Should the Irish boycott St. Patrick’s Day with Trump? Read what former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley has to say and then take our poll at the bottom of the page.
God bless the Irish.
Culturally speaking, not only do they appreciate tradition but they never want to end a good party. Let alone a good party that happens every year at the White House — on or about St. Patrick’s Day.
Yes, for 23 years, regardless of which political parties were in power on either side of the Atlantic, the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) and the President of the United States would gather guests in the White House.
Together they would toast the better angels of our shared and intermingled national stories. Courage, sacrifice, love of country; compassion, kindness to strangers, the immigrant experience. The American Dream. Generosity, hard work, the dignity of every person, every family, and every home and hearth.
But now a lot has changed. Changed utterly. At least for a time.
Barring some miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus or Mar a Lago, there can be nothing good about this year’s St. Patrick’s Day party so long as Donald Trump is the White House host. He is without a doubt — and without even a close second — the most overtly racist and anti-immigrant American president in modern times. This, in addition to being a malignant narcissist who is coarse, crude, vulgar, profane, misogynist, mean-spirited, miserly, and without empathy for other human beings.
Word has reached his authoritarian ears that the Irish don’t like him. Whatever about his mental and physical health, at least he can still hear.
The Irish diaspora — the world over — should consider it a great compliment that he is likely to cancel this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Party at the White House. The more noble and generous qualities of the Irish People do not deserve to be associated with his likes.
As Irish Senator Aodhán Ó Riordáin said on the floor of the Irish Senate last year as he urged an Irish boycott of the Trump event: “the only way evil can prosper is for good men to do nothing. America has just elected a fascist.”
In fact, we did — not that a majority of us voted for him; that’s another matter we must fix. But for the time being — so long as he holds the office — no morally responsible person should legitimize his policies with jugs of punch or bowls of shamrocks. St. Patrick drove out the snakes, he didn’t try to tame them.
Let him cancel his hypocritical little St. Patrick’s Day Party. He has and will do worse. None of us with an ounce of decency should want to attend anyway. This is not the Thousand Year Presidency. His time in the White House shall pass.
And there will be other St. Patrick’s Day parties at the White House.
Of that, you can be sure.
Martin O’Malley is a former Governor of Maryland.