Last night Meryl Streep gave a speech that called President-Elect Trump to task for some things he has said and done, and it generated a lot of noise as a result. One bit of noise came from Meghan McCain’s Twitter account, where she said,
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
I agree with Meghan. She got a LOT of negative responses, so I’ll explain why I agree.
I think part of the Trump victory is due to a lot of people seeing him as a rejection of a PC-movement which they didn’t like. People going to corporate training to learn about ‘microagressions’ and how they can’t make jokes like this or that, and they were sick of it. Trump represents an absolute and loud rejection of any notion of being PC.
Personally, I think that’s bad. But I get why some people like that.
Sometimes people post something on social media talking about a situation where someone was racist, or sexist, or xenophobic, or any number of words that seem to be much more a part of today’s lexicon than they were 10 years ago (or perhaps that is my imagination). And people, who liked how things were and were comfortable and ok with it, didn’t like being told what once was normal is now considered offensive.
That makes sense to me – someone coming in and telling you that what you are doing is wrong is frustrating. Especially if that person is pointing this out to you as though you’re dumb or awful.
There are times that I have read a post and thought, ‘nuh uh, you’re just being dramatic.’ But then, ideally, someone has further explained what they were saying. WHY is this sexist? HOW is that statement that seems normal to me actually subtly racist? And the best is when I can observe this, question it, and learn without judgement. This is difficult to achieve – it takes a patient teacher AND student to tackle socially embarrassing and difficult topics like racism, sexism, and xenophobia.
People on both sides are making mistakes. Too many people point out wrongs of others in harsh and unforgiving terms. This makes it easy to reject any future conversations around the same topic. Someone who is more conservative who has been called narrow-minded and idiotic will have to summon even more patience to then hear a rational explanation of why their words, which they may have said without being aware that they could be perceived negatively, were actually offensive. And someone who has been called a libtard and gay for expressing frustration with Donald Trump will have a harder time explaining calmly why they are feeling frustrated.
Meghan McCain added to this, by writing a statement that had some truth to it but seemed intended more to get attention and rile people (she’s in the media, the media digs clicks, bingo, bango, bongo). But she’s kind of right – a rich, elite, liberal person saying that Trump represents some awful ideas? … That’s just going to have some people hunker down in their opinion that anyone speaking ill of him is actually wrong.
That said, I thought Streep voiced her opinion well and the people that will further embrace Trump after listening to her were maybe those who are unlikely to see another point of view at all anyhow (too steeped in their own opinion).
What’s my point? Calm down, listen, ask questions, try to understand the other side. It’s a much more interesting and good use of your brain to think about something you haven’t thought of – and who better to introduce you to such notions than someone on the other side of this far too divided us vs them climate we’re now in the abominable pleasure of living in.
Google searches of the word ‘sexist’ from 2004 – present day (a marked increase)