Two major fascists are visiting our region this month: Donald Trump and Lutz Bachmann, founder of Pegida.
Mr Trump is the son of a billionaire while Mr Bachmann has rather more modest origins. While Mr Trump is simply a rich frat-boy misogynist and a bully, Mr Bachmann struggles with a past that includes convictions for burglary, drug dealing and assault.
However, Mister Trump and Mr Bachmann, despite appearances to the contrary, share a good deal in common. Both are committed anti-foreigners. Both demonise Muslims, even though Muslims are one quarter of the world’s population. Both are prepared to pander to the basest and most ignorant people in society. Both seek power by mobilising the utter stupidity of a small but vocal power base, composed of aggressive thugs and disaffected ultra-nationalists.
In a way, you could say they practise conviction politics and in the case of Mr Bachmann, you’d be literally correct since, in addition to his assorted convictions for being a thief, a coke-dealer and and a violent thug, he was recently convicted for inciting racial hatred. Mr Trump on the other hand has yet to see a day behind bars, though hope springs eternal.
Of course, the public statements of Mr Trump and Mr Bachmann bear disturbing comparison with those of a certain Mr Hitler — in Mr Bachmann’s case, quite literally, given where he grew up: Dresden. The city bombed to oblivion by the Allies in a despicable war crime, and subsequently trapped behind the Iron Curtain. A place where fascism had the space and the time to fester.
Mr Trump’s connections with Mr Hitler are far more tenuous, since his German grandfather didn’t become an immigrant to the USA until about 1900. How fortunate for Mr Trump that his grandfather wasn’t Mexican and that nobody had yet thought of building a wall, but leaving that aside, what a wonderful coincidence that Mr Trump’s public statements carry such a strong echo of Mr Hitler’s, provided you substitute the word Muslim for Jew.
Anyway, that’s not really what I was thinking. When I find myself talking about fascists and Nazis there’s no shutting me up. Sorry.
What I was really thinking is this.
Those fine people in Identity Ireland are bringing Mr Bachmann to Limerick later this month, and I sincerely hope there’s no trouble at that event, even though many people will be outraged by his presence.
Likewise, Mr Trump will be visiting his sado-golfism resort at Doonbeg around the same time, so maybe we could set up a fascistourism industry in these parts. The last time Mr Trump came to our shores, our finance minister Michael Noonan joined a little tableau of harp-players, Irish dancers and lovely girls to welcome him off his plane, as all government ministers everywhere do when a foreign businessman arrives. You can imagine the Swedish finance minister doing exactly the same thing, standing at the end of a red carpet, beaming at an American rich guy. Because that’s what government ministers do, isn’t it? That’s their job.
Let nobody tell you that a government minister is supposed to be overseeing the vital strategic interests of the country. At least not when a mega-mortgaged proto-Nazi is arriving and needs a photo opportunity. We’re good like that.
So anyway, I was thinking, why don’t we make the Mid-West Nazi-friendly?
If Kerry could do it with Star Wars, why don’t we do it with the Fourth Reich?
Why don’t we turn this little corner of Ireland into a place where Nazis like Trump and Bachmann feel right at home?
It wouldn’t cost much to turn the country into a place that Trump and Bachmann would feel comfortable with. No Mexicans, no Muslims, no Mexican Muslims, no Jews, no blacks, no black Jewish Mexican Muslims. Nothing but wall-to-wall rednecks. We could set up a corner of County Clare for these folks and we could relax our gun laws.
Let them all come here with their guns and let them do to each other what rednecks do best.
Except it won’t involve their sisters.