Fintan O’Toole: Donald Trump is a hostile, malign presence in Europe

Diplomatic niceties should not blind us to the US president’s aggressive designs

If Trump were to get his way and the EU were to fall apart, we would have to grovel before him in a way that would make the pimping out of the British royals look dignified. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty

If Trump were to get his way and the EU were to fall apart, we would have to grovel before him in a way that would make the pimping out of the British royals look dignified. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty

Diplomacy is sometimes just a polite word for shaking hands with the devil. Its practitioners need strong stomachs and a poor sense of smell. Ireland, like every other democracy, maintains diplomatic relationships with repressive and even murderous regimes.

So when Donald Trump decided to recover at his Doonbeg pleasure dome from the strain of meeting “losers” such as Theresa May and the minor royals, the Irish Government had little choice but to play nice.

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