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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.

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