AMERICA’S Vice President Joe Biden has begun a five-day visit to Ireland during which he will, with family members, mark his Irish ancestry and honour the beliefs of “the Irish-American experience, the shared heritage of the two nations, and the values of tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness”.
Mr Biden’s family, and virtually every family on this island, can attest to those principles. America was indeed, and remains, the land of the free and the home of the brave, especially for those trying to escape tyranny to a place of opportunity. That principle seems such a bedrock for the world’s singular superpower that it is hard to imagine even Donald Trump’s vilest fantasies could end that noble tradition.
As is by now customary some Irish people will, as they are entitled to, protest over America’s role in so many of the world’s conflicts imagining that such a powerful, such an affluent entity should be a perfect society, one spreading love and peace. Reality suggests that there has never been a perfect society. It also suggests that even a warts-and-all assessment of America would conclude that it has been, and is, one of the great positive influences in our world.
During his very welcome visit Mr Biden will meet Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Maybe Mr Kenny would use the opportunity to press for a positive ruling on transatlantic air routes from Cork — routes that would help strengthen what has been and is a priceless relationship.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved