The Backstory: Meryl Streep was given the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2017 Golden Globes. During her acceptance speech she spoke her mind about Donald Trump and the 2016 presidential election. The full contents of the speech were published by the New York Times. Streep spoke about how much the election of Trump hurt her heart. She spoke about how Trump’s mocking of a disabled reporter offers implicit permission to bullies everywhere to behave at their worst.
The Response: Many responses came Meryl Streep’s way following her statement. Some folks applauded her bravery for speaking up. Some folks confronted her for using her award as a platform for making a political statement. One comment stood out from the rest and that was a tweet from Meghan McCain (daughter of Arizona Senator John McCain):
This Meryl Streep speech is why Trump won. And if people in Hollywood don't start recognizing why and how – you will help him get re-elected
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) January 9, 2017
The Problem: There are a couple of problems with Meghan McCain’s tweet. First, it is a problem that Meghan McCain might be right. So what then? Is Meryl Streep supposed to say nothing when she feels and sees indecency from her president-elect? Is Meghan McCain not supposed to point out what she feels and sees the consequence of speaking up to be? If anti-intellectuals have a problem with Meryl Streep articulately speaking from a place of goodness and decency then America’s in some serious trouble – and it appears it is.
The second problem is that Meghan McCain is part of the problem. Who knows what her intentions were when sending the tweet but it seems like McCain was telling Streep to shut up about Donald Trump’s indecency because it was just inciting more indecent people to his defense. McCain’s position highlights the problem with pretty much all Republicans right now — they’ve lost their moral compass so entirely that they have lost all touch with American values like standing up for the oppressed and basic decency. Let’s assume that Meghan McCain has some basic level of morality. Then she should know Donald Trump is morally challenged and that Meryl Streep’s assessment (even if you don’t agree with where she said it) is spot on. And yet Meghan McCain’s tweet did not decry an America where anti-intellectuals are so screwed up that they cannot hear legitimate criticism of Donald Trump without freaking out.
The Satirist: Samantha Bee got embroiled in the Meryl Streep – Donald Trump saga as only Samantha Bee could. Please enjoy this Full Frontal take on Donald Trump tweeting reviews of Meryl Streep movies.