Naturally, the president elect of the United States took to Twitter at 6 a.m. to talk smack about Meryl Streep, who just a few hours earlier had given a politically charged acceptance speech for a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Globes.
Donald Trump called Streep — whose list of awards and nominations has its own Wikipedia page — “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood” and a “Hillary flunky,” and lied as he denied that he had ever mocked a disabled New York Times reporter.
On social media, I noticed that many of my conservative friends — most of whom do not know each other — began their counterattack early, and all using the same talking points: that Streep is nothing but a Hollywood actress and should keep her political opinions to herself, and that Streep, at the 2003 Golden Globes, was part of a standing ovation for director Roman Polanski, who was indicted in 1977 for statutory rape.
Now, the Polanski thing is just weird. For one, his crimes were 40 years ago, and most Americans probably have no idea who he is. For another, it’s difficult to equate participation in a standing O at the Golden Globes with… what exactly? This dig on Streep doesn’t really apply with anything on Trump’s side, except to remind everyone that Trump has also been accused of — and admitted to on tape — sexually assaulting women and assail Streep’s character. It’s straight-up ad hominem, which is what passes for political discourse these days.
The other beef — that Hollywood celebrities should keep their traps shut about politics — has long been the position of the Republican Party. Except when it’s Clint Eastwood. Or Ronald Reagan. Or Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Or, for that matter, Trump.