Have you ever gotten a gift from someone that they were so stoked to give you, and it turns out to be a framed photo of themselves?
Consider that to be precisely what US President Donald Trump has bestowed upon us, the inferior shitty nation of Australia, in his first Australia Day message to us all.
Trump delivered an Australia Day message, though not in person. Acting secretary of state Thomas Shannon Jr was the short-straw-drawing soul who had to filter the words written by tiny hands through his human mouth.
The message, which began reasonably earnestly – praising Australia and the United States’ diplomatic ties, even though it came days after Trump tore up the TPP (which, while objectively a good thing, has got to have rustled the jimmies of the Coalition) – but it quickly devolved into stressing how important the US is to Australia’s economic fortunes; even going so far as to suggest that the ties between the countries began with the First Fleet.
The statement, annotated for brow-furrowing when necessary, reads as follows:
“On behalf of President Trump and the American people, it is my honour to congratulate the people of Australia as you celebrate this Australia Day, 229 years after the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Harbour.”
“It has been over 75 years since your commonwealth and the United States established diplomatic relations, but connections between America and Australia reach back to that fleet.”
Well, if you consider England declaring Terra Nullius on an entire continent because they needed a new penal colony after the American War of Independence a “connection,” then yeah. Otherwise, citation needed.
“Today, travel is easier, and we are honoured to host almost 1.5 million Australians in the United States each year, with over 200,000 Australians here on any given day.”
This is an absolute PEARLER of a quote given that it came on the literal same day where reports emerged suggesting that Donald Trump is considering revising the visa waiver program in such a way that would force all Australian tourists to attend a face-to-face interview with the US Embassy in order to obtain the 90-day tourist visa that, for the time being, takes about 10 minutes on a computer to obtain.
“Today, Australia and the United States are top trade and investment partners, with $US65 billion ($A86 billion) in goods and services flowing between us each year.”
“The United States is responsible for over a quarter of all foreign direct investment in Australia and we are the top destination for Australian investment abroad.”
“You’re doing real good by yourselves and all. But without us you’d be screwed.”
“Our cooperation is deep and comprehensive: from space exploration to protecting the world’s oceans to collaborating in the search for a cure for cancer.”
“The United States has no better friend than Australia, and our longstanding alliance is a force for stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and around the globe.”
“I wish all of your people a blessed Australia Day, and continued prosperity and peace in 2017.”
America: “AUSTRALIA IS MY BEST FRIEND.”
In the grand scheme of everything we’ve gotten off quite lightly so far. But it has only been one week. There’s a few more to go yet.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty.