Donald Trump on tour

 

A chara, – Kathy Sheridan’s piece on Donald Trump’s visit to England is a well-written article (“Trump has already reduced Britain to vassal status”, Opinion & Analysis, June 5th).

However, coming from a small country well used to humiliation by the greater powers around us, there is not a small amount of schadenfreude associated with seeing the UK similarly abused. One wonders where exactly “taking back control” morphed into becoming a Trump vassal state, with Buckingham Palace used as a helipad for the US embassy and venue for a Trump family Downton Abbey-themed holiday adventure.

The policy content of the visit seems to have been confined to telling the British who should become their next prime minister (Boris Johnson), who should lead their next Brexit negotiations (Nigel Farage), insulting the mayor of London Sadiq Khan as a “stone-cold loser”, and telling the British that the promised terrific trade deal with the US would require opening up the NHS to US private venture capital takeover, and the UK food market to chlorinated chickens. Can you imagine the Brexiteer outrage had Jean-Claude Juncker even hinted at such things?

President Michael D Higgins was otherwise engaged criticising Trump’s “regressive and pernicious decision to leave the global Paris Agreement” and stating that those at risk of exclusion from society were “being abandoned to become the prey of xenophobes, homophobes and racists”. Could there have been a message for Mr Trump in there somewhere? – Yours, etc,

FRANK SCHNITTGER,

Blessington,

Co Wicklow.

Sir, – Donald Trump was talking nonsense when he said of the Irish Border: “I think it will work out . . . for you, with your wall, your border . . . We have a border situation in the United States and you have one over here”.

In fact, the objectives of the Dublin government towards our Border and Washington towards the Mexico-US border couldn’t be further apart. Whereas the Trump administration is determined to build a wall to keep people out, Ireland is desperate to maintain a dividing line that’s invisible and open.

Leo Varadkar immediately, lightheartedly, replied that: “The main thing we want to avoid, of course, is putting a border or wall between” the two different jurisdictions on this island.

Mr Varadkar got the tone of his remarks just right.

What a refreshing contrast the sharp, well-prepared Taoiseach makes to the capricious, blustering US president. – Yours, etc,

JOE McCARTHY,

Arbour Hill, Dublin 7.

Sir, – Many thanks to Simon Carswell (“Trump sons go on Doonbeg pub crawl and thank locals for ‘incredible’ support”, News, April 6th). On a wet and dreary Thursday morning his report made me guffaw at length.

I can understand the gratitude that employees can sometimes feel towards benevolent employers but this outpouring of fawning support was beautifully cliched. The village festooned with American flags, the pub crawl accompanied by the free rounds of drinks for the locals, and the ecclesiastical somersault of granting “a place in heaven” to the entire Trump clan regardless of any future transgressions! The only improvement to this version of Brigadoonbeg, I would suggest, would be to have a steam locomotive driven by a flame-haired colleen shunt the golfers out to the golf course. – Yours, etc,

FRANK WALSH,

Coolballow,

Co Wexford.

Sir, – Referring to the level of welcome received from locals in Co Clare, the Trump family is quoted as saying “it’s unbelievable”. The outpouring of support they recall seeing on the streets of London was “incredible”. It’s refreshing to see these words being used literally. You could also say, in the original sense, that it’s terrific. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN O’BRIEN,

Kinsale,

Co Cork.

Sir, – It is indeed refreshing to note that our President has had the moral courage to rightly castigate President Trump in the manner that he did. Somebody in authority had to do it, and who better than Michael D Higgins, who has shown himself truly worthy of the renewed trust placed in him by the people of Ireland at his recent re-election. – Yours, etc,

LG KILGALLEN,

Dún Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – I suggest that we apply for “grovelling” to be included as an Olympic sport. Team selection trials could be held during visits of foreign dignitaries with the final trial to be held during the visit of an American president. I think we would have a strong team and likely to come away with a significant medal haul. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL O’DONOVAN,

Mullingar,

Co Westmeath.

Sir, – It is perfectly acceptable to disagree with President Trump’s policies, and to protest against same.

What is unacceptable, though, is the level of personalised hatred directed at the man. It’s obvious that “liberals” still haven’t got over the result of the 2016 election, and are still behaving like sore losers.

I wouldn’t have been a fan of the policies of either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, but I would not be impressed if anyone directed personalised hatred against them. Play the ball, and not the man or woman.

On a positive note, it has to be admitted that compared to the Bush and Obama administrations, President Trump has been, in reality, a lot less belligerent. Not engaging in pointless wars (so far), and strategically withdrawing from the Middle East.

So by all means protest, but please drop the personalised hatred. Hatred is not good for anyone, especially the hater. – Yours, etc,

ERIC CONWAY,

Navan,

Co Meath.