Wednesday 28 September 2016

Trump: the on-again, off-again visit will be absolutely hilarious

Published 19/06/2016 | 02:30

Hello, goodbye: Donald Trump is no-one's ideal candidate, but he's better than the alternative.
Hello, goodbye: Donald Trump is no-one's ideal candidate, but he's better than the alternative.

So, The Donald ain't gonna visit this ­cockamamie little island after all. In a great victory for cranky Irish lefties, it emerged ­earlier this week that Trump's planned exhaustive visit to Yurp will only include Scotland, which must have the Scots wondering just what they did to deserve this.

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But here's the thing - I'm actually rather gutted he won't be coming here.

Not because I support all of his policies - let's be honest, even he doesn't support all of his policies - but because the craic we'd have during a Trump visit would have been mighty.

We've already seen Ruth Coppinger and Baby Boy Barrett do their little jig of righteous fury at the prospect of having to share the same air as the billionaire. But even their levels of impotent madness pale when compared to the venom directed his way by Ireland's most abundant natural resource - the keyboard commandos of the social media.

Forget the facts, just feel the outrage! The delicious thrill of letting all 15 of your Twitter followers know that you think he's worse than ­Hitler! He's going to start World War 3! He's a monster!

The protests themselves would surely have been a thing of joy.

Seldom in recent Irish history would so many numpties have gathered in one area to spout nonsense. It would have made the water protests look like an evening with Stephen Fry in comparison.

Frankly, I was rather looking forward to a bunch of hippies with silly beards and 'Free Palestine' T-shirts trying to perform a citizen's arrest before being cut down in a hail of bullets by Trump's trigger-happy Secret Service detail.

This isn't Joan Burton, after all. If they tried to block the Trump mobile, they'd be Tasered to within an inch of their life.

But hark! What's this we hear? The trip might go ahead after all!

Yes, according to the Mayor of Clare, James Breen: "I certainly welcome the fact the trip is back on track. Donald Trump is certainly welcome as a businessman who is investing in this county, particularly in west Clare where employment is badly needed," he told the Irish Independent.

Even Trump's official spokeswoman has suggested that he would like to visit, but if there's confusion surrounding Trump outside his camp, I rather imagine there's nothing but chaos and frantic flapping inside it.

Let's be honest, there are plenty of valid reasons for not wanting to vote for Trump and they're not for the reasons you might expect.

His controversial idea to build a wall along the southern US border is a smokescreen - an election promise as unworkable as an outgoing Irish government promising to fix the health service if only they are returned to power.

They know they won't be able to do it. The electorate knows they won't be able to do it. But when you're running for office, you have to differentiate yourself from your rivals and Trump has proved extremely adept at doing that.

No, the worries lie in his dark promise to regulate the media and the idea that the world might be landed with an American President who seems to spend too much of his life settling scores with people who made the mistake of offending him back in the day.

Similarly, his assertion that a federal judge of Mexican extraction shouldn't be allowed to rule on one of the many lawsuits against him had nothing to do with border security and everything to do with landing a gratuitously low blow.

So, let's be honest, Trump is nobody's ideal candidate. But he's a hell of a lot better than the alternative - not that you'd know that in Ireland, where Hillary is regarded as some sort of feminist icon.

I reckon most people in this country don't know or even really care about either Trump or Clinton, and are happy to form their opinion based on their own prejudices about America.

But compare the reaction to Trump's maybe/maybe not visit to the one that will be rolled out to Hillary Clinton when she visits in a few months' time.

RTÉ and the Irish Times are going to need incontinence pants when that hideous witch lands on our turf. You can be guaranteed no tough questions about Benghazi, her litany of lies or illegal email scandals here.

It will be sweetness and light as the woman who gave the order to kill hundreds of people is treated like a reigning queen while Trump, who has never - well not as far as we know - killed anyone, is seen as the threat to world safety.

Among those groups planning the Trump protest is the Irish Anti-War Movement.

How many wars has Trump waged? Clinton, as we discovered this week, has given the green light for more drone strikes than any of her predecessors.

The truly bizarre doublethink directed towards the two candidates can be seen with Boyd Barrett's comment on Thursday: "Let's not forget, Trump is an obnoxious, dangerous character and we would see it as a victory if he did not arrive."

A victory for what, exactly? A victory for stupidity. How else can you possibly describe any effort to deliberately piss off the man who may very well be the next POTUS?

That's applying logic, however. And logic is as welcome in progressive circles as Mein Kampf at a Jewish book club. But no, the Lefty Lilliputians have squawked and they want everyone to pay attention to what they have to say.

In the meantime, the rest of us will get the popcorn ready and look forward to the fun and games.

Let's face  it - Irish is  just a hobby

As the kids doing the Leaving Cert finished their Irish papers this week, I cast my mind back to the Very Long Ago to my own Leaving.

Back then - I presume it's the same now - you had to wait for half an hour before walking out, and myself and a mate counted down the minutes to when we could leave.

At the time, I, alongside most of the lads I knew, had a deep and visceral dislike for the language, something which has faded to mere background static in the intervening years.

Holding a grudge against an entire language is a monumental waste of energy, and there comes a time when we must leave childish things behind - my bugbears were the language and the Church, now I find myself unbothered by both of them.

During a segment on the Pat Kenny show about Irish during the week, myself and my opponent agreed to disagree, and it was all very civilised. But there was an underlying point which came through loud and clear - you can't really be Irish if you don't speak the language.

Now, I'm not so sure I want to conform to the very particular brand of Irishness the Gaeilgeoir grenadiers would have us aspire to, but it was fascinating to see how they have now adopted the new universal language - that of the persecuted minority.

It's ironic that practitioners of a language which ruined the schooldays of tens of thousands of kids now feel victimised when those children grow up and never want to hear it again.

If the language is to survive, it will be through the efforts of TG4 and shows like An Klondike, which brim with wit and imagination.

There was one delightful outcome from the radio item, though - I got lots of abusive emails, the majority of which were in Irish, which meant I couldn't actually understand them.

Now that's a waste of hate mail, if ever there was one...

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