Aras the­atre of the ab­surd

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - FRONT PAGE - DONAL LYNCH

To some, the pres­i­den­tial silli­ness is get­ting to the al­most un­bear­able point where one might won­der why a pres­i­dent is needed at all in Ire­land. Could Leo not do the pres­i­den­tial bit as well, spar­ing us the whole sorry pan­tomime and a few hun­dred grand in al­lowances? Per­haps, on re­flec­tion, those who drafted the con­sti­tu­tion knew what they were do­ing, how­ever. Trump, Brexit, and any num­ber of East­ern Euro­pean loony elec­tions show that there is an ap­petite abroad (and prob­a­bly at home) for po­lit­i­cal silli­ness at the mo­ment. The ge­nius of the pres­i­den­tial race is that it al­lows us to sat­isfy that ap­petite with­out any glar­ing con­se­quences. The worst that can hap­pen is a pow­er­less con­spir­acy the­o­rist, a pow­er­less ego­tist or an­other seven years of Michael D. We get to bask in the the­atre with­out hav­ing to pick up the pieces af­ter­wards. A bark­ing mad pres­i­den­tial race saves us from a bark­ing bad gen­eral elec­tion. And for that, if noth­ing else, we should be grate­ful.

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