Red carpet roll out for Trump and family shows USA money talks
THE arrival of a US President in Ireland has always made for big news – even when the president wasn’t parweek.ticularly popular – and so it proved with Donald Trump’s short visit last Like a meek schoolboy keeping in close with the school-yard bully, Ireland’s relationship with America has always been one based on self-interest and, at a distant second, affection for a country seen (by some) to be at the forefront of almost everything.
Never one to miss a trick Irish bookmaker Paddy Power erected the Donald Trump Plaza service station garage in honour of the President’s arrival; the Barack Obama Plaza in Moneygall in 2014 being far less likely to prompt a dramatic eye roll.
Trump’s unique brand of consequentialism has gone down a treat with countless Trump apologists who say ‘hey, OK we don’t like the crass way he speaks (and tweets) but he sure isn’t he great for the economy’. Even a staunch critic of the American Army’s use of Shannon Airport as a European stop-off base acknowledged the important role American companies play in propping up the Irish economy and the statistics bear this out.
A report in January revealed that Ireland is the number one country globally benefiting from foreign direct investment from US tech companies. Just look at local (and national) newspapers and every few weeks you’ll find a US company job announcement, usually promising scores of jobs to be announced.
As an American passport, it was so embarrassing to watch his press conference with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, in which he said: ‘It’ll work out. Your wall, your
border,’ before repeating himself several times saying how great shape Ireland is going to be in. His sons Donald Jnr and Eric share his hyperbolic tenancies and were equally effusive in their pr show at a pub in Doonbeg where they were greeted by fans, some of whom even wearing MAGA (Make America Great Again) baseball hats. Arriving like the rich scions of an absentee landlord into the local pub, they offered to buy drinks for one and all, before declaring everyone the best neighbours in the world.
Mr Varadkar once again proved to be the embodiment of the Celtic Poodle, even if he did put The Donald in his place by correcting him about the border and the wall.
You have to wonder sometimes where the President’s obsession with walls comes from: a life in property or a deep seated fear of empathy to other human beings. Trump’s England, Ireland, France visit, started with a bombshell (his ‘stone cold loser’ tweet about London Mayor Sadiq Khan), and he continued ruffling feathers by backing Brexit, but between Melania’s style and his subdued manner and relaxed body language, he fared OK, for him. Having lowered the bar from the lofty standards of his intellectual predecessor, the best many of us expected from his visit was a good laugh and he (or rather the circus around him) gave us that. The fact that he lies with every second breath (including about how America has the world’s cleanest air), seems secondary to the show. So long as American companies and the economy remains omnipotent, Ireland will continue to accept its servile role.
US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania arriving at Shannon on Air Force One.