Only a matter of time before Trump's star implodes
Published 30/01/2016 | 02:30
The US presidential race shows a country which is deeply troubled. The fact Donald Trump, with his wild generalisations about race, gender and the state of the world, can attract almost rock-star status reflects a hunger in the population for change. Politics in America has been in decline for decades, destroyed by vested interests, big business and partisan divides with the arrival of groups like the Tea Party on the far right.
This toxic mix has now been added to by a disgruntled middle class who feel the American Dream has gone sour. America was deeply wounded by two events within a decade - 9/11 in 2001 and the failed wars that followed, and seven years later the financial crash from which much of middle class America never recovered.
Suddenly, it's begun to dawn on Americans that maybe they are not so invincible any more, as the rise of China threatens their world status.
In such an atmosphere, people like Trump preaching about "making America great again" and all his overblown rhetoric can be a comfort blanket. Trump is the essence of free market capitalism. A man who went bankrupt four times, leaving a trail of destruction each time, is suddenly cast as America's saviour. One hopes he will be found out. Mitt Romney's campaign in 2012 imploded when in a fit of hubris he announced to the American people: "I like firing people".
Let's hope Trump's vanity will eventually trip him up as well - which appears very likely as his rantings intensify.
Donegal Town, Co Donegal
It's the end of the world again
With the dismal scientists once again predicting a major global deflationary event, it might be time for people to bulk buy tinfoil. It's amazing how much of the stuff you can go through when you start wrapping it around your head.
8th Amendment 'dissenters'
There are two dimensions to every socio-moral issue. There are the considerations intrinsic to the issue and there are the postulated consequential outcomes. The latter rely on statistical probabilities. Human conflict around the intrinsic considerations is ultimately theological. The struggles between parties arise from a difference in moral and transcendental doctrine.
Deirdre Conroy ('8th Amendment can has been kicked down road for too long', Irish Independent, January 27) rightly outlines the grief of pregnant women following the heart-breaking diagnosis of their unborn child's life-limiting condition.
She is wrong, however, to characterise those who disagree with her as "dissenters", "deeply ignorant of the reality" of the tragedy for the women involved.
Many of the so-called "dissenters" are women who share the experience and grief of the heart-breaking diagnosis.
They argue that this class of unborn human beings, hidden in their mothers' wombs waiting to be born, should be allowed the most basic human right to life.
As well as that, they describe how the Irish media severely restricts their opportunities to express their values and make their arguments regarding the benefits of facilitating their babies with this right.
Any woman facing the grief of this crisis should not be expected to be concerned about the consequential notion that the 'floodgates will open'.
But history shows that the said floodgates do eventually open and that abortion damages women.
The only culture that will allow our society to thrive is a culture of life. This would indeed include a "24-7 home help and counselling to the women" faced with this tragedy, as well as peri-natal hospice care.
Cappamore, Co Limerick
The leaders we deserve
In reply to Eddie Molloy's (Irish Independent January 12) suggested reforms, Robert Watt, the most senior civil servant in charge of public-sector reform replied (January 19): "No successful private company bases its human resources on the kind of confrontational performance management systems that Mr Molloy sets out."
As an HR professional up to director level in many large international private-sector organisations, I could not find one confrontational policy in Mr Molloy's article, just normal things that serious organisations trying to serve their customers routinely do.
I understand Mr Watt has to work for senior politicians with no experience or understanding of the kind of radical transformations possible with the support of the highest performing and most dedicated staff in the private sector.
Nevertheless such a response from a senior person partly explains why we still have the following:
n talented public servants being held back by inferior bosses due to time-serving and playing the system rather than performance;
n hard-working public servants having to do extra work to cover the lack of performance management of their poor-performing colleagues;
n some of the most expensive, and therefore job-destroying, public services in the world;
n an over-powerful and expensive legal system that systematically protects vested interests and low performers in high positions;
n low-performing but long- serving doctors and teachers paid much more than higher-performing but less-experienced colleagues
n producer interests constantly acquiring resources at the expense of patients (longer holidays for nurses as a response to staff shortages in A&E).
Some progress has been made and there are many dedicated reform-minded public servants; they need the leadership they deserve rather than failure to engage with the seven specific suggestions made by Mr Molloy.
Roses do have children
The Rose of Tralee organisers take issue with Lorraine Courtney's comments in the Irish Independent, January 29.
She wrote: "The organisers insist the event isn't a beauty pageant, but it still requires young, childless, unmarried women to dress up nicely, slather on the make-up, parade around a stage and flirt queasily with a man in a dinner jacket."
The mothers of children have entered Rose selections since 2008, for example, Roses representing Derry, Leitrim and Longford.
Rose of Tralee International Festival