Dublin. A city of luck. A city of culture. An emerald community that embraces their culture, community, and drinks! Recently, I traveled there to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. What originally began as a holiday venture turned into a an eye-opening experience. Dublin—and Ireland as a whole—stole my heart and left me wanting more.
Ireland is a progressive and liberal country in its own way. While in Dublin, I partook in many tours that opened my views to many thoughts and educated me on histories that predate that of my own country, the United States. In fact, I arrived shortly after Dublin locals led their own women’s march, one of the largest social movements ever to take place in Ireland.
However, reality soon sunk in during this trip. Along the way, I also discovered disappointment. Dublin locals and Irish natives alike hate Donald Trump. They hate him, and find themselves embarrassed and disappointed by Americans for electing such a horrific leader. As I walked through the town, I came across many anti-Trump images and advertisements for scheduled demonstrations against him.
One particular tour took me out to the Irish countryside. I chatted with locals of many a few villages; I spoke with one in particular who opened up about the current sentiment felt by the majority of Irish people alike. The kind, older gentleman, Aidan, said Trump’s presidency goes beyond the United States. Many people throughout Ireland and in Europe fear his actions. In fact, Ireland networks broadcast a weekly, thirty-minute television show that solely provides Trump updates in order to keep the people alert and woke to actions that may affect them and their national security.
What surprised me was how well informed Aidan was about our political systems and the current vibes in the different branches of our government. I was not surprised because I expected him to be ignorant. I was surprised because he made me realize that first, I do not know as much about my own government as I should, and second that I do not take the time to learn about other bodies of government across the world. I realized that I am a lot more ethnocentric than I realized, which is sad. Aidan shared his (well thought our and researched) theories, that Republicans would ultimately be the ones to impeach Trump, that he’s going to cause a war, and that world, Democratic leaders are going to turn on Trump and pressure the United States to get him out of office. Aidan is also not ignorant to the overwhelming popular vote. Many Irish praise the movements against Trump, against institution, and believe Hillary Clinton (even with her flaws) would have been a great president for the United States and to the world. Alas, hindsight is always twenty-twenty.
Aside from learning how to hold my liquor and the value of wearing wool in the cold, Ireland educated me on current affairs in the United States today. The most important lesson is—surprise—there are worse things going on in the world. What’s going on here with Donald Trump is just one of thousands of problems happening in the world today. It was a humbling experience to learn how ethnocentric I was without realizing. So remember to stay woke, not just on Trump, but on the world around you.
All images property of: Raymond Ortiz