Many Irish-Americans, provided they haven’t actually visited Ireland lately, still think of Ireland as a country which is religious and socially conservative, safe, and above all, populated by Irish (mostly Catholic).
Meanwhile, in the real Ireland of 2016, the Minister of Social Protection is surnamed Varadkar, and he is ‘out’ as a homosexual. I can just hear someone say ‘Ireland is a nation of immigrants’ — oh, wait, that’s what they say about our country. They say it also about Britain or any historically White country these days. Whatever. By their constant use of that refrain to pummel immigration skeptics into submission, they succeed in making it true, as propagandized populations begin to believe the lies over time.
Varadkar, in case you are wondering, has a father from India and an Irish-born mother.
But all the same, no doubt, he is more Irish than the Irish themselves.
However he does not seem to share the same set of ethics as most Irish people, who, despite the social changes accompanying the transition to post-Christianity, are probably still more pro-life than many other Western nations.
An Ireland with African mayors, an Ireland where a native-born mayor is driven to quit following a controversy over his remarks about African migrants — where are the ethnopatriots in Ireland? I know there are a few but it seems the Irish are in the throes of xenophilia or more properly xenomania. It seems they have so identified with the ‘immigrant’ because their folk have so often immigrated to other countries for economic reasons, and because of the famine and colonialism, they see Africans as fellow oppressed folk.
It appears that much of the nationalist fervor that led to past rebellions against the much-hated Brits was not motivated mainly by ethnopatriotism but enmity towards, and envy of, the British. The result we see in these news stories out of Ireland is what happens when nationalism is not so much based on love, or above all, on loyalty to one’s kinsmen, but on hatred of some outside group.
Several years ago I wrote a post addressing this in an American context. We are very united in dislike for ‘the elites’ or some other group — everyone has their favorite minority, it seems, and many have their favorite enemy as well. But do we love our own folk, do we have enough loyalty to our own, to attain some kind of solidarity? I believe that love for folk and family and Faith have to animate our desire to prevail; animus cannot take us that far, especially when we can’t always agree on exactly who or what is ultimately responsible for our predicament.
Time will tell. I hope Ireland wakes up, and I hope the same for the American majority.