I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

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Real Americans

Daniel Geary
Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, by Arlie Russell Hochschild, The New Press, 288 pp, $27.95, ISBN: 978-1620972250 I will never forget the night Donald Trump was elected. I needed my sleep and was confident of the result, so I decided against watching Hillary Clinton become the first woman president. It would be the first election I missed as an American transplanted to Ireland. But then my sick son woke in the middle of the night. After giving him some medicine, I made the mistake of checking the internet. The news grew increasingly alarming. Trump took not only Florida but won a swathe of states assumed to be safely Democratic: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. When I told my wife the results in the morning, she thought I was joking. Then she burst into tears. On future nights I lay awake wondering which of my Republican family members, friends and former neighbours had voted for this racist, misogynist, authoritarian, narcissistic and thoroughly unqualified man to the most powerful office in the world. How did this happen? And how should we feel about the sixty-odd million Americans who voted Trump in? The source of Trump’s appeal remains baffling. Here is a man who won a presidential election despite being a pathological liar, a serial sexual molester caught on tape bragging about how he “grabbed [women] by the pussy” and a racist who claimed that Mexico was sending its “rapists” to the United States. He mocked a disabled reporter, threatened to jail his opponent, showed little grasp of basic facts of domestic and foreign policy and made it perfectly clear that he will use the office of president to further enrich himself and his family. He alienated much of his own party. He was the most unpopular presidential candidate in polling history, with roughly 60 per cent of the electorate holding an unfavourable view of him at the time of his election. In case there was any doubt, it is now obvious that Trump will govern just as recklessly as he campaigned, alienating most Americans in the process. He has historically low favourability ratings for a president so early into his term of office. But his power remains intact. Because Republicans have control of both houses of the US Congress, they are the ones who ultimately must check Trump. Yet Republicans are content to overlook Trump’s egregious…

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