Thanks to Vasari, who was recently in Finland and has much to say in its favor. Thanks also to Finnish columnist Sami Sillanpää, of the Helsingin Sanomat. I hope he will have no objection to my reproducing his column. Mr. Sillanpää writes,
Dear President Trump,
You should travel to Finland.
Yes, that’s a pretty blunt way to put it, but you seem to be the kind of person who appreciates the art of blunt expressions. In that sense you have much in common with the Finns. No small talk, no fancy words, we like it that way.
I know you have the policy of America first, America first, America first, but eventually you need to travel overseas, because that’s what presidents do, and I’m sure you want to look presidential. So the first country you should travel to is Finland. That’s Finland in Europe, way up north there.
Why Finland? Because Finland is the best country in the world. The best. It’s no fake news – we have statistics to prove it. Have a look at this list compiled by Statistics Finland. We have some great statisticians in Finland. So great.
The list is a collection of international surveys that show Finland being the most stable country, the safest country and the country with the best governance, the best media freedom, the most independent judiciary and the best social development in the whole world.
Don’t get me wrong. I do think America is great. What I’m saying is that as you are making America even greater, Finland could give you one or two pointers in terms of developing strong rule of law, independent media or equal society, if that’s the sort of thing you are interested in.
But there’s other stuff in Finland too. Great stuff. I tell you this about Finland: no-one knows better how to deal with the Russians. No-one. Wars, bullying, spying, no matter what, we just deal with it. Back in the days of the Cold War the Russians went as far as to interfere in our democratic elections and hand-pick the president we were going to have – and we just kept on doing business with them. Amazing story, and sounds so familiar these days.
It’s been bumpy at times, I’ll be honest with you. We didn’t like it when the Russians tried to invade us. So we stopped them. Finland is a country that does not like to be invaded. And then we did something else: Finland invaded the Soviet Union. That was really something, Finland being so small and the Soviet Union being so huge, but at the time we had this idea of making Finland great again.
True, we could not have done it without help from the Nazis, and in the end it came to nothing. But how many countries can say they invaded the Soviet Union? Not many. America didn’t.
I’m not saying you should invade Russia – please don’t. Okay? Just saying we have some 1 340 kilometers (832 miles) of border with Russia, and here we are, strong and independent, having a party. And mind you, no wall!
There was no way the Russians were going to pay for it.
Even today we have someone who knows better than anyone else how to deal with Russia. That’s our President, Mr. Sauli Niinistö.
President Niinistö is a great contact for you, you two should definitely hook up. He is so close to President Vladimir Putin of Russia. They call, they chat, they meet. Putin just came over to Finland in the summer, and this year Niinistö is going to meet him at least twice. Some folks don’t see their Mom that often.
Niinistö reportedly told you personally over telephone, Mr President, that he has a ”somewhat exceptional relationship” with Putin. Whatever that means, we’d also like to know, but I’m sure President Niinistö is someone you should meet if you want get your head around Putin.
And Niinistö likes Twitter too, although he’s so much MORE BORING than you.
So there are so many reasons to come to Finland. And I’m not even finished yet.
Now, I’m going to say something about popular vote. I know it’s a topic you don’t like to hear discussed. But it’s OK, it’s not only you, it happens to everyone, or at least it happens to many democratically elected leaders. Some voters do go for the other candidate.
Even our President Niinistö had that. It was not quite as bad as with you and Hillary, I mean she got so many more votes than you. But a few years ago Niinistö had it tough. He was running against a gay environmentalist with a special interest in making peace in Africa. That man was so popular in Finland, big time. So some voters went for Niinistö, some for the gay environmentalist with a special interest in making peace in Africa. Our nation was divided.
But look at President Niinistö now! His approval ratings are almost 90 per cent. I think only the North Korean leader would get better numbers than that if they did approval ratings in North Korea. See my point? President Niinistö could surely give you one or two ideas on how to become the president for everyone. People’s president.
Of course, I haven’t stated the obvious yet. Finnish women are great. They are so great. You should have seen them on the march the other day. The crowd was huge.
You are no stranger to Finland. Remember 1992? Your business in Atlantic City had gone to the rocks and so had your marriage with Ivana. You came to Finland with Marla Maples to buy a ship. So sorry that deal did not happen. But everyone deserves a second chance, don’t you think, and so does Finland. We still build ships, big ones, if you or your sons are interested. How about Trump Cruises? Just floating an idea.
One last thing I want to say. President Barack Obama never made it to Finland. He did Sweden, he even did Estonia. But in eight years he never visited the best country in the world with the most popular president, who knows how to deal with Russia.
I’ve got a feeling you want to be everything Obama was not.
So, Mr President, when you do come to Finland, I’d suggest summer time. Much better, much less slush. And I heard Putin might be coming in the summer too.