The Trump Administration’s Awkward St. Patrick's Day
Strike three, guys
We’re not even two months into the Trump administration and they already get an F for cultural outreach. First, there’s the xenophobic policies with the Muslim ban, border wall with Mexico, and uptick in deportations. There’s also been Vice-President Mike Pence’s Black History Month tweet honoring a white guy and the Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that failed to mention the Jewish people. Now, they’re back at it again with a lackluster St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
Thursday, Ireland’s prime minister, Enda Kenny, sat down for breakfast with Vice-President Mike Pence who greeted him with “top of the morning,” a cringeworthy cliche that few have ever heard an Irishman utter. Later that day at a luncheon, President Trump recited an Irish proverb that no Irish person has ever heard:
“Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue, but never forget to remember those that have stuck by you.”
With all due respect to the president's reputation for scrupulously checking his sources, I don't think this is an Irish proverb. https://t.co/1EvGGMsE9r— The Irish For (@theirishfor) March 16, 2017\n
Which brings us to the third strike of the day. This heinous cultural offense was perpetrated by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. After a speech touting his Irish ancestry, he led a toast with a pint of Guinness that no self-respecting Irishman would ever drink. The pint was quickly criticized on social media by many Irish people for its paltry head that was a few inches shy of being topped off.
First Mike Pence says 'top of the morning', then Paul Ryan holds up this appalling pint, grave missteps by the US pic.twitter.com/U4ktqf0Aag— Naomi O'Leary (@NaomiOhReally) March 16, 2017\n
Compare and contrast.
Guinness has a very special place in Irish culture and is widely considered the country’s national drink. According to Guinness brewmaster Fergal Murray, pouring a pint of Guinness is “a ritual. It’s theater. It’s about creating an experience.” He also says that a proper pint must be poured in a two-step process. “Let the beer flow nice and smoothly into the angled glass and fill it up three-quarters of the way,” Murray said. “Once it settles, you want to fill up the glass and top it off. You allowed it to settle, you created a domed effect across the top of the pint, and now your head is looking proud over the glass. That’s the perfect vision of the perfect pint.”