Red car­pet roll out for Trump and fam­ily shows USA money talks

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - OPINION - [email protected]­ple­

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.

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