When American president Donald Trump declared at his inauguration that “from this day forward, it is going to be America first, America first”, he probably didn’t expect that the whole of Europe would be mocking him shortly after.
Trump’s promise is consistent with what he had said during the election campaign, when he accused the Obama administration of betraying the American people by letting in immigrants who he said stole jobs from Americans, and that America’s trade deals with others had not benefited the American people.
Trump has since issued an executive order to bar people from seven Muslim countries from entering the United States, an order which has caused chaos at airports and given rise to many protests in the country. The order is also being challenged in the courts which have since suspended the order.
The president has also issued another executive order which will allow the government to build a wall along the border with Mexico. It was a campaign promise by Trump, to stop what he described as “bad hombres” from entering the US.
While all this is serious stuff, some have chosen to mock the 45th president of the most powerful nation on the planet.
The Netherlands was the first - creating a spoof tourism video, titled “America First, Netherlands Second”, making fun of Trump’s promise to put America first.
“The whole world was watching the inauguration,” said Dutch comedian Arjen Lubach, who introduced the Netherlands’ clip on his show, “Zondag met Lubach”.
“He had a clear message to the rest of the world: ‘I will screw you over big time.’ Well okay, he used slightly different words: ‘From this day forward. It’s going to be only America first’.
“And we realised it’s better for us to get along. [So] we decided to introduce our tiny country to him in a way that will probably appeal to him the most.”
The short clip uses many of Trump’s own pronouncements, with a voice-over which mimicks the way he speaks.
“We speak Dutch,” says the voice-over in the Netherlands video. “It’s the best language in Europe. We’ve got the best words. All the other languages failed. Danish … total disaster. German is not even a real language.”
After the Netherlands video went viral, being viewed millions of times online, it is believed that German writers of the satirical show, "Neo Magazin Royal", contacted their counterparts in other European late-night shows, inviting them to make similar parodies of their case for their country to be second, after America.
"We decided to stand up to Trump humorously as a new action. That's why we are planning to follow our Dutch colleague Arjen Lubach's example and produce a German version of their excellent video," the German writers were reported to have said.
Almost a dozen European late-night shows were reported to have taken part in a Skype conference call to coordinate action, said Patrick Karpiczenko, head writer and director of Swiss late-night show "Deville".
"We're a very small team but we wrote and produced ours last week," he said. "We're very happy with the reaction so far. More people have seen the video than the number of people living in Switzerland."
Switzerland was the first to respond to the call, and soon after, many other European countries followed suit with their own videos – including Lithuania, Finland, Portugal, France, Morocco, Croatia, and a slew of others.
The Germans’ clip was introduced by Jan Böhmermann, a comedian who caused a bit of a diplomatic row between Ankara and Berlin after making fun of the Turkish president in a poem.
“Hello, dear friend and colleagues in the United States of America,” he said on his show, when introducing the German video. “From now on we are going to ridicule the orange shit out of the president of the United States and his f**king phoney administration, together, like collectively. And we’ll only stop once everyone has laughed just about enough. And Mr President Bannon, erm.. Mr President Trump, when the whole world is standing up to make fun of you, you have really achieved something truly great. It’s totally truly great!”
Mr Bannon, by the way, is Stephen Bannon, Trump’s Chief Strategist in the White House. Bannon, whom many believe is the real power behind the throne, was also CEO and founder of the right-wing website Breibart, a magnet for ultra-right wingers and fundamentalists.
And while Trump is trying to lock out foreigners from his country in his bid to “make America great again”, it is ironic that the voice-overs in the first bunch of videos were provided by two Americans.
There is even a website specially dedicated to curating all the videos. It is called “Every Second Counts”.
It is quite unprecedented that a US President is being ridiculed by people from an entire continent (and indeed, around the world, going by how the videos have gone viral online).
But the important question is: since America is now first in Trump’s view of the world, who will be second?
Of all the bids so far, we lean towards Finland, whose video is quite hilarious.
“People say Finland is a land of a thousand lakes,” the Finland video begins. “That’s fake news, okay? There’s more, believe me. A million. Maybe a million and a half lakes. At least as many lakes as there were people at your inauguration. It’s true. Period.”
See for yourself!
Singapore has also jumped onto the bandwagon with the video embedded below.