Another central moment in society, another political controversy.
Last night, Hollywood held their annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony. During the average year, I would avoid watching this somewhat like I avoid a prostate exam or root canal. I can think of few things that annoy me more than a bunch of elitist actors and Hollywood producers drinking expensive champagne, wearing $10, 000 dresses and million dollar necklaces, congratulating themselves on their own theatrical glory. But my wife begged me, and well, I acceded.
But last night, they found a new way to annoy me.
Forget that fact that the award show spent three hours, and not a single, competent joke regarding Trump was made. I mean…isn’t Donald Trump the easiest comedic target in modern history? How can a room full of entertainers tell three hours of bad jokes about Trump? Yet, this group pulled that fantastic feat off.
Then, it got worse.
Meryl Streep, receiving a lifetime achievement award for the 97th time, took the opportunity to spend several minutes lecturing America about how evil and destructive our next President of the United States is.
You can read the transcript here, and you can find the video almost everywhere.
The first problem with Streep’s commentary was somehow trying to portray those in the hall listening to her as victims. Streep started her commentary by stating the following: “You and all of us in this room really belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now.”
Really? Do those people in that hall (who probably have an average net worth in the tens of millions of dollars) really consider themselves the most vilified segment of America? Trump spent months attaching illegal immigrants, and even a fair number of legal immigrants. But those millionaires are the real victims?
Then, to compound her arrogance, Streep doubled down on her condescension of middle America:
Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. If you kick ‘em all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.
This, to me, was the most out of touch statement in her entire speech. First, it presumes there are not immigrants working in football (or other sports)…which is clearly false. Second, it shows the bubble in which entertainers live in. They believe their artistic foray is the only one that matters, that is relevant, that is important.
Let us note a fact: The Golden Globes was CRUSHED in the ratings by a first round NFL playoff game yesterday. The Golden Globes received 9.76 million viewers last night. The Giants/Packers game? 34.28 million viewers. The arrogance (and ignorance) of Meryl Streep is quite apparent. And Hollywood would pray for the time of advertisement numbers the Super Bowl would get, let alone a early playoff game.
That said, what bothered me most was not her opinion of Donald Trump. As a long time former member of the #NeverTrump allegiance…I agreed with many of her opinions of our new Commander-in-Chief. And even the environment which she chose to lecture the American electorate about her opinions was not all that offensive to me (though it is kind of strange to watch the 0.00001% talk as if they are victims in our society).
No. What bothered me is how ineffectual her argument was, and how little Liberals have learned about the Trump phenomenon over the last year.
If lecturing America about how dangerous Trump’s rhetoric can be was effective, or that his character is not fit for the Oval Office, Trump not only would not have won the Presidency…he wouldn’t have ever won the Republican nomination. Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and all the other Republican candidates spent months screaming that message, to no avail. Hillary Clinton did the same, along with $500 million or more in advertisements, and still lost the Electoral Vote.
Now, it has become a cottage industry in conservative circles to become outraged when Liberal Actors do or say something ignorant or stupid. But again…Streep’s comments were less ignorant than they were simply foolish. I made this comment on Twitter as I was listening to Streep’s diatribe:
Meryl Streep is going to convince a large number of Americans that billionaire PEOTUS @realDonaldTrump is the real victim here.
— Pradheep Shanker MD (@Neoavatara) January 9, 2017
Now, maybe we shouldn’t expect anything more from Hollywood, who has time and again proven they are completely tone-deaf when it comes to Trump’s appeal to Middle America. But many mainstream journalists sat up and applauded Streep’s speech. Those who have followed Trump for the last two years should know that such a spectacle only emboldens Trump, and makes his devout followers love him more. The fact that these journalists don’t realize that Trump was ecstatic to get this kind of attention boggles my mind. After more than a year of Trump, have they not learned that every time one of these incidents happen, Trump comes out on top in the end? Its almost as if they still haven’t accept the reality of this past year’s election cycle.
But this is larger than Meryl Streep, or Hollywood; let us look at the larger picture. Time and again, we have controversies like this where two large segments of America think they are totally, 100% right, and the other side is clueless and lost. This is the problem we have in this country today; both sides live in bubbles, echo chambers of media and news in which we have a feedback loop which convinces us our view point is the only viewpoint with any significant basis in truth.
The reality is Meryl Streep is not fully wrong in her comments. Trump can be a danger to the country…we should never fool ourselves otherwise. But Streep and others, by dismissing his entire movement as evil and racist, do the country a disservice. Instead, maybe they should look in the mirror, and accept their own failures. Furthermore, by dismissing entire large swathes of the population who were open to Trump’s message, they further distance themselves from the very people whose opinion they are trying to convert…that is a level of stupidity I cannot fathom.
Hollywood’s blind support of liberal causes will, year after year, give them less and less clout on the political stage. Streep is a perfect example; does anyone, anywhere, believe her speech changed a single mind? I profoundly doubt that is the case. All it did was enforce pre-existing notions about our enemies across the aisle, further enforcing the bubbles we live in.
Someone, at some point in time, is going to have to be able to burst those bubbles. At some point, if there is going to be a successful voice in uniting America in a common cause, regardless of which side of the political aisle they come from, some leader is going to have to be able to go to Middle America, into Hollywood, into inner cities, into churches across the United States, and be able to give a message of unity and hope.
But as of now, considering all we continue to see, I remain pessimistic that such an individual with those skills and messages will be seen any time soon.