The American Election

The victory of President Barack Obama in the American Presidential Election last week will, it is believed, be welcomed by the majority of the people of this country and also by most of the Irish American population who have nearly always, with some notable exceptions of course,  been on the side of the Democratic Party in American elections. While the Obama Administration  during the last four years particularly with regard to the country’s Health Service was good there were other areas where the President failed to keep promises  he had made such as the closing down of detention camps in Cuba where it has been often reported there have been torture methods imposed on unfortunate prisoners and widespread breaches of human rights.  Also the intervention by the American Forces in the Civil War in Libya was, in the minds of many peace loving people throughout the world, a grave mistake by the Americans and their miscalculation of the consequences of their interference in that war can be measured by the assassination of the American Ambassador since the War ended and the country is in a far worse state of turmoil than it was previously, just like Iraq and Afghanistan were orderly and comparatively peaceful before the American invasions in contrast to what these countries have now become.  It is also quite evident that the Americans would also have intervened in the Civil War in Syria but for the fact that the Russians and the Chinese had vetoed any such move. Still in spite of all his mistakes and broken promises the people of the United States have re-elected President Obama for a second term and as far as he is concerned that is all that matters.

However now that the American people in their wisdom have chosen Barack Obama to serve a second term in office as their President we should all hope that the next four years will be more peaceful throughout the world than his first term has been.  Generally people throughout the civilised world consider the American Democratic Party are somewhat less aggressive and less intervening in the internal affairs and Civil Wars of other countries than their counterparts in the Republican Party might be.

However the last four years does not show that much difference between the foreign policies of both Government Parties in the United States. But then again it would be difficult to imagine a more war-mongering regime than that of the former Bush administration whose blunders particularly the invasion of Iraq which has left such a trail of bloodshed and killing behind it. We can only hope that the Americans and indeed the British, particularly the Labour Party who at the time were led by Tony Blair have since learned something from the Iraq mistake.

Many people in this country, not alone Moneygall, will be looking forward for a return visit by the American President during the next few years. They will be expecting that he will spend time here that he failed to do on his previous flying visit. What really concerns many families in this State is what  is the Obama administration going to do with regard to the number of Irish in the United States who are designated as “illegals”. Perhaps the Irish in this category would account for only a small minority of the total number of foreign “illegals” at the present time as we all know these “illegal Irish” are more or less living in a “no man’s land” and cannot even come home for a holiday because if they did they would be refused re-entry into the United States.   This is of course a big worry not alone to the emigrants themselves but to their parents and family members as well who can only meet them if they travel to the United States themselves with all the expense and the inconvenience that this would involve. This issue ought to be made a top priority by Irish Government Ministers or officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs if or when they are meeting President Obama himself or members of his administration. This is a problem that will not go away and we should remember that it involves hundreds if not thousands of our own people who are caught up in it. Of course the ideal thing to do for people who intend emigrating to the United States or indeed to any foreign country is to make sure that all their documents and papers are in order before they emigrate.  But as obviously this procedure has not been observed in some cases they find themselves being branded as illegal’s as soon as their visa or passport dates have expired.

In the meantime most people in this country will wish President Obama a happy and peaceful term of office. He now has the power and approval of the American people to make his own country a better and happier place to live in and he has also the means if he chooses to help bring peace to the wider world not with bombs or bullets or the needless invasion of other countries with their own very different systems of Government, but through negotiations and recognition of the rights of other peoples to settle their own internal affairs. Most people will wish him well in his efforts and hope that he will be successful.

The Referendum

As was generally expected the yes vote as approved by the majority of those who bothered to voted at all in the so called Children (sham) Referendum. But the real winner in this needless and expensive waste of tax payers money and scarce resources at a time when there are so many cut backs in vital services including those for both normal and handicapped children was the apathy shown by the majority of those who either ignored or boycotted this futile exercise which will do absolutely  nothing.

As previously mentioned in this column the information circulated in the pre Referendum booklets made no sense at all to the ordinary average person and were just a jumble of legalistic crap so it was no surprise that so many opted not to vote at all.  Moreover the fact that all the Political parties in the State recommended a yes vote had an off putting effect on many voters and this should serve as a wakeup call to all the parties that the majority of the ordinary people are no longer being fooled by them in doing something in which they all agree.  It may have been a small turnabout that there have been such a big number who voted No to the proposal but then again it was a sign that an awful lot of people are sick and tired of political mish mash and a warning to politicians that they are endangering the democratic process itself and constantly trying to cod the people on whom they depend for the survival of the State itself. The two recent votes have indicated an unusual trend towards apathy in this State which is not a healthy sign in a democracy. Our Government and politicians should take note and do something about it.