Oh, To Be In Greenland

Donald Trump has mused publicly about the possibility of buying Greenland from Denmark and adding it to the United States. But this is #Fake News, as the president himself might tweet. What has actually been discussed was an offer by Trump to sell the United States to Denmark in exchange for obtaining Greenland for himself. What Trump was really after was being declared king of Greenland. As Danish king Trump would, in his own words, “govern by divine right as befits me. I would at last be recognized as a brave Viking warrior as well as a direct descendant of Hamlet, with the same noble qualities.” As king by authority of Denmark, Trump could also decree that he be acknowledged to have a brain even bigger and better than Soren Kierkegaard’s or Nils Bohr’s. Annexing Greenland to the United States would only have risked adding more blue state electoral votes and was therefore a non-starter.
Under the terms of Trump’s proposal Queen Margaret of Denmark would have become president of the United States through a vote of the electoral college engineered by Mitch McConnell. The kingship would have become hereditary, with Ivanka being officially christened as Princess Ivanka TheDonaldsdottir(And Don’t You Forget It). Feudal rights would have been extended to Sir Rudy Giuliani as Knight Errant and Second Falconer to John Bolton while Dame Hope Hicks would have become head of the Privy Council and Keeper of the Great Seal to Try to Put Over the King’s Big Mouth. The deal also would have granted Trump a perpetual supply of tariff-free Danish blue cheese for all Trump resort hotels and the right to build a Trump LEGOLAND adjacent to Mar-A-Lago.
Negotiations broke down after the Danes began to perform due diligence. “As far as we could see,” claimed one Danish diplomat who would identify himself only as Rosencrantz, “Trump was going to leave a United States with rapidly mounting debt and profligate deficits, deteriorating infrastructure, no plans for long term improvement or sustainability and a fractious system of governance making decisions based on misinformation. To us Danes, used to an orderly government that looks after the interests of its citizens, this seemed to be a country that since 2016 has been on its way to both moral and fiscal bankruptcy. Even its magnificent national parks and forest lands are being dismembered and will soon look worse than the melting glaciers we were hoping to have them replace as tourist attractions.”
It also seemed impossible to find answers to basic questions about the government and its policies. According the another Danish diplomat calling himself Guildenstern, “It was difficult to get a clear set of terms. The president would start to say one thing but then he would interject what sounded like conjecture about something else. He never seemed to finish a thought or a sentence, at least according to the Danish rules of grammar. And anyway, whatever he said one day, he contradicted the next. It was also impossible to find attorneys negotiating for Mr. Trump who were not in jail or disbarred and equally impossible to find knowledgeable officials to answer questions because of all the unfilled vacancies in the Department of State, EPA, etc.”
The Danes also began to have serious concerns about the validity and enforceability of even a simple set of terms, should agreement ever be reached. It was not clear to them that anyone representing the U.S. had the competence or understanding to enter a binding agreement. “We also thought,” added Rosencrantz, “ that any transaction of this magnitude would have to be described to the American people and ratified at least by the U.S. Senate. But we were informed that the Senate is no longer much interested in doing anything but rubber-stamping anything the President does so this would not present an obstacle. Then we managed to meet several prominent U.S. Republican Senators. Need I say anything more?”
A final sticking point was the condition added by Trump that Queen Margaret write him a “really nice” personal letter—at least three whole pages—like Kim Jong-Un. As Guildenstern put it, “Danish does not lend itself to this kind of flowery language, and we did not see how this demand corresponded to our questions about whether the President had any plans we might examine to deal with health care, global warming, international trade and the economy, or nuclear proliferation and the dangers of worldwide wars. Also,” added a diplomat’s wife who asked to be called Ophelia, “When we came the last time to negotiate, we did not much care for being detained at the U.S border and separated from each other and our children on the ground that we ‘weren’t really Norwegian enough.’”
“All in all,” concluded Rosencrantz, “Although nothing came of it, dealing with your President was a fascinating experience, like being in one of those Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales we in Denmark all grew up reading as children.”

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