Friday 28 October 2016

Trump is exploiting fear and hatred in America

Published 28/01/2016 | 02:30

US presidential hopeful Donald Trump at a rally in Cleveland, Ohio. Getty Images
US presidential hopeful Donald Trump at a rally in Cleveland, Ohio. Getty Images

Is it not ironic that the odious and bombastic Donald Trump – infamous for his monosyllabic, bigoted hate-speech – has garnered sufficient popular support to be the leading presidential candidate for the party of Lincoln. 

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It is oft said that Americans don’t get irony, but it is actually nuance that eludes them. In contradistinction, Hilary Clinton’s evocation of the “better angels of our nature” in the service of coalition-building, may have the righteous verisimilitude to be appealing.

Trump is the product of the morally bankrupt American socio-economic system, which rewards the most Machiavellian as so-called winners at the expense of social cohesion and a shared humanity.

Trump and his fellow Republicans jostle for pre-eminence on how best to seal the borders in order to prevent another San Bernardino massacre, where regrettably 14 citizens were slaughtered, while obfuscating and obstructing gun control that might mitigate some of the 15,000 gun-related homicides annually in the US.

These same republicans continue to prevaricate about discredited trickle-down economics and to advocate tax breaks for the highest earners, despite egregious income inequality, where wealth concentration in the top 1pc exceeds that of the entire lower 90pc.

Republicans also seek to repeal or eviscerate what they derisively refer to as Obamacare – affordable healthcare for 45 million of America’s most vulnerable citizens – and petulantly persist with gridlock in Washington until the White House is restored to its rightful heirs, the Grand Old Party.

 Most worryingly, Trump’s exaggerated facial expressions and body posturing are reminiscent of another dangerous and chest-thumping buffoon, namely Benito Mussolini, ‘Il Duce’.  And like all megalomaniacs, Trump exploits fear and hatred in furtherance of self-promotion and aggrandisement, without the slightest moral qualm as to the consequences to supporter and citizen alike. 

Trump’s principle republican rival and would-be alternative, Senator Ted Cruz, has vowed to “carpet bomb” and see if “sand can glow in the dark”, and thus offers scant solace.

One shudders at the scenario, that while indulging in bellicose remonstrations with Vladimir Putin, and with his hand on the button, the self-deluded Donald would be apt to espouse Adolf’s view that “if the war is lost, the people will also be lost and it is not necessary to worry about their needs for elemental survival.” 

Raymond E Healy

Co Cavan


Fine Gael – it’s how you say it

And so E-A-R-L-Y spring is nigh upon us. In the meantime, might so many of our politicians, professional Radio/TV broadcasters, pundits, academics et al please, please learn how to pronounce the word ‘Gael’, as in ‘Fine Gael’. The word more correctly closely rhymes with (the non-word) ‘gwale’ rather than ‘gale’.

The aforementioned luminaries might lend an ear to the voices of people like Joe Higgins TD, newscaster Eileen Dunne or  political correspondent David Davin-Power. But still the Irish word continues to be confused with the English word (meaning lots of wind!) by such eminent Gaelgóirí, as not just the ‘Feena Fawl’ (cringe) leader of the opposition, but even by the very leader of the Fine Gael party itself – An Taoiseach.

Jack Riordan

Crosshaven, Co Cork


Rob the poor – pay the rich

One wonders how the leaders of the 1916 Rising would react to the Irish Government capitulating to a threat from Brussels to rob the poor to pay the rich.

Steve McGarry

Bishopstown, Cork


Alcohol and A&E numbers

Perhaps the approaching alcohol-free Good Friday would be opportune for the A&E departments of all hospitals in the State to compare the workload with the previous 51 Fridays in the year.

Considering three people die each day due to the effects of alcohol, the results could lead to the banning of alcohol on the remaining 364 days – if only to provide more beds and funding for a cash-starved health service.

Patrick Murray

Dublin 14


Late, Late Show’s lambs

The appearance of a sheep and her newborn lambs on the ‘Late Late Show’ last Friday night has generated much controversy. Sadly, as is usually the case when animal welfare is discussed, much of the coverage on mainstream and social media has turned into the facile ‘urban versus rural’ debate. 

You wouldn’t need to be an animal behaviourist to know that the last place these lambs should have been last Friday night was a hot, brightly lit TV studio in

Dublin 4. If the animals’ welfare had been considered at all, then surely their use to demonstrate this machine could have been filmed on the farm and then subsequently discussed on the show.

While I fully appreciate the upset and concern expressed by many people for those animals, the harsh reality is  that pinning lambs in this device is nowhere near the most abusive husbandry technique routinely employed by farmers who farm extensively. And that’s not to mention the systematic abuse inherent in the intensive farming systems used to produce pig meat, chicken meat and eggs.

I can but imagine the uproar if the ‘Late Late Show’ were to broadcast footage of an intensive pig farm where thousands of pigs are crammed into small pens for their short, pathetic lives and where farrowing sows spend their entire lives confined in tiny crates unable to turn around lest they crush their piglets. Or the huge broiler sheds containing tens of thousands of chickens who never see the light of day or are able to fulfil any of their basic behavioural needs. Or a slaughter house where the terror of the animals lined up waiting to be killed is palpable.

The Irish Animal Welfare Forum would dearly love such footage to be broadcast on a prime-time TV show such as the ‘Late Late’. People who eat meat need to realise that its production entails suffering on a massive scale. There simply is no sugar-coating this reality.

Nuala Donlon

Irish Animal Welfare Forum

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