Dear Denmark, we’re sorry. From, America.
Recently, the most unorthodox president of the United States made an offer to buy Greenland. Donald Trump said that the US was looking to make a purchase and would speak to Denmark about it first.
Trump seems to have forgotten that Greenland, in fact, isn’t for sale. Strangely enough, he continued to pursue the thought while the rest of the world reacted to the absurdity of the concept. Trump seems to have been transported from the years of colonization that saw their end in the democratic world around 100 years ago. Nowadays, nationally owned land is never bought or sold. But perhaps we should give the president the benefit of the doubt and assume that this is simply his instinct after spending his life haggling in real estate.
The worryingly characteristic response to Denmark’s refusal to sell the island is perhaps more concerning. The incredulous Kingdom of Denmark was characterized in a laughably childish manner as Donald Trump proceeded to call the Danish Prime Minister “nasty”.
Let’s put this whole situation in perspective.
Let’s say I’m walking down a busy street in New York City. I stop at a crosswalk to wait until it’s safe to walk. Next to me, I hear two people talking. I can hear one telling the other, “Oh yeah I like his watch. I think I’m going to buy it.” I turn to them, point at my chest and say “My watch?” They both nod. I say “It’s not for sale.” And continue to walk. Before I’ve taken two steps, the man who wanted to buy my watch stands up on a nearby bench and shouts, “This guy right here in the blue shirt and white shorts is terrible. Just the worst. He wouldn’t let me buy his watch!”
If you were a bystander, having heard the entirety of the interaction, what would you think? I’m assuming you would probably react like most of the world is to Trump’s latest stunt and dismiss the whole thing as nonsensical.
Frustratingly and frighteningly, instead of being able to walk in separate ways and forget about the interaction, Donald Trump is the leader of the United States and his actions have consequences for a nation and a world. After putting in our votes in 2016, American citizens act as helpless children in the back seat of a vehicle being driven by a reckless driver with no regard to the people with and around him.
So from all of us who voted against him in 2016 and all of us who regret voting for him, we apologize, Denmark, for the absurd behavior of our president. Please know that the people of our country are embarrassed by his behavior and we hope that his antics will be put to an end in 2020. And when Americans come to your country, please try to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they want to experience the beauty of your country and the wonders of your culture. But if they say they want to buy the Little Mermaid Statue, please feel free to follow the lead of your Prime Minister and call out the absurdity of the proposal.