Donald Trump’s first week in office has been a roller coaster of emotions for the American people. With drastic changes happening in one swift move of a pen, Trump started off his presidency with a strong approach, wasting no time to prove the seriousness of his agenda. One of the most influential promises of his campaign was the immediate call to action on hot-topic issues. Some topics include environmental policy and the infamous border wall.
We are always exposed to all the perspectives that divide this country. However, one key question arises: how do other countries view the United States now?
Loud and clear, we have heard the shock from other countries, but as soon as the outcome of the presidential election was confirmed, official messages of congratulations quickly poured in from foreign governments.
Many countries have made their sentiments clear about the image of the America that was portrayed in the speeches by Trump. Can a new wave of anti-Americanism around the world be real?
Recently, a Dutch video has been virally surfing the media, showing the Dutch plan for Trump’s presidency. The video is a spoof message by news-satire show Zondag met Lubach to officially introduce Holland to Trump “in a way that will probably appeal to him the most.” This satirical parody feeds off of Trump’s image that the Dutch have observed throughout the election: an image made up of his extremist agenda, showing his promise to make “America first.” Immigration, gender and racial slurs were all present in the narration and presentation of the viral video with a Dutch twist.
“We speak Dutch. It’s the best language in all of Europe. We’ve got all the best words. All the other languages? Failed. Danish? Total disaster,” a voice-over said, mimicking Trump’s cadence.
This statement closed off the Dutch parody: “We totally understand it’s going to be America first, but can we just say: The Netherlands second?” This video doesn’t just make people laugh, but it also points out the way other countries view our president and America.
France is in the midst of its own hectic election and has a candidate that resembles our own president. Marine Le Pen is a French politician who is the president of the National Front, a national-conservative political party in France and one of its main political forces. Le Pen has led a movement of “de-demonization of the Front National” to detoxify and soften its image, based on renovated positions and renewed teams, also expelling controversial members accused of racism or anti-Semitism.
Le Pen is developing into a force that needs to be reckoned with. Trump’s victory will continue to spur Le Pen on and convince her that she can pull off her own stunning victory in May’s presidential election.
But can Le Pen really complete a hat-trick of shock vote victories?
“It’s now a hypothesis that everyone should take seriously,” French political commentator Philippe Marliere told The Local shortly after Trump’s election win. “And I would never have said that a few years ago. But Trump, with his populist, xenophobic and anti-immigrant discourse has managed to take over the most powerful democracy in the world. So why can’t it happen in France?”
Truthfully, we are not on our own as a country where extreme right leaders are rising. America was simply the first to loudly and famously elect its president.
To quote Trump, “We were laughed at all over the world, as we have been many, many times.” Trump believes the U.S. is “going to be a friend again” to the rest of the world. But the rest of the world might have mixed feelings about that friendship.
All over the world, headlines are popping up with articles about their thoughts on Trump’s America:
Egypt: “A Threat to U.S. Democracy.” Jan. 12, published in Ahram Online.
Japan: “Trump’s Style of Intervention Contradicts American Ideals.” Jan. 19, published in Chunichi Shimbun.
Australia: “So Long Partner as U.S. Dumps Its Own Free-Trade Deal.” Jan. 24, published in The Sydney Morning Herald.
Germany: “How America Lost Its Identity.” Jan. 27, published in Der Spiegal.
Around the world, America is re-imagined in Trump’s first 100 days as president. While his promise isn’t negotaible, we can only hope that the U.S. remains a strong, hope-filled country.