Turnbull vs. Trump

Turnbull vs. Trump

Showing That We’re Just Gonna Have to Get Used to this Bewildering Freefall, Trump Kinda Bullied Our Prime Minister Over the Phone (Seriously)


About a month back, I wrote a piece containing some fairly reactionary hypothetical situations that could arise from a Trump presidency (you can check that it out here, if you’re interested). One of these hypotheticals was that Grand Emperor Gobcock’s erratic nature and clear prejudice could strain Australia’s allegiance with the U.S., leading us to form stronger coalitions with nations like China. Even I thought it was pretty farfetched at the time but, based on the last couple of days, I’ve started to wonder not only if Trump reads Popticon, but if he might actually be taking some advice on policy from us directly.

Yes, in what sounds like either the worst MMA fight or most terrifying porno ever made, Malcolm Turnbull and Donald Trump have indeed gone head to head. As was initially reported by the Washington Post, the two leaders engaged in a phone call yesterday that couldn’t have been any weirder if it ended with one of them sheepishly asking, “What are you wearing?”

An artist’s rendering of the conversation. (eBay)

During a sparse twenty minutes in what was slated to be at least an hour long conversation, Trump reportedly bragged about his immense victory, the crowd size at his inauguration (and, probably, his penis) and insisted that the American people didn’t want to see anymore immigrants (but, probably, that they’d like to see his penis). On this last point Trump was apparently quite firm (unlike his… ok, I’ll stop now), and set about berating Prime Minister Turnbull for his insistence that Trump should honour former-President Barrack Obama’s pledge to welcome 1,250 refugees from Nauru into the United States.

The call ended with Trump stating adamantly, “This was the worst call by far”, referring to the many communications he’d had with other world leaders during the day, though (to be fair) one of them was Putin, and no one should have to compete with another grown man’s BFF. Trump then abruptly hung up, to which I imagine Turnbull responded by either flooding the entire room with the contents of his pink belly or cackling like a loon at the sight of a fresh rutabaga. My money’s on the latter, mostly because – despite all the other ramifications that this clusterfuck portends – I imagine old man Turnbull to be a fairly shrewd judge of the people (for better or worse) and he would surely have some sense of the strangely advantageous situation he’s found himself in.

“Miss me yet, bitches?” (Fox 5)

To start with, Turnbull’s response to these leaked reports of their conversation has been nothing if not magnanimous, admitting that his discourse with Trump was “candid” but also “cordial” (with “cordial”, in this instance, meaning Trump didn’t literally threaten to fuck the Nauru refugees to death). Now, having played the presumed but still effective role of Actual Functioning Adult in the face of this rampant arseholerey, the Australian people are presented with this: our Prime Minister has been actively badgered by a 70-year-old child, refused to rise to the insult and, instead, has remained steadfast and unwavering in his commitment to the deal struck with Obama to better the lives of the offshore detainees in Nauru.

Setting aside the fact that offshore processing may be a pretty fucking stupid policy to begin with, I’d argue Turnbull has come out of this shitpuddle smelling like morning dew. His detractors would have a hard time criticising his firm stance in the wake of this impromptu debate, especially as it’s almost guaranteed that this immigration deal will go through as planned, despite Trump’s tantrum. On the other end, Turnbull’s supporters gain reaffirmation of their candidate as a man of principle, and those (I would hope) very few Australians who actually support Trump wouldn’t have much of a leg to stand on if they denied the outrageousness of these circumstances, such as they are, that require Turnbull to maintain a cool temperament and insist on his own immigration policies with the same devotion as Trump has his shown when it comes to his.

Refugees, at the detention centre on Nauru Island. (SBS)

Some would call this a humiliation for Turnbull; I would say (as someone who’s not head over heals for the dude) that it’s close to something of a triumph, a test of his fortitude and disposition when subjected to unprecedented levels of political hostility from the leader of a country that we’ve seen as a close ally for one hundred years. Also, just sayin’, if the Chinese were in the market for a new Oceanic alliance, Turnbull could have made a much worse impression that the one he’s given.

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