Dan Boyle: Guest Of The Nation


From top: Donald Trump arrives in Shannon Airport in May, 2014; Dan Boyle

Few here in Ireland claim to like Donald Trump. Even fewer people would claim to admire him or support his policy approach.

He has some friends. Those who admire the red tooth and claw capitalism they see in Trump, who, while as inarticulate as themselves, is sufficiently in your face to ‘own’ the liberal left.

He exists, despite his obsession with building a wall, to metaphorically tear down walls of regulations produced through liberal democracy, in pursuit of a fairer World.

Despite having had nothing but centre right governments since the foundation of the State, Irish Trump fans see Ireland as a something of a Socialist bedrock.

Our current socialist government in the form of Fine Gael, have been constructing a ‘how many angels on the head of a pin’ approach to both welcoming and not welcoming Donald Trump at the same time.

By its thinking we are not welcoming Donald Trump per se. We are welcoming the holder of the office of President of the USA, and a failure to welcome him properly will be seen by our American friends as a collective snub to all other holders of the office, past and future.

Bollocks to that. The nature of friendly relations between countries is that one can tell the other when they are fecking up royally, or, in Trump’s case, bigly.

It is the current administration that carries the can especially for policy positions that have currency – policies on trade, migration and the environment. Policies, on each of which Trump and his administration want to take us back to some perceived feudal heyday.

In all likelihood Trump’s motivation for wanting to come to Ireland has nothing to do with wanting warmer relations with Ireland.

The probability is that he wants to visit his golf course at Doonbeg, County Clare, as part of his global business promotion tour, rather than make small talk with our Taoiseach and the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The people in Doonbeg, especially those employed at the resort, will in all likelihood look on with disdain at protest made there. This is understandable. However Trump thrives in these islands of dependency, where silence and blindness is bought.

Others would argue that the best way to protest Trump is to ignore him. There’s a name for that – it’s every other day in Ireland.

Without a large scale, physical manifestation of protest, Trump could rightly claim that Ireland is on his side.

Trump is a complete narcissist. He reacts negatively to anyone who is negative towards him. Large scale protests in London, in Brussels and in Washington do get to him.

I remember being a part of the 2003 No to War march, where 100,000 filled College Green and Dame Street. We may not achieve that scale, but the protest to Thump should be, can be and will be an event of that type.

The difficulty is that several groups want to see this protest happen for a myriad of reasons. There are many reasons to do so, but let’s make sure it brings together as many as possible under a collective banner.

This is a circumstance where we should put aside ego and positioning. Let’s have a welcome in the hillsides. Let’s give Donald Trump the welcome he deserves.

Dan Boyle is a former Green Party TD and Senator. His column appears here every Thursday. Follow Dan on Twitter: @sendboylÉ

Pic via YouTUbe

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55 thoughts on “Dan Boyle: Guest Of The Nation

  1. bisted

    …Is this the same Dan Boyle who used this column last week to eulogize US Republican Senator McCain?

    1. Dan Boyle

      I was eulogising McCain I was making an argument for civility in politics. I understand your inability to know the difference.

        1. Dan Boyle

          I edited presuming first post wouldn’t be posted. Otherwise what’s the point of the editing procedure.

  2. Dan Boyle

    I wasn’t eulogising McCain I was making an argument for civility in politics. I understand your inability to know the difference.

    1. bisted

      …’ I was’, ‘I wasn’t’…Dan pleading the Schrodinger defence…you also used this column to boast that you intended to vote in the US election…do you hold yourself responsible for the outcome…

  3. MaryLou's ArmaLite

    Maybe someone will tell Trump he is fecking it up, maybe not, but it is a real pity your Green party didn’t listen when ye were fecking it up bigly. Ye were part of the group that fecked up more bigly than an group in Irish history. Bigly.

  4. johnny

    do you have a theme or a major international policy difference that will unite all this opposition in Ireland to POTUS?
    saying he’s a d**k is hardly a rallying cry, anything specific policy wise thats affected your life or others in Ireland, Dan ?

    1. Goodnight Ireland

      Undermining free press.
      Starting trade wars which make everyone poorer.
      Emboldening autocratic leadership across the world.
      Helping to normalise racist attitudes.
      Working to undermine democracy.
      Rolling back protections for the environment.

      To name a few…

      1. johnny

        ‘FREE’ press-that damage was self inflicted and long done before Trump,he simply tapped into it-do you think he contributed to the demise of The Examiner,or the simply awful and abysmal sales at the SBP-NYT numbers are UP since taking office.
        “Trade Wars”-yeah that will get people protesting in droves……..
        So a protest against Russia,what if that ‘spooked’ all those Russian investors in property or at the IFC ?
        Those racist attitudes existed long before him, if anything he’s provoked the removal of offensive civil war statues and memorials.
        Democracy-in Ireland he’s undermining it-then where ?
        So a protest against his environmental policies……..

        yeah good luck with your protest……

        1. Nigel

          Are you celebrating the fact that it’s difficult to get people to care about this big important stuff that effects their lives or decrying it? Hard to be sure, but dismissing concerns about the decline of the free press, the rise of racism, the degradation of the environment, the spanner he’s throwing into the works of global trade and the spread of Russian oligarchical influence because they’ve all been going on for a while seems to be missing the point a bit. If anything your point about how people opposing his racism can lead to, eg, the dismantling of Civil War memorials to slavers, cuts against your main point that nothing can be/should be/ought to be done?

          1. johnny

            I often wondered why people gave you such a hard time on here Nigel-now I get it:)
            I’m from the Realpolitik school and simply wondering which or what policy is Dan and the few Green Party supporters (OAP’s),planning on protesting against ?
            Or is this like the Green Party version off a “Silent Disco” where people are moving but there’s no music……..

          2. Nigel

            ‘Realpolitik’ – the Kissinger school? Nice,
            Why does there need to be one, why not all of the above? Trump represents the rise of a hard-right social, economic and political order in the world. Everything about him is mired in corruption, to say nothing of his personal ethics. If you can’t rally around and object to that sort of thing what good are you and your ‘realpolitik?’ It wasn’t edgy cynical realpolitik that repealed the 8th, that’s for sure.
            The silent disco is a good analogy for how you’re seeing this. Because there is music. But because you can’t hear it, you proclaim that there’s none, rather than asking for a pair of headphones.

          3. johnny

            Realpolitik in the context of international politics or relationships,Ryan grabbed some space in the WaPo with Gilmore talking about some protests ‘Irish style”-im still trying figure out specifically what all these people are protesting……..

            “In a statement, Ryan called for the Irish to organize protests. “We’re calling on Irish people to tell our Government to cancel this visit; and for them to demonstrate in never-before-seen numbers should they fail to do so,” he wrote on Twitter.
            “I can’t sit back and let him opt out of the Paris climate agreement,” he told The Post. “You have to protest. That isn’t just an American issue, that’s an issue for the whole world.”

            “We’ll be organising a protest against his visit. Help us to do so if you abhor his policies on climate change, refugee migration, trade wars, military expansion, economic inequality & the whole gung-ho, misogynistic, racially divisive show.” #TrumpInIreland”

          4. Nigel

            You can’t figure it out after including a quote containing a direct reference to the Paris Climate agreement and another with an actual list?

          5. Johnny

            Nigel I’m not the one extending the pitch every time a reporter shows even a passing interest in Ryan and The Greens.
            Great then the irish green party is organizing a protest against the US Environmental policies as espoused by Trump,anyone who doesn’t “like” him is also welcome….

          6. Nigel

            US environmental policies have global implications so sure why not? Using revulsion against Trump as a rallying point seems like a good way of raising awareness. Not sure what’s so confusing about this.

          7. Nigel

            ‘Averaged as a whole, the combined land and ocean surface temperature for the globe during January–June 2018 was 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the 20th century average and the fourth highest since global records began in 1880. The global land-only temperature was the fifth highest on record at +1.19°C (+2.14°F). The global ocean-only temperature of 0.60°C (1.08°F) above average was also the fifth highest on record.’


          8. Leon Down

            So it was warmer in Summer. Amazing.

            Yet by August the global average temperatures were lower.

            (Nothing to do with Trump btw, just natural cycles. Yet there is an undeniable correlation)

            Oh, and the Paris Agreement is on its death bed. The scam is over.

            Deal with it.

          9. Nigel

            Don’t see anything on August buy July:

            ‘The July 2018 average temperature across the world’s land and ocean surfaces was 0.75°C (1.35°F) above the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.4°F) and the fourth highest for July since global records began in 1880. Nine of the ten warmest Julys have occurred since 2005, with the last four years (2015–2018) among the four warmest on record. The record warmest July occurred in 2016, with a temperature departure from average of +0.88°C (+1.58°F). The year 1998 is the only year from the 20th century among the ten warmest Julys on record, ranking as the fifth highest on record.’


        2. JunkFace

          I don’t know how it would be possible for the US CO2 levels to be down for 2018. Especially after all of those massive Forest fires in California. That adds tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. We would need to cross reference various sources on the measured CO2 levels.

  5. Nilbert

    “The nature of friendly relations between countries is that one can tell the other when they are fecking up royally, or, in Trump’s case, bigly.

    Or in the case of te Fianna Fail/Green party coalition, keep the head down and hope nobody notices until it all explodes in your face.

  6. Topsy

    You had no problem with “…claw capitalism…” when you & your huckster cronies were clawing from the public trough when the nation was in the teeth of a recession. Away with ya.

  7. Ollie Cromwell

    I don’t recall Dan raging against Obama when he was deporting more illegals than Trump has ever done.
    Or complaining that Gitmo remained open under Barry.
    Or that blacks were worse off in America under Obama than they were under Dubya.
    Or that Clinton was banging interns in the Oval office.
    Trump may be a charlatan but he’s no worse than most other presidents and the American economy is booming.

    1. Nigel

      ‘Or that blacks were worse off in America under Obama than they were under Dubya.’

      Wasn’t EVERYONE technically worse off under Obama than George W because George W started an obscenely wasteful war, and then presided over a massive global economic meltdown just before leaving office? Always nice to be reminded what disasters the Republicans are, not just for the US but the entire world.

      1. Ollie Cromwell

        Amazing that after two terms in office Obama was finally able to boost the American economy just in time for Trump to benefit ….

          1. Ollie Cromwell

            Jeez,how unlucky was Obama.
            And Clinton.
            Here was Barry handing her a surging economy on a plate and she still managed to cock-up the election.
            Dow Jones – Day of Trump’s inauguration – 19,827
            Today – 25,974
            Trump’s deregulation and tax reforms have supercharged the US economy.

          2. Nigel

            I’d say the whole US cocked up the election but what’s weird is you admitting your praise of Trump has been disingenuous at best.

  8. JunkFace

    Trump is on the way out. The walls are closing in. And one of the biggest, if not THE biggest Con-men of all time will soon be found guilty of treason, collusion and fraud. Anyone who still thinks he is a good leader is a moron. The guy has surrounded himself with criminals for 30 years, and couldn’t help but keep doing it as President, why change the habit of a lifetime? His visit should be largely ignored, not even protested, just quietly ignored. News media needs to stop giving all of his nonsense behaviours and misdirection so much oxygen.

  9. Ollie Cromwell

    Any evidence of treason or collusion ?
    Because Robert Mueller has been looking for 15 months so far and he’s found two-thirds of diddly-squat.

    1. JunkFace

      He’s made 20 arrests, 6 of those were close members of Trumps team, AND they have turned on each other in some cases. Michael Cohen has been flipped, its only a matter of time before the whole Trump organisation is brought down on massive Fraud charges. What the hell are you talking about? Are you an Infowars erection boy?

      1. Ollie Cromwell

        Really ?
        Last I heard Cohen’s own lawyer Lanny Davis has backpedalled on claims Cohen knew Donald Trump had prior knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting to get dirt on Hillary.
        As he was a valuable source for news organisations such as CNN and the NYT you can understand how miffed they are at him being discredited.
        And paying off a couple of porn stars with his own money does not make Trump a criminal.
        As for the other biggie Trump’s ex-campaign chief Paul Manafort found guilty of various fraud and embezzlement charges these all happened before he worked for Trump.
        Sorry old cock but Mueller has nothing on Trump so far.
        Dems de facts.

          1. Ollie Cromwell

            You mean like Obama having to fire David Petraeus as Director of the CIA after an extramarital affair that devolved into mishandling of classified information .
            and then there was Michael Flynn, Director of Defense Intelligence Agency fired for sharing sensitive information with foreign intelligence officials without authorisation.
            The best people indeed.

        1. JunkFace

          They are not the facts. You have not read the facts. You have read propaganda. Serious charges are being formed as we speak. Mueller is an A-political Marine veteran and a highly qualified FBI agent. You really think he’s been chasing his tail for over a year? A man who has dedicated his life to protecting America from threats?

  10. McVitty

    I believe Dan is making a false equivalent between protesting the trafficking of prisoners of war through a country that genuinely risks compromising it’s neutrality by being facilitator and simply protesting the objectionable character of Donald Trump – in which case, you should not expect the same level of support. Maybe we should wake the dead to protest since never before has there been anything warranting such protest in the history of the state.

    What Dan is manifesting is often referred to as the “death of nuance”. You cannot make a nuanced argument around someone with a head choc-a-block full of ideas – they need validation, to know that you side with them. With us or against us, and all that.

    Trump isn’t wrong on migration – and there is little reason to believe it is a deeply held conviction of his either..more likely a populist play as evidenced by the lack of a “beautiful wall” nearly 2 years on from his campaign high. But it is true to say migration has never been higher and the need for labour has never been lower – never has there been so little opportunity for people migrating from developing countries to developed countries and never have they migrated in numbers that present sustainability challenges. The economists of old would have assumed the developing countries they are migrating from would have been all caught up by now…but as usual with economists, they might have left the social frictions/aspects out of their calculations. It might just be that migration is a pressure reliever for countries desperately in need civil and economic reform, but as long as there’s brain-drain migration lever, the problem lives on – no reform, no demands for better etc etc

    Keep fighting the good fight Dan. Your heart’s in the right place.

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