Meryl the Martyr?

Actress Meryl Streep has followed up her controversial Golden Globes speech with another outburst of inanity.

Ms. Streep was in Manhattan on Saturday night at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel to accept an award from the Human Rights Campaign. She used the occasion to launch another attack on President Donald Trump.

Ms. Streep began her Golden Globes speech by announcing that she had lost her mind. Speaking at the Human Rights Campaign fundraising gala, she revealed that she has still not got it back. Among other evidences of her mindlessness, she compared broad swathes of her fellow Americans to Nazi thugs.

“It’s terrifying,” wailed Ms. Streep, “to put the target on your forehead, and it sets you up for all sorts of attacks and armies of brownshirts and bots and worse, and the only way you can do it is to feel you have to. You have to! You don’t have an option. You have to.”

Let’s unpack those few sentences and see how much nonsense Ms. Streep has managed to cram into them.

First off, just who are these “armies of brownshirts” to which Ms. Streep refers? Is she referring to the millions of Americans who voted for Donald Trump–or merely to the millions who objected to her Golden Globes speech? Whatever she may have meant to say, she implied that a substantial number of her fellow Americans are the moral equivalent of Hitler’s bully boys.

Hillary Clinton, it will be remembered, referred to a “basket” of deplorables, not “armies.”

Second, just where are these “armies of brownshirts”? If there are in fact whole “armies” of brownshirts goose-stepping through the streets of America these days, how is it that the Human Rights Campaign is able to hold an event at all without having it broken up by Nazi hooligans? And how is Ms. Streep able to give a speech attacking President Trump without being hauled off in handcuffs to the nearest Gestapo headquarters?

Ms. Streep says that it is “terrifying” to put a target on her forehead and set herself up for “all sorts of attacks and armies of brownshirts and bots and worse.” (Worse? What’s worse than whole armies of brownshirts? The imagination fairly boggles at that one.)

But what is most absurd—and, to me, most offensive—about Ms. Streep’s posturings is the air of martyrdom she gives herself. She has to put the target her forehead; she has to endure attacks; she has to fend off armies of brownshirts; she has to suffer persecution. Why? The implied answer is that it is up to her to defend all that is good and true and righteous in America.

That argument might make some sense if Meryl Streep was in fact the only person in this country who was willing to criticize President Trump. But we all know that that isn’t the case. President Trump has hordes of critics, on the right as well as on the left. If Ms. Streep were to suddenly shut up about the present administration, how many people would notice? How much less criticism of President Trump would there be?

Furthermore, the worst thing that is likely to happen to Ms. Streep for taking all these “courageous” stands for which she’s congratulating herself is that she will be dragged off to another posh celebrity gala, have another award thrust into her hands and be compelled to give another silly, self-absorbed and self-serving speech—for which she will be deliriously applauded by another audience of adoring liberals.

Ms. Streep is lucky that most Trump supporters are decent Americans and not the vicious haters she makes them out to be. Otherwise they might organize a boycott of her films. And what would happen if they did? How long would Ms. Streep feel she “had” to go on playing the political activist once her poses actually cost her something?


Hal Gordon, who wrote speeches for the Reagan White House and Gen. Colin Powell, is currently a freelance speechwriter in Houston. Web site: Like this post? Share with your friends using the button below! Also be sure to like PunditWire on Facebook. 

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