World

'America First' but who will be second?

The website of Every Second Counts Image copyright Everysecondcounts.eu

In his inauguration speech in January, President Donald Trump said: "It's going to be only America first."

It didn't take long for comedians to use this as an opportunity for some political satire and to joke about which country might then be second.

A few weeks ago, the Dutch Zondag Met Lubach late-night show released a satirical promotional-type video mockingly appealing to Mr Trump to choose the Netherlands as second, after "America first".

"We totally understand it's going to be America first - but can we just say, 'The Netherlands second'?" the voice in the video asks.

Following the broadcast of the video, an online group that calls itself Every Second Counts has invited on Twitter satirists from around the world to produce similar videos and satirically prove why their countries are worthy to be chosen second by Mr Trump.

Image copyright Everysecondcounts.eu

Since Zondag Met Lubach released its video on 23 January, satirists from 18 countries, including 14 from Europe, have produced videos, which have attracted millions of views and gone viral on social media platforms.

The videos start with the sound of a narrator pretending to be the president, saying: "This is a message from the government of…"

The videos use rhetoric inspired by the president's speeches and mockingly talk about national pride, praising their country and talking about non-serious matters.

In the Zondag Met Lubach video, the narrator claims that Dutch is by far the best European language, which should put them ahead of the race for second place.

He says: "We speak Dutch. It's the best language in Europe… Danish total disaster. German is not even a real language. It's fake."

Image copyright YouTube

The videos also refer to more serious political matters.

Mocking Mr Trump's plans to build a wall along the border with Mexico, the Dutch video says: "This is the Afsluitdijk [a manmade causeway]. It's a great, great wall that we built to protect us from all the water from Mexico."

The group's Twitter account, @Itsgreat, created in late January, has more than 65,000 followers.

A hashtag, #everysecondcounts, created with the account, has been used over 30,000 times.

Image copyright @Itsgreateu
Image caption The first tweet by the account was posted on 2 February

The group has also launched a website with a world map, allowing people to browse by continent and country and watch the videos submitted by the satirists.

German comedian Jan Boehmermann has created a video about his country.

Image copyright YouTube

However, a video posted by the Swiss Deville Late-Night show is among the most popular, having attracted nearly 10 million views.

It refers to the country as the "sexiest in Europe".

The video satirically mocks Mr Trump's talk about Mexico and the wall, saying: "Switzerland is very safe since there are no Mexicans there."

Image copyright @itsgreateu

Satirists from Iran have also produced a video, talking about the US-Iran relations and Middle East politics.

In the video, there is a suggestion that Iraq and Iran often get muddled because they are spelt similarly.

Pretending to be Mr Trump, the narrator says: "That is what we are really afraid of, that you mix up the names."

At the end of the video, he says: "America First, but can we say Iran before Iraq?"

Image copyright YouTube

Among the more recent countries to produce a video is Slovenia, with the phrase: "We even have the word 'love' in the name of our country."

Among the other countries to have produced videos are:

  • Belgium
  • Austria
  • Italy
  • Croatia
  • Namibia
  • Australia

Produced by the UGC and Social News team.