A welcome forced through gritted teeth

WHEN Donald Trump last visited Ireland, our Minister for Finance Michael Noonan abjected himself and stood waiting, like an anxious branch manager awaiting an inspection from head office, on airport red carpet ready to greet The Donald.

Mr Noonan had company. The happy event was enlivened by a group of musicians and dancers straight out of the Darby O’Gill school of drama and buffoonery.

It was not Mr Noonan’s finest hour, even if he manfully defended the indignity by saying he would welcome any investor who offered the prospect of creating jobs in this economy.

His selflessness showed a dedication far above and beyond the call of duty.

The Donald will favour us with a visit later this month, but this time he cannot be greeted as an investor.

He is a candidate in the race to succeed America’s president Barack Obama, a position he achieved by having such an absolute contempt for anything approaching the truth that a phrase has been invented to describe his mercurial understanding of reality — he is the post-factual candidate.

Not only that, he is a racist, a bigot, and a misogynist.

America is a free country, free to choose its political leaders, but this is a proudly free country too, and anyone who advances views like Mr Trump can expect a welcome shaped by the manners inculcated by generations of strict mothers, but that welcome will be forced through gritted teeth and devoid of warmth or enthusiasm.

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