And Now the End is Near, and I Face the Final Curtain (or: An Ignorant American’s view on Irish Politics, Generally)

3 Dec

In my junior year of high school (three years ago, it doesn’t feel like that!) I joined the debate team after failing to register properly and being forcibly assigned it by my counselor. Luckily, I took to it like a duck to water. In a few short months I was brought up to Varsity, and ended up being one of the highest ranking members by the end of the year. But more than teaching me the communication skills I will use for the rest of my life, Debate class was the first time I had really been exposed to politics. That habit has thankfully stuck with me, and I continue to try to be as up to date as possible on current events at home and around the world. So when I came to Ireland, I was excited to be able to discover a whole new source and perspective on news. And Ireland did not disappoint. Part of it was hilarious as only an outside perspective on politics can be. Some of the things that various TD’s or Enda Kenny said that splashed the headlines were laughable, yet made all the funnier knowing that if some Congressmen had made the same comment, it would have barely made the pack panel of some blog. And yet some parts were actually quite engaging. I never thought I would ever find water rights interesting, yet that was the hot button issue during my stint here. It really brings to the forefront the omnipresent issues of government’s reach and the ability to market basic human needs. Also, some of the majority view points here and radically different than the U.S. Back home, pro-Palestine protests are ignored or even blocked from happening. As somebody who was always been vehemently pro-Israel – I want to join the IDF one day – it was a humbling experience to live in a state that has always come down on the other side. All in all, it was an eye opening experience to get a view into an entirely different political theater.

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