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Pandering to populism sowed the seeds of Trump's victory


US President-elect Donald Trump argues with a reporter during his recent news conference at Trump Tower, NYC. Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

US President-elect Donald Trump argues with a reporter during his recent news conference at Trump Tower, NYC. Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters


US President-elect Donald Trump argues with a reporter during his recent news conference at Trump Tower, NYC. Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

The apparent panic by 'the establishment' and the Republican Party (GOP) currently playing out in the US should serve as a wake-up call to all politicians who imagine they can distance themselves from responsibility, in particular ministers and, especially, prime ministers.

The seeds of Donald Trump's win were sowed with the establishment of the Tea Party movement.

Initially, the GOP imagined it had a puppet movement, but it was wrong.

Populist movements result from elected politicians putting the next election before everything else.

Well may we ask, when was the last time there was a real statesman in power in the democratic world?

Declan Foley

Berwick, Australia

I have a sinking feeling that come the inauguration of the new US president on January 20, everything is going to be alt-right.

Brian Ahern

Clonsilla, Dublin 15

Don't fear The Donald

I was reassured by Donald Trump's press conference on Wednesday that the US is about to inaugurate the best president since Ronald Reagan - and Mr Reagan was, to many, the finest US president ever.

He took no nonsense and everyone knew that. For his eight years of tenure, the world was a safer place.

Just like Mr Reagan, Mr Trump is straight talking and does not put on an act just to please.

What you see is what you get and isn't that the best way for any person to be - especially a US president?

There is no need for the ordinary citizens of the US and the world to tremble.

The only ones who need to tremble are the enemies of the US.

David Bradley

Drogheda, Co Louth

Mind your step

Recently, in Bray, I witnessed a dog leave a very impressive deposit on the pavement.

Its leash-holding owner berated the animal for this indiscretion, and then they both serenely strolled on.

The answer to the obvious question here is a resounding "no".

Tom Gilsenan

Beaumont, Dublin 9

Caring for pets in winter

Since freezing Arctic blasts are threatening Ireland this week, it's important that guardians know how to take care of their animals during adverse weather conditions.

Although dogs, cats, and other animals have fur coats, they can still suffer from deadly frostbite and exposure, which is why it's critical to keep animals - and especially puppies and kittens - indoors.

Short-haired animals will also benefit from wearing a warm jumper or coat on walks.

Cats shouldn't be allowed to roam freely outdoors because, during winter, they sometimes climb under the bonnets of cars to be near warm engines and are badly injured or killed when the vehicle is started. To help prevent this, bang loudly on the bonnet before starting the engine.

Keep an eye out for strays, and take unidentified animals inside until you can find their guardians or get them to an animal shelter.

If strays are skittish or otherwise unapproachable, provide food and water and call the ISPCA for assistance with trapping them and getting them indoors.

If snow is on the ground, be sure to wipe off your dog or cat's legs, feet, and stomach after they come inside, as salt and other chemicals can make your animals sick if they ingest them.

Jennifer White

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

London, UK

Arlene for new dance show

There has been much discussion on suitable candidates for RTÉ's latest offering, 'Dancing with the Stars'.

May I suggest Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster, who could learn to differentiate between stepping aside and stepping down.

Aine Holt

Baile Átha Cliath 15

Apollo House activism

Would the actions of those behind the occupation of Apollo House in Dublin have been more credible if they had used their own property to house the homeless?

Joseph Mackey

Athlone, Co Westmeath

Aid for those who need it most

The resettlement of 200 youths from the former migrant camp in Calais, France, to Ireland is ridiculous.

Ireland does not have unlimited resources. Shouldn't we channel those resources to those most in need?

Shouldn't we help the young orphan children languishing in Middle Eastern refugee camps? Shouldn't we help those Syrian Christians and Yazidis who have suffered ethnic cleansing and genocide?

If Children's Minister Katherine Zappone is spending taxpayers' money, the least we can ask of her is to spend it on those in most need, not on those who jump to the top of the queue and shout the loudest.

Brian Kelly

Athlone, Co Westmeath

Courage of TK Whitaker

Much has been written about TK Whitaker, who died this week, and frankly we could do with all our public servants having the same courage as he had in facing up to his political masters.

He was an advocate for tackling unproductive wealth, something I am opposed to and which has led to the crisis we are now in, in this small country of ours.

One can see the ever-increasing differences and continued break-up of what once was a fairly cohesive society.

My question is this: are there public servants who have the same courage that Mr Whitaker had, but a different political philosophy?

Please stand up and be counted if you are there.

Paul Doran

Clondalkin, Dublin 22

Irish Independent