reading the rest of the article (reeding iz 4 cuckz).

  9. Slightly off topic:

    About that evidence the Israelis collected about Iran’s nuclear program…

    1. So the evidence against the files being real, is that surely the Iranians are more compentent at storing state secrets than Hillary Clinton?

      1. Well, that is a hell of a low bar.

      2. There’s a little more to the analysis than that.

  10. If the left went ape shit crazy when Hillary lost, the response to a NPP for Trump will be absolutely hilarious. I am crossing my fingers.

  11. I wonder if that guy is still saluting cardboard Trump every morning?

  12. Please. A guy who visited his golf properties more than 90 times in his first year in office has not “worked tirelessly” at anything.

    America needs a president who doesn’t play golf so this stupid meme can be retired.

    1. And he didn’t necessarily play golf every one of those times.

      One of Trump’s golf properties is like 15 miles from DC in Great Falls VA, so is Chapman counting every time he crosses the property line in that figure?

      1. Even if Trump were golfing less and working more Chapman would still not be happy. Because Trump would be doing Trump-like things.

        So Chapman’s argument is both worthless and dishonest.

        But mostly lazy. They are growing disheartened, so are really starting to just phone it in.

    2. When politicians work tirelessly, liberty suffers.

      1. Yeah, I’d prefer presidents to spend as much time as possible on the golf course instead of working. Of course, thanks to smart phones and shit they can still work while on the course. “Pen and a phone,” right?

    3. When a guy get to a certain age, he has to play golf. It’s kind of a law.

    4. When a guy get to a certain age, he has to play golf. It’s kind of a law.

      1. This place is an echo chamber.

    5. America needs a president who doesn’t play golf so this stupid meme can be retired.

      You mean like FDR?

  13. Let’s wait until the Norks are neutered, then give him Trump a Nobel. And revoke Obama’s Nobel for good measure.

  14. I think Trump should get the Nobel for literature in recognition of all of his pithy tweets. Truly awesome!

  15. Color me skeptical about any potential ‘breakthrough’ on the Korean peninsula. Trump has changed the game a bit, so Kim is responding in kind. Like it or not the only potential source of permanent resolution is in Beijing.

  16. If Trump (really the diplomats at State, but of course the POTUS will get all the credit regardless of whether it’s Trump or anyone else) can negotiate an official end to the Korean War and the denuclearizion of the Korean peninsula, I would think that would be worthy of consideration at the very least. Of course, you could make the argument that S. Korean president Moon and Kim would also deserve to share the Nobel, but whatever.

    But, nothing’s happened for sure yet other than a pinky swear between Moon and Kim to try and do something. Which, while significant isn’t a done deal yet. Let’s put away the anointing oil for now.

  17. It was stupid to criticize Obama for his golfing and it’s stupid to criticize Trump.

    Golf is a mechanism for meetings, bonding, and deal-making across the world, that many utilize to balance indoor-meeting rooms. It creates opportunities for frank one-on-one discussions away from aides and eavesdroppers, and can be perceived as a ‘neutral’ venue for visiting dignitaries. It is not an “American” think, nor is it a US-regional thing. It’s a culturally commonality across the US and globe, for the most part.

    Anyone who works in business knows this. It is kinda pathetic to see that Chapman either doesn’t, or simply doesn’t care.

    1. Anyone who works in business knows this. It is kinda pathetic to see that Chapman either doesn’t, or simply doesn’t care.

      Even if you’re not in business, the sport itself is rather obviously formal, but also relatively PC. Women can compete pretty equally with men, disabled people can compete, etc. To the point that, in the typical fashion, it’s barely able to considered as a sport. It’s like saying you can’t get any work done because you’re too busy fishing.

  18. Meh.

    Obama, Gore and Arafat have Nobel Peace Prizes.

    Why not Trump?

    Why not Sesame Street? The A-Team?

    That’s how low on the credibility scale Nobel has with me. Arafat was the last straw but Obama was mind-blowing in its insuperability. Michelle was recently babbling about how tired she was of watching incompetent men get ahead. Which is pretty interesting because the same can be said of her husband.

    1. “Michelle was recently babbling about how tired she was of watching incompetent men get ahead”

      Funny since she herself is incompetent and had a make work, political job purely based on her husband’s political position before he was elected president.

  19. So he’s just like Obama then?

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