It’s November 9, 2016 and Bernie Sanders is president-elect.
From his commodious window seat in premiere class Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly is watching the green fields of Ireland coming into view far below.
He has made good on his promise to self-deport himself, leaving America for Ireland now that Sanders has been elected president. To escape the nightmare (and the significant tax demands) of a socialist presidency, he has finally fled.
But the nightmare is only beginning for the pugnacious pundit.
First, he’ll discover he’s the subject of a petition to keep him from actually entering the country. Ouch.
Second, as a devotee of the Second Amendment, he’ll discover his right to carry a gun for his personal protection isn’t something Irish law or the Irish people are likely to support. Ireland had thirty years of the Troubles to decide that they don’t like guns. Even the Irish police force doesn’t carry them.
Third, O’Reilly will find out that the United States continues to regard U.S. expatriates as taxpayers, no matter where in the world they live. This means his $15 million a year Fox News income will still very likely be heavily taxed, helping to bankroll Bernie’s “socialist” programs like universal healthcare, wider access to education, and increased medicare and social security benefits. Shudder.
Fourth, when he starts talking about gay people like your conservative old uncle at Thanksgiving he is going to get a smack down from the country that was first in the world to vote for marriage equality in a landslide.
Fifth, wait till he meets the Irish President Michael D. Higgins. Higgins’ commitment to human rights and social justice is lifelong and passionate; he has worked for decades as a progressive activist on issues such as battling poverty and equal pay for women. He writes poetry too, and he’ll be glad of a captive audience.
Sixth, if all of this liberalism is starting to make O’Reilly feel queasy about his Irish move, he’ll be delighted to know that Ireland has a Medical Card system that provides all comers with access to healthcare.
Or on second thought Bill, maybe you should try the Falklands? That remote craggy outcrop of stone and penguin droppings was once very dear to the heart of his longtime hero Margaret Thatcher.
Maybe it’s the better home for O’Reilly’s yesteryear politics too?