From Dr David Barnwell:
A chairde ‑ What a stupid and intemperate “review” in your most recent edition by one James Moran. I went to the section with interest, as I enjoy reading about the Irish emigrant experience.
Instead I found that Moran devoted most of his piece to an irrelevant, inflammatory and intemperate attack on Donald Trump. (Don’t you have any editors, who might cut out this kind of nonsense from an article?)
Moran starts off with some juvenile attacks on Trump’s appearance, whom he describes as “mal-formed”. Is Moran such an “oil painting”, to use my late mother’s phrase? I could probably check Moran’s appearance out for myself on line somewhere, but I really couldn’t be bothered. Maybe DRB could put up a pic so that we could decide …
Moving away from Moran’s childish insults, we see that he abuses his generous allotment of space to pronounce a number of risible falsehoods about Trump. Trump is no “racist” (does Moran define this word as Humpty Dumpty did ‑ to mean anything he wants it to mean? That abuse of language is pernicious, and especially deplorable in someone who supposedly deals with literature.) Trump correctly pointed out that among the migrants that have illegally flooded into the United States there have been murderers and rapists. Moran appears ignorant of the fact there has been a large number of such crimes, particularly those carried out by Mexican illegals in the state of California. I could direct Moran to where he could locate information about these murders and rapes, but why should I accommodate his laziness and sloppiness? He clearly has no interest in these victims ‑ Moran shows no respect for the Americans and immigrants who have been victims of murders and rapes by illegal migrants, felons who have in many cases been kicked out of the US, only to work their way back in.
Don’t give us your faux concern Moran, the racist here is you, since you don’t care about American or immigrant victims of crime by illegals. Remember, one of the things about illegals is that they are never checked. A person wishing to migrate legally to the US (Moran is probably too hate-filled to know that Trump backs legal immigration) must produce a sheaf of police records and employer references showing that s/he is of good character. The illegal produces nothing. Hence no one knows who is getting through ‑ they may be exemplary people, or they may be the vilest of criminals. There are undoubtedly representatives of both categories. We do know that by violating US Immigration law illegals are ipso facto already lawbreakers.
But more pernicious than his hate-filled rhetoric against Trump, Moran’s attack on free speech is especially disturbing. He says that “Trump organised a campaign rally at the University of Illinois”. This, in Moran’s neo-fascist thinking was a sin on Trump’s part ‑ he had no right to speak to those who wished to hear him at that university, because people who did not wish to hear him objected! Disturbing clap-trap. It is the old Blame the Victim strategy – Trump’s supporters and rally are attacked, and Moran (No Free Speech for People I Disagree With!) blames Trump. Moran’s ignorance extends out in all directions. He says that Trump has “goaded” (again that probably means whatever Moran wants it to mean) Black Lives Matter campaigners. When, Moran? Where? You mean when these people were attacking attendees at a Trump rally and trying to drown out and deny free speech to the person who had organised the rally? You’re talking garbage.
I have wasted too much time in dealing with the nonsense and bigotry encapsulated in Moran’s screed. One further thing, however. Moran claims that people are asked to “raise their arms” at Trump rallies. Utter balderdash, Moran. I’ve been at a Trump rally (in South Carolina in February) and no such thing happened. You’re hallucinating. Or maybe you think that British courts are fascist tribunals, since every day of the week people raise their right hand in these courts?
The fact is that support for Donald Trump, as indeed support for Brexit in Britain, is a rational response to decades of bad government, be it from Washington DC or from Brussels. In both cases unthinking bigots such as Moran try to shout down these movements, rather than engage in rational discourse. It is deplorable that DRB published Moran’s hate speech.
Dr David Barnwell
Roinn na Spáinnise
Ollscoil na hEireann
James Moran replies: I was interested and intrigued to read Dr David Barnwell’s “Response to James Moran”. Dr Barnwell, who boasts of having attended a Donald Trump rally, attacks me because of the way I criticise Trump in the May edition of the drb.
In Dr Barnwell’s mind, “Trump is no ‘racist’.” Indeed, Dr Barnwell declares that my use of the term is “deplorable” and an “abuse of language”. Perhaps I might courteously point Dr Barnwell to the definition recently offered by the highest-ranking elected figure in Trump’s own party, Paul Ryan, who has observed that, in Trump’s words we can find “the textbook definition of a racist comment”.
Dr Barnwell also challenges my assertion that Trump has goaded Black Lives Matter campaigners, asking, “When, Moran? Where?”. Well, perhaps a good place to begin would be with Trump’s specific comments about Black Lives Matter. As Trump told Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox News last September, “I think they’re trouble. I think they’re looking for trouble”, and went on to say “I saw them with hate coming down the street last week talking about cops and police, and what should be done to ’em [and] that was not good. And I think it’s a disgrace that they’re getting away with it.”
Similarly, Dr Barnwell responds to my claim that supporters have raised their arms at Trump rallies, declaring “Utter balderdash, Moran … You’re hallucinating.” Well, perhaps I am. But I would nonetheless invite readers of the drb to hallucinate along with me by clicking on the following links:
Dr Barnwell then changes tack by writing, “Or maybe you think that British courts are fascist tribunals, since every day of the week people raise their right hand in these courts?” Well, no, I don’t think that. My own three-year-old son often raises his right arm and I don’t suspect him of fascism (although, rest assured, I am watching him carefully). But context is everything. And if my son started approvingly tweeting quotations from Mussolini, or giving TV interviews in which he refused to disavow former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke, then I would obviously be less relaxed about the arm thing.
Somewhat oddly, Dr Barnwell has adopted Trump’s own thin-skinned attitude towards the physical appearance of “The Donald”. Dr Barnwell writes that I make “juvenile attacks on Trump’s appearance, whom [my article] describes as “mal-formed”’. Yet, in his eagerness to defend Trump, Barnwell has misread what I actually wrote. What I set down is that Donald Trump looks “somewhat like a malformed scotch-egg”, which is a simile I stand by. Perhaps Dr Barnwell might care to compare my use of language with that of Trump himself, who has scarcely been the model of civility and restraint when describing Rosie O’Donnell as a “degenerate”, a “slob”, and a “pig”; labelling a female lawyer who privately used a breast pump as “disgusting”; and naming Arianna Huffington as “a dog” and “ugly both inside and out”. Remember: it is Trump who stood on a stage and performed a mocking impression of the disabled New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski.
Dr Barnwell also declares of me personally that I “don’t care about American or immigrant victims of crime by illegals”. I really cannot fathom how he arrived at that particular conclusion, since I remain upset about the victims of crime by whoever commits such criminal activity. And I feel similarly bewildered about how Dr Barnwell has taken from my drb piece the message that I am stating, as he puts it, “No Free Speech for People I Disagree With!” and that people such as me try to “shout down” our opponents. Again, I’d emphasise that it is Trump, not myself, who has yelled about a person expressing opposition, “I’d like to punch him in the face.”
On one issue, however, Dr Barnwell is absolutely correct. He questions my own physical appearance, and asks “Is Moran such an ‘oil painting?”’ and suggests “Maybe the drb could put up a pic so that we could decide.” I must confess that, sadly, I am indeed no oil painting. To put it in terms that a Trump supporter might understand, if I were a woman I’d be a million miles away from a 10. And my hands are so tiny that, at the moment, I’m having trouble typing these very words on my computer keyboard.