Donald Trump – friends and enemies

 

Sir,– I fail to see how anyone could be surprised by Donald Trump’s style as he talks to other world leaders by phone. His style appears to be more in keeping with someone seeking a $50 per item reduction in the cost of his next order for 1,000 king-size beds and looking for a few sofas thrown in for free. Of course, if you don’t like what he’s asking then he’ll just go to the next supplier on the list.

I’d rather the diplomatic style of Abraham Lincoln when he said , “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” – Yours, etc,

DERMOT O’ROURKE,

Lucan,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – President Trump and his entourage are fond of telling us how smart he is. That’s exactly what supporters said about Republican Senator Barry Goldwater, who stood against President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 but failed miserably to impress the electorate. The Goldwater camp’s most memorable slogan was “In your heart you know he’s smart.” The Democrats responded with their own jingle, “In your guts you know he’s nuts.” Plus ça change! – Yours, etc,

PETER DOYLE,

Blackrock, Co Dublin.

Sir, – In recent weeks I have heard a number of discussions in which the utility and wisdom of public protests and demonstrations against recent policy directions and executive orders of the new US administration have been questioned.

I believe that now more than ever it is important to reflect on what it means to live in a free, democratic and open society. People have the right to gather and peacefully demonstrate against something that they feel contravenes their values. In fact, the act of gathering and demonstrating is central to the notion of democracy and is a way that people can stay true to their values and principles.

One of the main contributors to the rise of totalitarianism in Germany in the 1930s was indifference. Not enough people stood up against and condemned sentiments of intolerance and anti-Semitism which were brewing at that time.

Indifference or apathy, in this current climate of uncertainty and suspicion towards people of a certain religion, is the most corrosive thing of all. – Yours, etc,

JANE BENNETT,

Dún Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – Your front-page report (February 3rd) on Donald Trump’s vow to repeal a key US law separating religion and politics contains a final sentence that I fear we will see regularly over the next four years: “The claims were rejected by White House spokesman Sean Spicer”. – Yours, etc,

JOHN McDWYER,

Carrick on Shannon,

Co Leitrim.

Sir, – It is heartening to see that so many Irish politicians outraged at the prospect of a first-world country imposing a harsh, ungenerous and arbitrary system for immigration and asylum-seeking. Perhaps they can direct that anger usefully by fixing the Irish system? – Yours, etc,

JOHN SMYTH,

Galway.

Sir, – Thank you for publishing Sabrina Tavernise’s article “Trump supporters see migrants ban as promise kept” (February 1st) as a welcome antidote to the Irish bien pensants. The views expressed by the New York gay hotel worker, the Seattle small business owner and the retired Milwaukee couple were dignified, reasonable and well informed. All four interviewees disprove former president Mary Robinson’s claim that Mr Trump’s supporters are living in a “white entitlement bubble”. Perhaps it’s time that the liberal-left elite paid heed to George Orwell’s observation: “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle”. – Yours, etc,

KARL MARTIN,

Bayside,

Dublin 13.