And the Nobel Prize goes to: America!


Hunter Johnson, Staff Writer

Okay, so that wasn’t exactly the case, but it should be!

It’s not often that I tune my TV to the amusing antics of one Stephen Colbert, but I recently saw a clip from his Oct. 15 episode of The Colbert Report that was not just funny but downright correct (in my opinion, at least).

He informed us viewers that the Nobel Peace Prize, whose selection is handled by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, had been awarded to the European Union.

“Oh, what a shock,” Colbert exclaimed. “Congratulations, Europe, you gave yourself the Nobel Peace Prize! That’s the same humility Oprah Winfrey shows when picking her magazine cover models!”

For clarification, Norway is not an actual member of the EU.  Perhaps, though, one could think of it as the international equivalent of someone giving a neighbor a delicious apple pie (topped with gold and prestige).

Thorbjørn Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, explained that the EU was chosen for the prize because it “helped to transform most of Europe from a continental war to a continental peace.”

Colbert sarcastically congratulated this year’s peace prize recipient and then made a bold proposition.

“Since political unions can now win Nobels these days,” he said, “I’ve gotta ask: How about one for the United States of America?”

Yes! How about a Nobel Peace Prize for the good ole’ U.S. of A.? If the EU can get one for bringing a “continental peace” to Europe, why can’t the United States? After all, Colbert put forward that he “seem[ed] to remember someone putting an end to a couple of dust-ups Europe started. What were they called again? Oh, yeah, World War One and World War Two! No biggie! We had plenty of free time digging ourselves out of the Great Depression!” Indeed, the United States did play an influential, if not the most influential, role in ending the Second World War by being the wrecking ball to the Axis powers’ pillow fort.

After those two major conflicts, the United States stuck around for a little while to prevent the next major global power from trying to steamroll across Europe – the Soviet Union. Again, Colbert eloquently reminded the audience of this: “Oh, and who spent billions on military bases all over Europe to keep the Communists from boot-stomping your waffle stands and Vespa dealerships? Oh, yeah …We did! That’s when [Europe] stepped up and called on us again!”

Colbert’s passion in this matter should be shared by all Americans. It seems to me that the United States has spent quite a bit of time, effort and money to keep Europe from tearing itself to pieces over the last century. Could the European Union have become what it is today if the Nazis had won? Or would the “continental peace” Europe enjoys today have been possible if America hadn’t thrown a few bases here and there to hold the Russians at bay until the Soviet Union decayed from within? After much strenuous consideration, I thought not.

Oh, and one should also think about what the United States has done beyond the land of croissants and schupfnudel. There was that mess in Korea in the ‘50s in which America kept South Korea from being overrun by the Communists (sure, the North Korean government is still kicking, but at least its not much more than the national equivalent of an obnoxious 12-year old). The U.S. also put an end to Saddam Hussein before he could get his greedy little fingers all in everybody’s business (admit it, people – we’re well rid of the guy. He was the global equivalent of the man who double-dips at the party while sick with bubonic plague). And who could argue that America isn’t that one neighbor in the Western Hemisphere that helps Grandma get her groceries into the house and pummels the daylights out of the creep who tries to rob her? Show of hands? Didn’t think so.

Given all that the United States has done for the world over the years (quick recap: Nazis smashed, Soviets squashed, dictators go bye-bye), you might think that the Norwegian Nobel Committee would toss this country around as a possible recipient. Gird your loins, America – you’re wrong!

I say that it’s time America received an overdue recognition of the efforts it has undertaken to keep the world from going to Hades in a handbasket, a little thanks for spending much of its time making sure everyone else got to enjoy the pastry of life. C’mon, Norway, just one peace prize, please. Until then, perhaps America should just listen to Colbert and give itself a People’s Choice Award.


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