Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and President Donald Trump have both been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Mrs. Thunberg for this year’s award, for her role in leading youth protests against leaders who have failed to take serious action on climate change. And President Trump for the coming years, for the cooperation of the UAE and Bahrain to normalize relations with Israel.
In the field of Nobel politics, their nominations reveal a raging sea of global thought trends that is just as dilapidated and polarized as the political landscapes of many countries.
There is no problem with the fact that the supporters of the two nominees are very different. Mrs. Thunberg was appointed by two members of the Left Party of the Swedish Parliament. Mr Trump was appointed by a member of the Norwegian Parliament from the right-wing populist and anti-immigration Progress Party.
But this is by no means the first time the Nobel Committee has received polarizing nominations, says Vincent Keating at the University of Southern Denmark. While the patterns of global thinking that are the impetus for Nobel nominations may change constantly, he notes, the underlying reasons why these individuals should win the award are relatively consistent.
In other words, are they peacemakers or not?
Imagine the world as a theater with two Nobel Peace Prize nominees on stage and global public opinion as an audience.
In this corner on the left is Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist who has led high school students across the globe in Friday classroom walks to protest against world leaders who do not take seriously and act on the dire consequences of a planet that I’m warming up.
And in the other right corner is President Donald Trump, on stage for his role in coaxing the UAE (and now a second Gulf kingdom, Bahrain) to normalize relations with Israel. The final step towards resolving the decades-old Arab-Israeli conflict was formalized Tuesday at a signing ceremony at the White House.
The audience watching Ms. Thunberg and Mr. Trump are divided into two distinct camps that stand as far apart as the two Nobel laureates on stage.
Indeed, what the two nominations reveal Ms. Thunbergs for these years The Nobel Peace Prize, to be announced on October 9, Mr. Trumps for the 2021 Prize is a raging sea of global thought trends that is as rugged and polarized as the political landscapes of many countries, including that of the United States.
Ms Thunbergs supporters are not just young people enduring the older generations to do very little to reduce carbon emissions and stop marching towards an inanimate planet. Also present are groups of adults who admire the activism and commitment of Swedish students to an existential cause. Many of them are in the international media or are climate scientists, academics, philanthropists or progressive political and cultural leaders.
Both sides contemptuous
To many on the side of President Trumps’s audience, Ms. Thunbergs’s supporters are shrinking with an eye belonging to global elites or, as Fox News commentator Greg Gutfeld jokingly puts it, the delightful kids in the cafe. Supporters of a Nobel Trump may themselves be members of the global elite, but they keep themselves separate from the prevailing mentality of children, who say they can never accept that Mr. Trump simply deserved the award.
There are times when you can almost hear how left arm aneurysms occur. One such moment came this week when it was announced that Donald Trumps’ name had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, wrote the London Telegraphs Douglas Murray last week. Anger, shock, denial, grief, anger and a number of less elevated emotions.
Of course, the right side of global theater, including Mr. Trump himself had been just as disrespectful and even ruthless with Ms. Thunberg last year when she arrived in New York via the solar-powered spacecraft to address the United Nations General Assembly, spoke to elites in Davos, and was named Time 2019 magazine person of the year.
There is no problem with the fact that the supporters of the two nominees are very different. Mrs. Thunberg was nominated by two members of the Left Party of the Swedish Parliament who said that if neglected, the climate crisis would lead to new conflicts and wars. President Trump was appointed by Christian Tybring-Gjedde, a member of the Norwegian Parliament from the right-wing populist party and the Progress Party against immigration.
Mr. Tybring-Gjedde had already nominated Mr. Trump for the 2018 Nobel Prize for his efforts for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un whom he also appointed.
To a large extent, President Trumps weak position in global thought is a reflection of his deep unpopularity in most of the world. With a few exceptions Israel, the Philippines, to some extent Nigeria and India, Mr. Trump receives low and, in some cases, unprecedented grades.
New Pew polls drop numbers
A new Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday by 13 countries, including key U.S. allies and partners, confirms the world’s assessment of the United States and the U.S. president’s dim vision.
The survey found historically low rating levels for the US in the UK, France and Germany, with just over a quarter (26%) of Germans having a favorable outlook for the US Based on the results of other questions presented in the survey, the unprecedented low ratings are linked to perceptions of catastrophic pandemic management in the US, as well as to Mr. Trumps’s widespread unpopularity.
At the same time, the Pew poll found pockets with relatively high ratings of favoritism for President Trump in each of the countries polled by and generally among believers of their populist right-wing and anti-immigration parties of their countries. People like Mr. Tybring-Gjedde in Norway.
People on the right of the political spectrum were more likely than those on the left to have a positive view of both the US and Donald Trump, says Janell Fetterolf, an expert on global attitudes at the Pew Research Center in Washington. We also found this last year, she adds, that supporters of right-wing populist parties are more likely to support Mr. Trump, especially regarding his immigration policies.
This study of the years found low levels of support for Mr. Trump 11% in France, 10% in Germany and Denmark, 9% in Belgium, but higher support among right-wing populists.
Thus the number of President Trumps in Spain rose sharply to 45% among supporters of the right-wing Vox party; and at 34% among voters for the Alternative for Germany party.
But even among European nationalists, Mr. Trump takes a hit on the issue of global leadership for shifting his distance from previous U.S. presidents to his First American view of international affairs, says Ms.
Polarization is nothing new
Some experts on international affairs point out in any case that while the Thunberg-Trump Nobel nominations may indeed reflect a hyper-polarizing world of deep political divisions, this is by no means the first time the Nobel committee has received polarizing nominations.
The fact that people are polarizingnominatedshould not be so surprising, says Vincent Keating, an international policy expert at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. The award has previously been given to people who have been polarizing, both in terms of respect or contempt for them between certain constituencies, and questions about whether they deserve the award, he adds. See Kissinger and Obama for contrasting examples of America.
In any case, Professor Keating notes that while the patterns of global, political, and otherwise thought that are the impetus for Nobel nominations may change constantly, reflecting very different perspectives, the underlying reasons why these individuals should win the award is relatively consistent. .
In other words, are they peacemakers or not?
Trump has not been nominated for anything, he has been nominated for his alleged role in mediating a deal that could support peace in the Middle East, says Professor Keating. As with Greta Thunberg, her climate change activism is clearly linked to her role in maintaining peace.
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