Here’s the deal with the Meryl Streep comments – she’s right.
99% of good people would agree with most of what she said if they weren’t bent on supporting Trump regardless of what he does or says. It is this growing hypocrisy that concerns me most. If Trump had not won the nomination, almost everyone would have turned on him over his style and comments, because they defy common decency. But because we are so divided, many feel the need to support and even embrace that which, under normal circumstances, never would or should be acceptable.
Forget Streep’s “poor picked on Hollywood” comments (they make enough money to get over that…) if we heard the rest of what she said delivered from a church pulpit, or even a less-divisive politician (not many left), we’d be fully supportive.
In summary, she said:
1- It is sad and unacceptable when somebody makes fun of a disabled person:
“It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter, someone he outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life.”
We wouldn’t accept or respect this in everyday life. Denying that this is what he was doing is denying fact.
2- Those with power and in positions of respect are expected to set an example and their failing to do so brings everyone down. This is kindergarten stuff:
“And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”
3- Despite all of the rage over “fake news” and a clear bias (my view, I’m sure through her lens there is less) we need the press and its role is critical to our nation. Protecting it is of utmost importance, whether or not we agree with its biases or presentation. A president who attacks the institution should not be honored in this regard:
“We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage.That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our constitution…. Because we’re going to need them going forward. And they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.”
Now, I really don’t know anything about Streep and would probably start to struggle at naming Hollywood folks before I got to a dozen, but these comments should not be offensive to good people.
Again, if we heard these lessons delivered in a church meeting they would ring true to us. They are principles of decency and should be embraced and promoted.
Trump is days away from being president, Americans should expect him to respect people and institutions that make America great. His daily Twitter attacks and rants are perpetuating a divide even greater than what we’ve seen in recent years. That is the last thing we need.