Meryl Streep’s Selective Outrage Plays Into Donald Trump’s Hands

Meryl Streep’s Selective Outrage Plays Into Donald Trump’s Hands

Once again, Hollywood illustrates why people ignored its collective demand to vote against Donald Trump.
Bethany Mandel
By

Does someone have a violin (the tinier the better) for Golden Globes Lifetime Achievement Award winner and millionaire actress Meryl Streep? She began what may be one of the most out-of-touch speeches in award show history with: “Just to follow up on what [fellow actor and previous obnoxiously political acceptance speech deliverer] Hugh Laurie said, you and all of us in this room really, belong to the most vilified segment in American society right now.”

Were you one of the dozens of Americans Meryl brought to tears explaining her plight as one of the most successful actresses in Hollywood history?

Perhaps anticipating how out of touch she appeared, she spent the next several minutes inexplicably naming the birthplaces of her fellow fabulously wealthy Hollywood friends, all of whom had spent the day on Instagram thanking their “team” of makeup artists, stylists, and hairdressers for helping them get ready for the evening. Hundreds of celebrities dressed in millions of dollars of loaner dresses and jewelry tearfully cheered Streep’s speech, during which we were told, as US Weekly is always trying to convince us, that stars are just like us.

Every four years Hollywood makes the same exact video telling us who to vote for, so to this industry it’s inexplicable how and why a man like Donald J. Trump could have won the presidency of the United States. They can thank Streep for illustrating the “why” part more clearly than most have been able to in the recent past.

We Hate Middle America Although They Pay Our Salaries

Meryl followed her inexplicably long list of birthplaces of fellow celebrities with a line so pithy I saw it meme-ified less than 20 minutes after it was delivered: “So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, if you kick them all out you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed-martial arts—which are not the arts.

Who was this message meant to reach? Certainly not any of the millions of Americans who are stupid enough to actually enjoy football or MMA, because that’s what Streep and the boisterous crowd that cheered this line thinks of the average Americans who buy tickets to their movies and watch their shows.

Why don’t Americans take Hollywood seriously when it deigns to speak to the lowly folks from whom they receive a living? Quite simply: we know they have no idea what life is like outside of their bubble. Sarah Jessica Parker may have tearfully nodded when Streep mentioned the latter’s humble Ohio roots, but the “Sex in the City” star and current Brooklyn brownstone resident has come a long way from the Midwest, and we all know it.

Selective Outrage Hurts Your Credibility

Streep spent another minute of her speech (which was, a reminder, an award for a lifetime achievement in acting, not political bloviating), discussing the treatment of disabled New York Times reporter Serge F. Kovaleski by our now president-elect. To be clear: it was disgusting when it happened in November 2015, and it remains so. Another disabled American, unfortunately, is in the news this week. A white disabled teenager in Chicago was tied up while four African American assailants filmed and streamed their torture, during which someone yelled “F— Trump!” and “F— white people!” Yet we heard nothing of this attack from Streep, about how this kind of violence is as unwelcome as the rhetoric we heard from Trump over a year ago.

To decry the deep divide in our country, and to stand up and champion the right of a disabled American to be respected, while ignoring the fact that it was precisely this divisive and scornful language that contributed to the events in Chicago is exactly why Americans no longer take seriously those who spend their time trying to dictate whom we should be voting for every four years. We’ve had enough of the selective outrage machine.

Streep implored for the protection of members of the press, a sentiment I, as a member of the press who has been outspoken against Trump, happily welcome. But Streep’s confusion over the vilification of a press that openly cheered for one candidate, and upon his victory has reaffirmed its commitment to doing its job after a long eight-year hiatus, was one of the night’s biggest laugh lines.

This Is Why We Have Trump

The likes of Meryl Streep and other out-of-touch coastal elitists are not the sole reason Trump was elected in November, but they certainly made his road to the White House easier. While Trump was spending the final days of the campaign holding rallies in Rust Belt states Hillary never bothered to set foot in, Hillary was sending celebrity surrogates like Beyonce and Jay-Z into Ohio to drum up last-minute support. One candidate worked tirelessly to prove to Americans he was in touch with their plight, while the other thought a concert would do the trick to convince fence-sitting voters to turn out to the polls wearing pant suits on November 8.

Instead of talking to Americans about why they supported Trump, his opponents spent their time mocking and deriding them. Hillary and her surrogates talked at and down to Trump supporters instead of with them. A vote for him was both a vote against this behavior and a vote for a significant change from the status quo, which Hillary represented. As evidenced by Streep’s speech, the Left has yet to learn from 2016. If you want more Trump, last night’s speech is how you get him.

Perhaps instead of being paid millions per movie to play the role of real Americans, Streep and those who cheered her Sunday in the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills may want to spend some time in those hometowns of theirs, a beer in one hand with some football on the television. The side effects of doing so, however, may be that they understand that the folks they grew up alongside aren’t the knuckle-dragging morons Meryl believes them to be, even if they did vote for Trump. If they knock back enough Budweisers, middle Americans may even clue them in as to why.

Bethany Mandel is a stay-at-home mother of three children under four and a writer on politics and culture. She is a senior contributor to The Federalist, a columnist for the Jewish Daily Forward, and a contributor at Acculturated. She lives with her husband, Seth, in New Jersey. You can follow her on Twitter @BethanyShondark.

Copyright © 2017 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.