Sunday 23 October 2016

Clinton's health woes present us with an appalling vista

Published 14/09/2016 | 02:30

Hillary Clinton in New York on Sunday
Hillary Clinton in New York on Sunday

The very real scenario where Hillary Clinton's health issues (Irish Independent, September 13) force her to drop out of the US presidential race forces us to confront the appalling vista of a Donald Trump triumph this November.

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For, make no mistake, if Clinton was forced to quit, it would give Trump an almost unstoppable momentum that even the most serious Democratic replacement would find difficult to countenance. This is reinforced by the attempted softening of Trump's xenophobic rhetoric over the last number of weeks where his campaign team has been engaged in a persuasive and determined effort to delineate the outrageous Islamophobia, homophobia and casual patronising anti-Semitism from Trump's aggressive and personalised public discourse.

Despite Trump's faux concern for Clinton's health yesterday, despite his recent obfuscation on 'the wall' between America and Mexico and immigration, he remains committed to fostering an American ethos of isolation which abandons the principle of solidarity with western counterparts. In this endeavour, Trump has tapped into the undercurrent of American racism, which has infected every strata of society despite having an African-American president. These individuals are, for the most part, disillusioned and disenfranchised malcontents who until very recently had little or no direct connection with the wonderful aspirations of the American Constitution.

This cohort is easily manipulated. They are oftentimes unemployed, undereducated and alienated from society, and Trump has exploited this disaffection to maximum effect. Trump's sole political talent is an ability to inflame the resentment of this cohort, and, if Clinton is forced to abandon the presidential race, the truly appalling vista of President Trump should concern even the most disinterested of observers.

Dr Kevin McCarthy

Kinsale, Co Cork

Citizens' Assembly in the Dáil?

The scheduling of a Citizens' Assembly in October to consider and propose amendments to the Constitution has met with minimal questioning.

What is the need for this body not elected by the people, but rather selected by a marketing agency? Does not the elected Dáil Éireann have the power to initiate constitutional amendments, which, if passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas, are subject to a popular referendum?

Suspicion arises that the Department of the Taoiseach is reluctant to be the original proposer (or opponent) of a controversial amendment. Rather it will present itself and the Government as simply acting in accord with the suggestions of the Citizens' Assembly. Weak-kneed Dáil members could then fall in line.

If a proposed amendment has the endorsement of the prevailing media establishment, and the financial support of external (primarily American) sponsors, then, like the most recent amendment, it will be certain to pass.

If market research-selected Citizens' Assemblies are to become the prevailing thing, why not use them to select the members of Dáil Éireann. It would be much less expensive than elections.

John P McCarthy

Prof Emeritus of History,

Fordham University, New York

How Enda got his groove back

Fantastic news! Enda Kenny has found his mojo! Mother of Joseph, that's great!

He dug deep into his compassionate soul. And the great Apple Spirit helped him regain it. So Mojo translates into More Joy for mankind. Don't you just love a happy Enda-ing?

Anthony Woods

Ennis, Co Clare

O'Doherty right on abortion

I am delighted to see Ian O'Doherty knock the idea on the head that 'it is only religious people who are against abortion'.

While I am a committed Catholic, my main reason for opposing abortion is based on the right to life being the most basic human right of all. I am against the death penalty and certainly against killing the most vulnerable and helpless of all, the baby in the womb.

Those who support abortion seek to ignore the fact that abortion actually does involve killing a baby. They trot out the nonsense that 'it is not a baby, only a clump of cells,' when science proves that life begins at conception.

I thought we had had enough of cover-ups but, seemingly, not when it involves abortion and 'a woman's right to choose', forgetting that what is involved is a child, not a choice.

As a woman, I find it insulting when it is suggested that I want abortion available as a right. I do not and I value the fact that we have the Eighth Amendment in our Constitution giving equal protection to both mother and baby. What is wrong with that?

Mary Stewart


Election promises not kept

Once again the elected Government of this State fails to live up to its election promises concerning the usc. When will our people wake up to the lies of the conservative parties of this State?

Rob Fletcher

Reading, Berkshire

Navy doing the country proud

Allow me to extend my heartfelt thanks to the noble crew of the LÉ James Joyce, who I understand have rescued a further five hundred migrants.

Regardless of one's views on the migrant crisis, one cannot deny the bravery of the men and women of the Irish Navy, and indeed every other naval force participating in the rescue efforts, for plucking these terrified people out of the Mediterranean and saving their lives. Lives, lest we forget, that include thousands of children and babies.

Well done to all. You're doing your country proud.

Sean Slattery

Newport, Co Tipperary

Media and the Hawe murder

I must compliment Suzanne Breen for her article (Irish Independent, September 8). She expressed my thoughts from the time the news broke. Alan Hawe was praised on radio and TV and in the newspapers long before there was a mention of Clodagh, or before we saw her photograph. Were we to believe his actions in the house as he murdered his wife did not cause a sound in the house or through the other rooms as his children waited for him?

E S Miller

Birr, Co Offaly

Give Sean O'Rourke a Ferrari

I was shocked when I saw the list of RTÉ's highest paid stars and noticed that Sean O'Rourke is fourth on the list. This is simply ridiculous. 'Today With Sean O'Rourke' is the best thing on RTÉ and the only reason I pay my TV licence fee.

I can't believe that Ryan Tubridy is paid more. I think RTÉ should pay Sean O'Rourke more and give him a Ferrari.

Brian O'Toole


Irish Independent

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