Monday 10 December 2018

Insulted by Trump's visit? Me neither

U.S. President Donald Trump and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the White House
U.S. President Donald Trump and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the White House

So, Leo just spent the last few days in the States and met with Donald Trump on Thursday.

To most rational people, that was only right and proper.

To others, it was akin to a Taoiseach visiting Herr Hitler in the Berghof.

Despite previously stating that he would never, ever, like totally not in a million years, invite Trump to this country, Varadkar is engaging in that curious thing called diplomacy.

It's what leaders do, even when they have previously indicated the contrary.

As everyone with half a working brain understands, what people say when they are campaigning is often very different to the reality they face when they are actually in power.

There is, of course, opposition to the proposed visit by the current US President, and that's fair enough.

Donald Trump is the most divisive president of our lifetime, regardless of where you stand on his policies.

And those people who object to his presence here should be allowed to protest as loudly as they want as long as it's peaceful.

But does the invitation "insult us all", as serial angry-letter writer Aodhán Ó Ríordáin seems to think?

Resorting to Twitter, as is his wont ever since he lost his seat in the Dáil a few years ago, Ó Ríordáin was his usual blustering self, decrying the move and claiming that "Trump has no place in Ireland. His visit insults us all."

Except, of course, it doesn't insult us all.

It doesn't insult me, it shouldn't insult you.

But apparently it insults the delicate snowflakes out there, you see, and in their minds that is enough for them to speak for us all.

Why do so many people on the permanently dyspeptic Left feel they have the right to say they speak for everyone, when they can't even keep their own seat?

If Varadkar had failed to extend this invitation, I would have disagreed with the decision. I would have thought it was self defeating and pandering to the mob that screams the loudest.

I would have criticised such a decision and then gone about my day. Y'know, the way normal people do.

But I certainly wouldn't have felt personally insulted, and I certainly wouldn't have felt qualified to pontificate that he had "insulted us all".

It's almost - and bear with me on this one - it's almost as if these people don't have the strength of their own convictions and feel that expressing their own personal displeasure is an inadequate argument.

So they have to rope everyone else in on the argument.

Well, not in my name, not in my name!

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