President Michael D. Higgins Vs. The Tea Party
August 23, 2012
A two-year-old scorching exchange between Michael D. Higgins, now the President of Ireland, and Michael Graham, a conservative American radio host, on RTE’s Newstalk has gone viral, with 522,487 views as of this post’s publication.
The Irish president probably wouldn’t be so candid in his current role, but in 2010, as leader of the Irish Labour Party and a dedicated human rights activist, he didn’t hesitate to tell Graham, a host on Boston’s 96.9 WTK and a strong Tea Party supporter, to “Be proud to be a decent American rather than just a wanker whipping up fear.”
Throughout the segment of slightly over four minutes, Graham, who sometimes appears on Irish broadcaster George Hook’s Drivetime show “The Right Hook,” barely manages to get a word in over Higgins’ impassioned but well-spoken remarks on the Tea Party’s fear-mongering rhetoric, social inequality in America, health care, foreign policy, and his own experiences in the American mid-west as both a student and a university professor.
The clip went viral over night, and the catalyst seems to have been a post by Mansur Gidfar on the website Upworthy.com, titled “A Tea Partier Decided to Pick a Fight With a Foreign President. It Didn’t Go So Well.” The post is now the most popular on the website, which is dedicated to making worthy videos and items of interest go viral.
Listen to Higgins’ Tea Party smackdown here: