Pres. Trump signed an Executive Order today returning ownership of Delaware to Sweden for an undisclosed sum. Sweden owned the US state from 1638 to 1655. The announcement stunned few Washington insiders since Trump has been quite candid about his desire to be the first US president to sell a state to a foreign power.
Trump was heard to mutter “So long, Sleepy Joe [Biden],” as he signed the order. The sale brings political benefits for Trump, as former Vice President Joe Biden and Trump’s leading opponent for the 2020 presidential election, is a citizen of Delaware and will no longer be a US citizen.
The Swedish government said that it had no desire to expand its territory but agreed to the purchase on humanitarian grounds. “The American team told us many times that North Korea was eager to purchase the territory,” said Monika Holmberg of the Swedish foreign ministry in Stockholm.
When questioned about the legality of the sale, Trump responded with a terse, “Ask MY Supreme Court. Go ahead, ask ’em. Please.” The US Supreme Court press secretary said that the Court does not comment on possible cases.
An undisclosed White House source referred to the sale as “Project Blue State,” and hinted that more Democratic-leaning states would be on the auction block until their “loyalty to the White House ‘improved.’” Hawaii, another small Blue State, was hinted as likely to get the ax. Another undisclosed source said that Pres. Trump expressed an ambition to “shitcan all the little piece of shit states.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden said during an impromptu press conference that he is determined to continue his presidential campaign and further argued that he would do everything in his power to stop the sale. Other Democratic leaders also pledged to block the sale.
The Republican Congressional delegation expressed optimism about the sale. Members of the delegation strongly resented former vice president Biden’s plan to continue campaigning for the US presidency.
“If that individual wants to come this country, he needs to respect our ways,” said an outraged Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), adding that Biden may be placed on a watch list of suspected foreign agitators. “That individual is not a citizen of the United States, and it just galls me that some foreigner has the nerve to come here and lecture us,” said a visibly angered Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) joining McConnell at the hastily called Senate press conference.
While the precise terms of the sale were not publicly disclosed, the terms appear to be roughly as follows:
- Sweden immediately resumes sovereignty over Delaware,
- All Delaware citizens become Swedish citizens, effective immediately,
- Sweden will pay the US government $63.3 billion as Delaware’s per capita proportion of the US federal debt,
- Sweden assumes all of Delaware’s state and local debts,
- The US will transfer to Sweden $4.6 billion, representing 20 years of Social Security payments to retired beneficiaries living in Delaware,
- The US will transfer to Sweden $170 billion, representing the accumulated Social Security benefits of Delaware’s current working population,
- Sweden will pay for building a roughly 120-mile-long security wall between Delaware’s border and the United States,
- Sweden transfers its claim to the disputed Åland Islands to the United States,
- Delaware soldiers serving in the US armed forces will have the option of swearing loyalty to another US state, and
- Sweden will not station troops or naval forces in Delaware beyond the existing Delaware state militia until 2030.
The treaty likely contains other terms, such as terms pertaining to whether Delaware corporate law will continue in its present form or whether Swedish law will apply and the fate of the many US companies that are registered in Delaware while primarily doing business in other states.
Trump headed for a campaign rally in Akron, Ohio shortly after signing the decree. Campaign staffers handed out “build the wall” signs to somewhat confused Trump supporters and urged them to shout “Bye-bye Delaware Commies” and “Delaware: You’re Fired!”
Swedish foreign ministry officials confirmed reports that Delaware’s citizens will be immediately eligible for the benefits of Swedish citizenship, which include:
- Free medical and dental care for life,
- Free college tuition,
- Five weeks of paid vacation plus holidays, and
- A roughly $125/month payment per child regardless of need.
Bob Driscoll, a Wilmington bus driver, questioned about the transfer expressed shock at the level of benefits provided ordinary citizens in Sweden. “Dang, is that for real?” asked Driscoll.
“We have offered our citizens these benefits for several generations now. Of course, we maintain a graduated tax system to pay for them, which of course is why we have so few billionaires here,” said foreign ministry spokesperson Holmberg. She added that Sweden has not been in a war since 1812, although she wasn’t certain if Americans would generally regard that as a benefit.
Delaware has a colorful border history that includes a portion of the Mason-Dixon line and other areas known as the twelve-mile circle, the wedge, and the transpeninsular line.
Ms. Holmberg said she could not comment on reports that Pres. Trump had insisted the agreement be signed by King Carl XVI Gustav, despite repeated assurances from the foreign ministry that the constitutional monarch was merely a figurehead and that all real political power resided with the government of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.
Unconfirmed reports indicated that Trump requested a state visit by the Swedish bikini team and burst into an angry outburst when informed that the Old Milwaukee Beer Company created the Swedish bikini team for an ad campaign in the 1990s which it abandoned after a feminist outcry.
Sweden established its colony in Delaware during the Thirty Years’ War when Sweden was a great military power. Sweden lost the colony to the Dutch in 1655 who later lost the colony to the English. Delaware was one of the original 13 colonies of the American Revolution and was the first state to ratify the US Constitution on Dec. 7, 1787.
Wilmington’s existing city flag has been proposed as the new Swedish provincial flag. Wilmington’s flag is the Swedish national flag with the Wilmington coat of arms resting on top. Some Swedish officials have suggested that the new provincial flag could simply add the Delaware state coat of arms to the Swedish flag in a similar manner.
The US will assume Sweden’s long dormant claim to the Åland Islands which lie between Sweden and Finland. The islands are an autonomous region of Finland. When Finland gained its independence from Russia at the end of World War I, Sweden and some 96% of Ålanders demanded that the islands revert to Sweden. A League of Nations tribunal awarded the islands to Finland in 1920. The islands were demilitarized by international treaty in 1921. When asked about the demilitarization treaty, US National Security Advisor John Bolton burst into uncontrolled laughter.
Delaware’s 970,000 citizens will join Sweden’s 10 million citizens.
The Swedish foreign ministry said that learning the Swedish language would be optional for the Delaware’s citizens. Existing laws will remain in effect, although Swedish authorities will conduct a thorough review of Delaware law to remove laws typically deigned inhumane in Europe.
Asked about a new 49-star flag, Trump said, “That won’t be necessary … better get ready for the 100-star flag under this president. It’s gonna be great. Nothing but the best!”