When Ideas Matter
The President of Ireland since 2011, when he was elected by a final tally of almost 57% of the votes, Michael D. Higgins has used his time in office to set out a vision of what he calls "an ethical Republic." In a series of remarkable and urgent speeches, which are anything but the bland commentaries of a ceremonial head of state, he has urged his fellow citizens to consider what makes the good life. He has asked how human rights, an active and empowered citizenry, women’s equality and the right to health and a life free of corrosive anxiety might be achieved. He has highlighted the plight of refugees, and he has criticized the ways in which work is becoming dehumanized.