Irish leader Enda Kenny should skip the invite to President Trump to come to Ireland on a visit this year. Donald Trump should turn down the invitation if it is offered.
It has usually been the custom for visiting Irish leaders to invite the President to Ireland during the St. Patrick’s Day period and it was widely expected that Kenny would do so too.
However, that was before the deep unpopularity of Trump in Europe became evident, culminating in an extraordinary insult on Monday when the Speaker of the British Parliament refused to allow Trump to address that body or even set foot in it.
He is expected in Britain in June, and already there are plans for massive demonstrations against him. He hardly needs to face the same "welcome" in Ireland.
There is no question the same would occur in Ireland. The left wing parties have already made clear their intent to protest. Indeed, they were all set to do so before Trump even became president when he was scheduled to visit his golf and hotel complex in Doonbeg in County Clare.
You could multiply the protest by a hundredfold given the animosity that Trump has sparked over the refugee issue.
Irish leader Kenny is clever enough to know that world headlines showing hundreds of thousands of Irish marching to protest Trump would do the country no good at all, especially in America. Trump knows visuals like that do him no good at all at the start of his term.
Considering that over one million British have signed a petition to keep Trump out, there is little doubt that Irish demonstrations, proportionately to the general population, would be just as big.
The Irish are especially incensed over the travel ban against seven predominantly Muslim countries and the heartbreaking scenes at airports around the world last week will have increased that anger. Likewise, Trump’s flirtation with white rights groups has earned him particular odium in Ireland.
It is a backhanded tribute to America in ways. No other country is expected to embody in its president the very best and most progressive aspects of human kind.
The great names of the past, Lincoln. Roosevelt, Kennedy are true world figures unlike any other leaders from other countries.
The America First campaign of Trump, the swagger, the white pride are all issues and traits that play very badly in Ireland and indeed across Europe.
The European Union is a great experiment in former enemies living together and forming common economic and political bonds. It is only a generation since the Second World War, but somehow the memories have become muted. It was no easy thing.
We have become so used to it that we don't acknowledge it anymore. But the election of Trump, Brexit in Britain and Le Pen in France have all brought home just how quickly nationalism can reassert itself.
Trump is no Nazi, but neither is he what the world craves: a leader with compassion and insight and an innate decency and an ability to walk in other's shoes.
Though only achieving 46 percent of the vote he has demanded the country swing far to the right, dragging a reluctant citizenry along with him.
"Vae Victis," woe to the conquered, seems to be his motto, and he has already caused massive divisiveness across the world. His obsession with ISIS is especially bewildering. Does ISIS have nuclear weapons we don't know about?
Ireland does not need a visit from President Trump for its own sake, and he doesn’t need the trip given the anger and hostility he invokes.
The US-Irish relationship has always been easier to conduct with Democrats in the White House, given the shared moderate political ideology.
Perhaps in time Trump will moderate his opinions and become better accepted in world capitals, though we will not hold our breath. Ireland is better waiting than inviting at this stage. They have nothing to gain if Air Force One shows up in Dublin Airport. Neither does Donald Trump.