Shortly after Donald Trump’s unexpected elevation to the American presidency an public Irish Senator, Aodhán O’Riordáin, spoke out against that election’s results. He called the president-elect a “fascist” and a “monster” adding: “I don’t use the term fascist lightly. What else would you call someone who threatens to imprison his political opponents?” That speech went viral.
Now that same Irish critic will attend the St Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. MSNBC’s Joy Reid, interviewed O’Riordáin about his criticism of Trump. O’Riordáin maintained his prior position about Trump and further noted that many Irish Americans appear to have forgotten both their immigrant roots as well as their history of sectarian persecution under English rule in Ireland as well as in the United States.
He has a point. In the recent election it’s estimated that 45% of Irish Americans voted for Trump, 41% for Clinton and the remainder either for a third party candidate or did not vote. No surprise that many Irish Americans, along with other white ethnic Americans, responded favorably to Trump’s call to “make America great again,” by succumbing to fear and hatred.
Senator O’Riordáin has called on Irish Americans to use St. Patrick’s Day to take an “Irish Stand” and reject the racism, and xenophobia of Donald Trump and his ilk. Indeed, we can all use St. Patrick’s day to take a stand against the rising tide of hate that if left unchecked will consume this nation. Let us heed Lincoln’s call to be a nation that feels “malice toward none” and “charity for all …” If we can all do that, America will find it’s way again.