A comedian on Irish television has shared one key truth about US presidents that we shouldn’t forget amid Donald Trump’s visits in recent days. Colm O’Regan insisted that, even though Trump is particularly nasty, Ireland has welcomed presidents with records just as bad in the past. And Democratic presidents, he said, are often little better than Republican ones.
A “long line” of murderous US presidents
Ahead of Trump’s visit to Ireland, O’Regan asked:
How should we be with Donald Trump when he comes?
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Officially, his welcome should be “frosty”, O’Regan said. But this, he said would go against Ireland’s history of welcoming other US presidents with atrocious human rights records. He pointed out:
we’ve welcomed plenty of American presidents in the past without much protest despite what they’ve done.
He then elaborated, saying:
Nixon carpet-bombed Cambodia before he came here. Reagan invaded Grenada; helped create the Taliban in Afghanistan. Clinton bombed Serbia; failed to prevent the Rwandan massacres. Obama killed civilians with drone strikes and helped the Saudis attack Yemen.
And he insisted that, while Trump is also doing terrible things:
let’s not pretend he’s not following a long line of presidents.
He also maintained that, while most Irish people love Democratic presidents, Democrats and Republicans are often “just two cheeks of the same arse”.
Colm O'Regan's special film about Donald Trump's visit to Ireland
— RTÉ ClaireByrneLive (@ClaireByrneLive) May 27, 2019
Context aside, Trump’s 2019 Ireland visit did not go well
Meanwhile, Trump has again demonstrated his ignorance when it comes to basic facts. During his stay in Ireland, he suggested that Brexit will be good for Ireland. When asked if he thought Brexit will be bad, he replied:
No, I think it should be good. I mean the big thing is going to be your border and hopefully that’s going to work out. I think it will work out. There are a lot of good minds thinking about how to do it and it’s going to be just fine.
He finished by insisting:
I think ultimately it could even be very, very good for Ireland. But the border will work out.
Trump had earlier said that there are “some very good people that are very much involved with Brexit” in the UK.
His comments were widely mocked on social media. One user took particular issue with Trump’s earlier claim that he knows most people of Irish descent who live in the US:
He said he knows all of the Irish, in America. They are friends! Hard not to laugh at this stuff. You can’t make it up.
— REPvotingtrumpOUT2020 (@Imhisnonna) June 5, 2019
Paul Healy of the Irish Daily Star said Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar “looked baffled” when Trump made his comments about the Irish border:
— Paul Healy (@Healyhack) June 5, 2019
To one person, it seemed that Trump knows nothing:
He doesn’t know anything about it just like he didn’t know what the NHS was. Ask him what the Good Friday agreement is and he’ll tell you it’s about clocking off early for the weekend
— Mr. Singh (@StatisticSingh) June 5, 2019
And yet another said their “jaw is dropping in astonishment”:
stunning. I thought I had gone beyond jaw dropping astonishment. But my jaw is dropping in astonishment. But, I hear it's all going work our very well.
— CommunicatingEurope+ (@andimanas) June 5, 2019
Across Ireland, people had planned to take to the streets to protest Trump’s presence in the country. In Dublin, thousands of people marched across the city to voice their anger at him and his policies:
Demonstration thousands-strong now. March is moving down O'Connell Street, to chants of "Donald Trump's not welcome here" and "Donald Trump go away". pic.twitter.com/8naMHvesvO
— Stephen McDermott (@Ste_McDermott) June 6, 2019
— Stephen Murphy (@Stephen_Murphy5) June 6, 2019
The Trump baby blimp also showed up:
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) June 6, 2019
Protest all US presidents
O’Regan’s argument that Democrats and Republicans are often “just two cheeks of the same arse”, however, is an important one. Considering the role of the US in undermining human rights throughout the world – for many, many decades – people should really rethink the welcome they give to all US presidents.
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