The Democratic National Convention ended on a high note as decent folks spoke about decency, which is all well and good, but let’s not forget that the playing field has been tilted considerably past even. For example, this week Louisiana enacted a law which removes the votes of any protestor arrested on federal property, this from a governor who has already prohibited mail in ballots for those whose only excuse is not wanting to die of Covid-19. Ah, but the suppression of votes has really only just begun, leading those of us with a taste for the ominous to imagine the course of the next four years under the current administration and to remember the Trump initiative to swap Puerto Rico for Greenland.
Absurd, you say? Legit Wackiness? Bushwacking press sniping at the Leader of the Free World once again?
Yeah, no. The former Director of Homeland Security leaked a 2019 conversation, not merely identifying the President’s resilient next-best idea when cautioned that he could not swap Puerto Rico for a different territory, but introducing the President’s view that people in Puerto Rico are “poor and dirty”. Let’s leave aside the reminder that those people are American citizens under the care of the President, and that in time of terrible need following a devastating hurricane, his idea of a photo op on the island involved tossing packages of paper towels to a crowd of people, many of whom were homeless and starving. Yup, that aside, the Greenland idea has been in the back of Trump’s mind for some time. His earlier hope had been dashed – that Norway would send their tired, their poor, their huddled masses yearning to be free; Greenland looked like the next bet bet, so, yes, he tried to buy it.
Against all odds, the Prime Minister of Denmark, to whom the offer was floated, indicated that the idea was absurd. Once again, leaving aside the degree of sovereignty actually enjoyed by Greenland, the artful dealer was put out by the Prime Minister’s comment, cancelling a trip to Demark and warning that those who tossed “nasty” comments at the President of the United States were insulting the entire nation. In his words:
“I thought that the prime minister’s statement that it was absurd, that it was an absurd idea was nasty…I thought it was an inappropriate statement. All she had to do is say no, we wouldn’t be interested…She’s not talking to me. She’s talking to the United States of America. You don’t talk to the United States that way, at least under me.”
Let’s try not to get stuck on the “all she had to do is say no,” version of global diplomacy. There’s more to contend with here than the simple “dump-the-shithole” foreign policy the president imagines his right to explore for us. Uh, for some of us. It’s the idea of the swapping that piques the imagination. Outright sale? Absurd. Swap for a devastated post-colonial vestigial territory? Equally unlikely.
But, Oregon, where I live, is some pretty nifty acreage. We have mountains, farmland, orchards, and ocean views. The western part of the state’s climate was once considered Mediterranean, but as the planets heats up, not even the Mediterranean is Mediterranean any more. The Eastern part is known as cold semi-arid; it’s been compared to the climate of Australia’s interior. You’ve probably seen Mad Max: Thunder Road, so ‘nuff said.
In any case, the coastal western strip includes Ashland, Eugene, Corvallis, and Portland, which is to say, it constitutes the densely populated predominantly liberally voting majority that has made Oregon a decidedly blue state. Not a shithole, but one of the pesky “nasty” areas that could bring a tasty swap in the hands of a master dealmaker. Keeping eastern Oregon, also known as “Almost Idaho”, would turn this part of the West notably red, and the addition of Greenland or Iceland would provide a gene pool necessary to turning the surging tide of ethnic influence in the body politic. Big thumbs up for the current administration.
As I consider the possibility, it strikes me that were the president able to pull off the swap with Denmark, my part of Oregon would then be an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark. We’d have a monarch and a female prime minister. Seventy-five percent of Danes have a paying job, college students are given a $900.00 a month stipend with no student loans, Danes walk without fear in every city or town, health care is free, and Denmark is at the top of all European nations in the Gender Equality Index.
I’m not counting my chickens here; it’s not easy to traffic in autonomous land masses. Even so, as the Republican National Committee pulls together the convention that will agan nominate Donald Trump, let’s keep an eye on all the provisions of the party’s platform. The press may not be invited to Charlotte as the convention opens, but I count on intrepid journalists to nose out the deals under the table. If the Greenland swap is still alive and Oregon is in the mix, I gotta say it looks pretty sweet.