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The Donald and Doonbeg

On the Edge

On The Edge
Áine Ryan

SO THE Donald is going to chew-the-fat with Neo Leo in Shannon Airport in order to avoid an international incident. Well, as Enda Kenny – remember Enda? – said on the election hustings way back in 2011, Ireland could be ‘the best small country in the world in which to do business’ within five years.
In other words, we are self-regarding VIPs on the world stage. And that is not only because we are geographically strategically placed on the edge of Europe, a teensy but most-willing tax haven for digital corporations and, indeed, handy allies because of all of this Brexit shenanigans.    
Come to think of it, now that the present incumbent, Chieftain Varadkar danced a reel with Maria Walsh on Quay Street in Galway while she was out canvassing, maybe he could join the cailíní bound to be strutting their Oirishness on the edge of the red runway carpet when Air Force One touches down on June 5 next. Moreover, former Minister of Finance, Michael Noonan could be the choreographer, since he was there bowing and scraping the last time Mr Trump was here.
Judging by the pics from that little scene of Paddywhackery, let’s hope it isn’t raining and blowing a gale this time around. The poor cailíní were nearly frozen rigid in their skimpy red dresses. One of them tuned up the harp and another fiddled with her fiddle waiting for the man who paid off porn star Stormy Daniels. Yes, the same man would be formally instated as the 45th President of the United States in December 2016. Little did they know.
It was May 14, 2014, and Trump had bought the Doonbeg Golf Resort earlier that year in February. Five-plus years later we know a lot more about this real estate mogul who pipped  Hilary Clinton to the post in an election that confounded the political elite in the US and heralded a surge towards nativism and nationalism in many countries.
And sure isn’t that the thing about Trump being a hero on the west coast of Clare: he is helping realise Enda’s dream (see above) and, if our pesky planning laws allow him, ensuring that the cliffs along the Wild Atlantic Way stay sturdy and, you never know, keep marauding pirates from Mexico and beyond from invading our green fields.      
Sure anyway, he’s just coming here for some downtime and maybe a bit of craic. He is bound to be worn out from royals after his three-day state visit to the United Kingdom. All that pomp and ceremony is hard to tweet about. And, hopefully, it won’t be raining in France when he heads off on June 6 for the D-Day commemorations in Normandy. Remember, last year? He was forced to stay in his hotel eating popcorn and a Big Mac during the Armistice centenary commemoration and watch the events from his bedroom, because the bad weather  could have wreaked havoc on his tan and coiffed hairstyle. Presidents can’t be having bad hair days.
Doesn’t the dilemma about the protocol around the visits of world leaders to other countries expose how fake politics can be? While understanding and accepting the need for pomp and ceremony and the necessary formalities, aren’t such scenes hard to swallow sometimes? From this columnist’s perspective, Donald Trump is a racist and a misogynist.
He repeatedly promised during his 2016 campaign that he was going to drain the Washington DC ‘swamp’ of political insiders and ethical quandaries. But sure don’t the dogs on the street (and all those people he has already fired) know that he only surrounds himself with sycophants? There is such a surplus of them, there is no need for us to be sucking up to him.