Meeting with Trump is not an endorsement
THERE has been a lot of discussion about how various world leaders should approach any potential relationship with US President Donald Trump but in truth, it is a very delicate situation and a rash decision now could be to our detriment as a small nation.
Calls have been made for An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to cancel the regular St Patrick’s Day visit to Washington in protest to Trump’s proposed ‘Muslim ban’.
Trump’s proposals are extremely worrying and in the short few days since his inauguration he has shown no signs of toning down his radical and racist attitude, but the fact is that he is the US president and we have to have some lines of communication open.
The sheer thousands of Irish emigrants living there alone need representation and it the duty of Enda Kenny or whoever our leader is at the time, to make the effort to communicate any concerns we have as a nation.
If we close down communication, that will only damage ourselves, and we know from watching Donald Trump in action, that he won’t be too bothered about the loss of a St Patrick’s Day tête a tête with the Taoiseach.
While I’m sure Enda Kenny agrees with the view of most of the Irish population that Trump’s racism cannot go unchallenged, refusing to meet with him will only be to our detriment.
If we refuse to engage, then how can our political leaders make any meaningful input on our behalf ? We don’t have to agree with all of Trump’s views or policies to have a political relationship with him and his administration.
The Taoiseach doesn’t have to pander to him or pretend that he is in favour of some of Trumps more radical ideas and this stands for any other world leader. On the contrary, he should be using these visits as an effective way to put our concerns and views across. It is up to our Taoiseach to do his best for our country and our people. That is what he was elected to do.
Trump needs to hear these, from every single leader who engages with him. The only thing worse than pandering to him, would be to ignore what he is doing, and let him continue unchallenged.
It is up to the people of the USA to make the president they so naively elected accountable, not countries like Ireland.
While Enda Kenny no doubt agrees with a majority Irish view that Trump’s racism cannot go unchallenged, refusing to meet with him will only be to our detriment.