Tuesday 17 October 2017

We can't just forget about 2016

Donald Trump pictured at Doonbeg in west Clare. Photo: Kip Carroll
Donald Trump pictured at Doonbeg in west Clare. Photo: Kip Carroll
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

Thank God that's over, wouldn't you say? Of course, the real pity is that we can't just agree to pretend it never happened, strike it from the official record, chalk it down and move on. But the problem with 2016 is that all the crazy things humans did during the year will haunt us for years to come. We chose permanent solutions to temporary fits of pique.

Donald Trump hasn't even become president yet and everyone is totally over him already. The Irish, never slow to take the hump, were somehow uniquely offended by America's choice of president. In defeat, Obama was a model of grace compared to us. Even Hillary just went quietly in the end. But not us. From our vantage point thousands of miles away, we are still acting like the primary injured party in all this. We took it as a very personal affront. And it didn't help that they elected Trump at the expense of one of our own. Not that we like Hillary, per se, but she is married, in the loosest sense of that word, to Blessed Bill of Ballybunion, the patron saint of Irish golf clubs.

And then there's Brexit. We don't even know what that is yet but we know we don't like it. And again, we are portraying ourselves as the primary injured party in that affair. They rejected Europe yes, but really they rejected us, and they rejected our brethren in the North, to whom we are so close.

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