The Brief: In response to incorrect comments President Trump made about Finnish forest management, people have taken to Twitter to mock him with punny hashtags such as #RakeAmericaGreatAgain, #RakeNews, and #RAGA.
On Saturday, Trump visited the town of Paradise, CA, one of the worst-hit areas in California’s devastating Camp Fire, which has left over 77 people dead.
It was there that he made the following comments about Finish wildfire prevention:
I was with the president of Finland and he said: ‘We have, much different, we are a forest nation.’ He called it a forest nation. And they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don’t have any problem
These comments, which Trump seemed to have made to imply that the fires were due to California mismanagement (and not other factors like climate change), are factually incorrect. The president of Finland confirmed that he talked to President Trump about Finns taking care of their forests, but that he did not specifically mention raking.
Additionally, Finland and California have significantly different climates and terrains. The region has been affected by wildfires, including large ones in Sweden this past summer. According to climate scientists, the Arctic Circle is becoming more vulnerable to fires due to rising temperatures.
In a clapback to Trump’s statements, Finns and Americans have been Tweeting about his supposed raking plan. Variations on #MakeAmericaRakeAgain are a play on #MAGA and #RakeNews is an allusion to fake news. Overall, these hashtags and tweets point out how ridiculous the idea of raking a forest is while dragging Trump for his comments.
Good luck Mr Trump! Best raking regards from Finland! pic.twitter.com/xsV5qHZ1Jk
— Aleksi Valavuori (@Valavuori) November 18, 2018
— Iida Korhonen (@iidaKorhonen) November 18, 2018
— 亅Φ Ν Δ Η ₭iレレ ッ (@deathbyd3s1gn) November 18, 2018
— Pauliina Ståhlberg (@PStahlberg) November 19, 2018
— Jyrki Οllinen (@jatsi) November 18, 2018
— Emilia Inkinen (@ilikewoolsocks) November 18, 2018
Just an ordinary day in the Finnish forest ~ Ihan normipäivä suomalaisessa metsässä #Trump #forest #firesafety #raking #forestry #Finland #Finnish #CaliforniaFire #RakingAmericaGreatAgain #rakingtheforest #Suomi #haravointi #metsäpalot #rakingleaves pic.twitter.com/YOKA3D6C2K
— Pyry Luminen (@pyryluminen) November 18, 2018
Every Finnish home has got a print of this cautionary painting called ”Raking And Cleaning Fail”. pic.twitter.com/J16xkVU4t2
— Antti Holma (@anttiholma) November 17, 2018