Meryl Streep accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes and used her speech to publicly rebuke president-elect Donald Trump, without mentioning him by name.
The problem with her speech was that she criticized Trump for something he simply hasn’t done.
The problem is bigger than this:
The media all around the world are aware of the evidence for Trump being innocent of this and yet continue to obfuscate the truth. The result is that the public end up making arguments based on falsehoods and are not in a position to collectively organize against the more dangerous ramifications of an incoming Trump administration.
Meryl Streep’s speech
“There was one performance this year that stunned me,” Streep said. “It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good. There was nothing good about it. But it was effective, and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth.
“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.”
Streep was referring to Trump’s remarks during the campaign, when he appeared to mock New York Times reporter Serge F. Kovaleski, who has arthrogryposis, which visibly limits the functioning of his joints.
“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,” the actress said.
The problem with what Meryl Streep said
Although we agree it’s important that people in public positions speak up and hold our politicians to account, the current political climate in the United States is so divided and the various echo chambers online are resulting in shouting matches between the different sides.
For Streep to speak up, we want her to engage in a scathing critique of Trump and his bullying, scapegoating and proposed policies that may alienate many minority groups in the U.S.
Unfortunately, Streep chose to make Trump’s mocking of Kovaleski the key part of her speech. Yet it’s been demonstrated practically beyond doubt that Trump never intended to mock Kovaleski for being disabled in his speech.
Consider these videos where Trump uses the same motions to mock himself, a bank president, a reporter and a general.
May 2005 – Trump imitates a flustered Trump
October 2015 – Trump imitates flustered bank president
November 25, 2015 – Trump imitates flustered reporter and flustered general (same speech)
Why are we highlighting this?
The continual obfuscation of the truth by the media and celebrities results in Trump being justified in saying that the media lies and is completely against him.
We end up in the situation where Fox News and Breitbart are fighting against the New York Times and CNN, with people seeing articles, videos and memes on social media and taking sides based on emotions rather than a truthful perspective.
We need to engaged in concerted political action to ensure that Trump’s presidential administration – and any political administration in the U.S. or around the world – has a strong system of checks and balances against any policies they plan on implementing.
Power needs to be decentralized, but the way ideas are currently being shared around the U.S. will simply result in shouting matches rather than genuine dialogue aiming at arriving at some kind of truthful perspective.
This is an issue that lies at the heart of the mission of Ideapod, our parent social networking site where anyone can join and share their ideas. We would welcome you to join us there and begin a conversation on Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes speech and what’s happening with the media in the U.S.