Having spent a significant portion of the summer in Europe, one consistent question I encountered as an American was “So, is Donald Trump for real?”
As a brash Trump continues to grab political (and entertainment) headlines in the US, perhaps he’s missing the target audience of greatest impact.
Would The Donald be willing to buy ads in Mexico — specifically, ads that tell much demonized “illegals” to turn around before they even get to the US border?
Crazy though it may sound, it is happening elsewhere globally.
According to a recent article in Denmark’s The Murmur, integration minister Inger Stojberg is considering running ads in the local newspapers of other EU countries and elsewhere to warn refugees eyeing Denmark that the social benefits they’ve heard about aren’t going to be as rosy upon arrival.
The message is clear: don’t leave home in the first place, and don’t skip the rest of Europe en route to Copenhagen.
Does Stojberg seriously envision an asylum-seeking immigrant from North Africa awakening to morning espresso and a newspaper in Italy, seeing an ad from the Danes to steer clear of Denmark, and seriously reconsidering?
Stojberg draws inspiration for Denmark’s potential “information campaign” from an Australian model already in place, itself the subject of great criticism in Australia and abroad.
Critics condemned Stojberg’s announcement for not being in the best interests of Denmark’s global brand of welcoming, inclusive democracy. Her plan pettily targets the most vulnerable. It does not even attempt a nuanced position in distinguishing between migrants (those relocating for better economic opportunity) and refugees (those fleeing strife). When compared to open-arms receptions in Germany the policy proposal seems even less palatable.
While Trump is thankfully not yet a government, he is a deep-pocketed whackjob who is not afraid to tarnish his image. Perhaps he’d be willing to further tarnish it if he thought it would really Make America Great Again?
So while a Danish/Aussie-styled information campaign wouldn’t be great for Brand USA, it could spare American audiences countless upcoming TV appearances and political ads by redirecting those billionaire resources south of the border. Trump can let refugees of Central America’s drug and gang wars know he doesn’t want them digging their way under his beloved border wall.
US audiences should give advance thanks to the rest of the world for taking one for the team should Trump decide to advertise abroad. It’s better for everyone involved if the rest of the world see more of Trump than we do.
What’s more, it may yet prevent a far worse Hungarian-style beatdown at the borders that, given the tone of his rhetoric, one can only assume a Trump in power would relish.