From top: Leo Varadka at the Dublin Pride festival last month; Eamonn Kelly
After Enda Kenny became Taoiseach, the liberal left immediately launched into a social media campaign of ridicule and invective against him, using memes and comments and so on, and not holding back in the least in terms of insult.
In contrast, there has barely been a whisper of dissent against Varadkar.
It occurs to me that people may be afraid to criticise him for fear of their criticism being misconstrued as closet homophobia. (Either that or the liberal left are all for the right-wing Taoiseach).
I was accused of homophobia in a comment on one of the JobPath articles in Broadsheet. It took me a while to figure out where on Earth the person had drawn such a conclusion from, and I went over the text with the proverbial fine-tooth comb, but could find nothing incriminating.
Then I remembered that the Taoiseach was gay. I responded with something like, ‘Oh, I get it, the Taoiseach is gay, and I’m criticising him, so therefore…’
This response was then seized upon by a third party who said something like, ‘Thanks for reminding us of the Taoiseach’s sexuality. Makes me wonder what your agenda is…’
This is a classic lose-lose situation.
It seems that the election of a rabidly right-wing but forgiveably gay Taoiseach has had the effect of hoisting the liberal left by its own petard. I’m sure Fianna Fáil must be taking careful note of this puzzling turn of events.
Eamonn Kelly is a freelance writer.
Previously: JobPath And Class Discrimination