Wednesday 20 June 2018

We're all the liberal elite now

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar votes at Scoil Thomas Lodge in Dublin. Photo: Getty
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar votes at Scoil Thomas Lodge in Dublin. Photo: Getty
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

They said the polls were probably wrong. It could be another Trump or Brexit. It would be closer than we thought. And they were right. The polls were wrong. But it wasn't a shy No that was lurking out there, it was a shy Yes. The people of Ireland did not rebel against the liberal elite. We are all the liberal elite now. Or two-thirds of us, at least.

It used to be that there was this mythical beast called Middle Ireland that was apparently ignored by the wife-swapping sodomites of RTE and the rest of the liberal D4 media. Middle Ireland was allegedly a place that was more conservative than trendy media types allowed, and its voice was rarely heard. And now and again, the myth went, Middle Ireland would rise up, and its voice would be heard. And it reared up this time alright, but it roared Yes. It roared for change. Not so much a quiet revolution, as a firm resolution, that whatever their own feelings on abortion, the Eighth was causing too much hurt.

A gay Taoiseach could have been a fluke. And gay marriage a once-off. But now there's a pattern. Women, men, old and all those young people showed us there is a new Middle Ireland. And it is a Middle Ireland that knows that a gay person in the family, or an abortion, are not things that happen to other people. These are their sons and daughters, their brothers and sisters, their mothers, their friends. And sure we're all liberal when it comes to our own.

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