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Meryl Streep and progressive ignorance

| Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The most notable moment from this year’s Golden Globes was undoubtedly Meryl Streep’s speech. In her speech, Meryl condemned the behavior of Donald Trump — more specifically, criticizing the president-elect for his disgusting mocking of a disabled reporter in November 2015. The speech drew a standing ovation from those in attendance and much praise from people over the Internet. However, there were also many people who took issue with certain elements within the actress’ speech. This should come to no surprise, as Streep, somewhat perplexingly, decided to take aim at a cherished facet of American culture: the sport of football. She also attacked the sport of mixed martial arts, noting that it too was not a part of “the arts.” These jabs were apart of an attempt by Streep to describe an America without foreigners as void of Hollywood and “the arts.” Streep posited that Donald Trump threatened the presence of foreigners in America, and could possibly leave the nation with football and mixed martial arts as the only forms of entertainment.

Truthfully, I have no problem with Streep attempting to make a political point and voice her support for immigrants. While I certainly think actors in Hollywood have a self-importance complex, believing that their line of work is more valuable than what it really is and that people truly care about their political views, actors nonetheless have every right to engage in political dialogue. In fact, I agree with Streep that immigrants and foreigners contribute to the betterment of this nation. However, the manner in which she delivered her point was, frankly, arrogant and ignorant. She addressed an entire room of Hollywood actors with zero ideological diversity and was met with emphatic cheers when insulting the entire sport of football. The spectacle was almost nauseating: a Hollywood actress sticking her nose in the air and belittling a cultural treasure embraced by the vast majority of Americans, emphasizing that it is not a part of “the arts.”

Streep’s speech is entirely emblematic of a large reason why Donald Trump won the presidency. Simply put, there are many progressives in this nation who are vastly out of touch with average Americans. Hillary Clinton happened to fall into this camp. This is by no means an assertion that Donald Trump is representative of an average working class American. However, Trump succeeded in giving a better attempt to seem in touch with such Americans.

Hillary Clinton lost in large part due to her obvious fakeness. She had a new accent with each location she traveled to. She was a moderate in Iowa and a progressive in Massachusetts. She railed against Wall Street, while having Goldman Sachs pad her wallet for speeches. Her fraudulence was rather apparent, even from people within her own party. She just did not come across as a person who could remotely relate to the tribulations or experiences of the average American. This is in no way a problem exclusive to Hillary Clinton. She just happened to be a member of an elitist progressive class.

I did not vote for Donald Trump. I instead voted for an independent candidate. I agreed with Meryl Streep’s assertion that Trump’s mocking of a disabled reporter is morally reprehensible. I also criticized Trump for the many other times he mocked, hurled insults and made racially charged comments. I do not agree with some of Trump’s policy proposals. However, I do not fall into the camp of people who seem to be absolutely stunned by the results of the election. Donald Trump, despite his multibillion-dollar net worth and overly lavish lifestyle, more aptly related and reached out to the average American. More specifically, Trump was able to connect with people in flyover country. He spoke with no filter and promised job creation. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, utilized identity politics and associated herself with a politically correct culture. She simply fell too far into the camp of elitist progressives, ignorant to the lives of normal Americans.

I do not know who is advising the Democratic Party or liberals as a whole, but anyone who works in such a capacity should be fired. If liberals are to even attempt to win another election, they must leave their bubble. They need to start reaching out to steel workers in Pennsylvania and auto workers in Michigan. Simply put, they need to reach out to real Americans with real problems. Mocking football certainly is not the best way to achieve such goals.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Eddie Damstra

Eddie is a junior from Orland Park, Illinois. He is majoring in Economics and Political Science with a minor in Constitutional Studies and plans on pursuing law school after his time as an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame.

Contact Eddie
  • Punta Venyage

    1) Trump wasn’t making fun of the reporter for being disabled. He was making fun of the reporter’s groveling when he lied about not having written a piece 16 years ago. As a journalist who was lying and using the lies to attack a presidential candidate, the reporter is up for a counterattack. He should not be portrayed as an innocent victim just because he has a disability – that view in of itself is discriminatory and he should be held to the same standard as every other reporter, disabled or not.

    2) For an example of mocking the disabled, let’s not conveniently forget…..
    ‘I bowled a 129’….”It’s like — it was like Special Olympics, or something” – Barack Obama
    Though even here, I think people should stop being so sensitive because to Obama’s benefit of the doubt, it’s an innocent and funny joke, not a malicious and hateful attack on an entire class of people.

    • Jennifer H.

      exactly. It shows the hypocrisy of the people who cherry pick-on Trump. I voted independent also along with the author, but I find the left to be quite disturbing. I watched the video of Obama and his bowling score comparison to the Special Olympics. Also, still to this day, no one has given me an example of anything racially charged that Trump said. The day Muslim is a race is the same day Christian, Buhddist, Hindu, etc. is a race. The day Mexican is a race, is the same day American is a race. The left clearly makes up rules to suit their agenda. More recent proof of this was Obama’s pathetic and rather childish political move on the Cubans and the removal of their refugee status. The illegal loving left was quite fine with that considering the Cubans tended to vote Trump. So it’s racist to tell illegal Mexicans to go home, but not racist to tell Cubans to go home. Someone please make sense of that one! More things that make you go hmmmm. No one takes them serious anymore except for their own selves, as it would be impossible to squeeze any logic out of their way of thinking.

      • Punta Venyage

        Fantastic points. Thanks for mentioning these – spot on.

        I want to add an observation regarding “rules”…

        The left creates the rules and then proceeds to break them while expecting you to continue to play along nicely and follow the rules. They have shown the most racist and sexist behavior towards any minorities and women they disagree with (see how they treat conservative women, conservative black individuals, conservative gays, etc.)

        For years we have played along by trying to be nice and have reasonable discourse while they continually violate basic respect for conversation using underhanded cheap shot tactics of name-calling, manipulation, slander, selective ignorance/denial, and a plethora of other mental acrobatics.

        What you’re seeing today is people being fed up with the trickery and calling them out for their deceitful ways.

        A key thing to remember: The left has no values or principles* but they know YOU have values and principles, and they try to use these against you. They openly admit they have no values (they are secular, postmodern, relativists, with adamant hostility towards the notion of absolute truth and morality, and no rational justification for absolutes in the case of those others who do think they believe in objective morality)

        *For example, if they actually cared about women’s rights, they would be mustering up their energies and protesting Islam (and not supporting candidates with deep allegiances to Saudi Arabia), which supports honor killings of women and is the greatest source of institutionalized oppression for women today — this equally applies to LGBT… if you are gay and live in certain countries, they will kill you! But you see ZERO protesting by the left against these barbaric and violent practices being committed on a regular basis.

        *If they cared about black lives, they would be actively protesting the rampant gang violence and destructive inner city cultures which take so many black children as opposed to focusing energies based on media hoaxes like Ferguson (“hands up don’t shoot”)

        *If they actually cared about reducing the magnitude of wage disparity, they would have been protesting the candidate who was funded by Wall Street

        Every time they shout a mindless hate slogan, remember they are just trying to disarm you. They talk about “love” but they have shown themselves to be the most unloving people when you dare to think differently than them.
        They talk about “diversity” but militantly reject the most important kind of diversity: DIVERSITY OF IDEAS
        Rather than using words and argument, they are now beginning to resort to bricks and intimidation, because that is all they have.

        “Love trumps hate” / “It’s not illegal to be me” / “It’s okay to be a girl” / “The future is female” / “Black lives matter” / “When they go low, we go high” / “Build bridges not walls” / etc.

        These are all mindless slogans and empty rhetoric used as an attempt to disarm you and prevent from engaging in logical argument with you by presenting a façade of moral superiority. Remember that you are the one who actually has values of believing in a woman’s right to think for herself, being against racial persecution, supporting safety for those struggling with gender identity, promoting freedom of speech and expression while being against violent intimidation, etc.

        ***Disclaimer: this post is most applicable to those on the left who wield the most influence and who dominate the public eye. On an individual level, results may vary. However, I will assert that while a friend of yours who identifies as left may truly be kind-hearted, tolerant to disagreement, and overall a classy person, they are delusional to the extent they thoughtlessly espouse mainstream leftist propaganda***

        • disqus_PBnOP0sXke

          So much text and not a single reference supporting your claims.

        • disqus_PBnOP0sXke

          Liberals care about human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia:
          https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/middle-east-and-north-africa/saudi-arabia/report-saudi-arabia/
          But Trump supporters are allergic to facts.

          • Punta Venyage

            ^ Completely missed the point. Either you’re doing it intentionally or you lack critical thinking.

            What makes you think that Amnesty International is at all relevant at the moment? Are the causes of Amnesty International driving hundreds of thousands of liberals out to the streets? Do you hear Amnesty International being discussed by liberals every day on the news or on social media? Do you even listen to what liberals talk about and the causes they promote most? If you look at all of the “data points” of liberal conversations, do you think Amnesty International would even break a beta coefficient of more than .001?

            Don’t play dumb.

          • disqus_PBnOP0sXke

            Do you even know any “liberals” at all?

  • Elizabeth C Mulherin

    Best wishes to you, Eddie at Notre Dame and law school. Hope you are one of our democratic republic representatives one day. Stay faithful & obedient and God will bless America by giving you the privilege of being one of our great leaders. Blessings.