Budowsky: President Biden for the Nobel Peace Prize
If the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize was made today, I propose the recipient should be President Biden, who has been formally nominated.
What follows are reasons that our nation’s president, based on what he has achieved during his first six months in office, and what he aspires to achieve going forward, has earned the honor.
First, Biden, after four years of a president who divided America from our democratic allies and praised various enemies of democracy and abusers of human rights around the world, has restored America’s role as a leader of the free world of democratic nations.
Biden is a powerful and passionate champion of democracy at home and abroad, domestically and internationally. The world is a better place because of the stand he takes.
Second, Biden places respect for human rights, human dignity and human aspirations at the center of his presidency and foreign policy. By contrast with his predecessor, those who abuse human rights no longer see our president as an enabler or apologist. Those who support human rights see him as a friend and champion.
Third, Biden has succeeded in America, achieving policies that advanced mass vaccinations of our people that are defeating the most deadly disease in a century and restoring our national economy. He has now turned his attention to donating mass vaccinations to hard-suffering nations around the world.
The announcement by Biden and leaders of the Group of 7 democracies, of a united plan to dramatically increase support for vaccinations to nations that desperately need them, was an important achievement and only a beginning.
My view is that the great democracies should do far more, and far sooner, than they have already announced. My expectation is that Biden will continue to escalate this noble mission, and the Nobel Committee should consider how much the president and other democracies achieve on this front, before making a final decision.
Fourth, Biden, who is up against mighty forces, has made solving the deadly dangers of climate change a core principle of his domestic policy, economic policy, environmental policy and foreign policy. He has named leading advocates of dramatic improvement on climate change to high posts throughout his administration.
Fifth, Biden, in his domestic and foreign policies, is a powerful voice on behalf of the poor, the hurting, the needy and the destitute for Americans and people everywhere.
I applaud the president for naming Samantha Power to lead the Agency for International Development. A recent column in The New York Times titled “Samantha Power still believes America can help save the world” made the point brilliantly. Her appointment was as powerful and noble as his naming former Secretary of State John Kerry as his lead diplomat to combat climate change.
Sixth, Biden has made increasing economic equality a defining purpose of his presidency. From his initial COVID-19 relief package, a historic program that advanced economic equality, to his naming of former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as his Treasury secretary, which empowered a leading champion of economic equality to the highest financial post in his government, he has advanced the cause of equality as a fundamental purpose of governing.
As Biden often and passionately says, there is a worldwide battle of democracy versus dictatorship, freedom versus authoritarianism, human rights versus oppression, civil rights versus bigotry, and the urgent need for those who have the most to help those who suffer the most from poverty and pain to achieve a better life.
Biden brought to the presidency the principles, values and aspirations that motivate decent people everywhere and are among core visions of the Nobel Peace Prize, and core values of the American idea at its noblest and best.
In our troubled world we should fully appreciate the incalculable value to America and the world of an American president who believes what he believes, does what he does, and achieves what he achieves.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives.