Meryl Streep’s anti-Trump rant is a perfect example of what people mean when they criticise the ‘elite’.
Streep is demonstrative of a class of people living a hyper-luxurious lifestyle who are out of touch not only with the concerns of ordinary people, but also with the activities of ordinary people.
After restating a fake-news soundbite about Trump wanting to expel legal immigrants from the United States (no serious individual has ever proposed this, least of all Trump), she stated that if non-US born people working in film were to leave America, the only entertainment that would be left is football and mixed martial arts.
I personally would far rather watch mixed martial arts or football (NFL or soccer) than most films coming out of Hollywood. The fact is, the condescending manner in which Streep derides people like me who enjoy football and martial arts goes hand in hand with an attitude that says certain films are ‘high culture’ whilst sport is something for the plebs. Because America has no inherent class system the way Britain and certain European countries do, snobbery had to be invented from the ground up.
In the same way in which America invented Coca-Cola, the mini-skirt, the burger and jazz, she also excelled at a unique brand of snobbery.
In contemporary America, snobbery pins the university educated against the non-university educated, the connoisseurs of Oscar-winning films versus those who have parties during the Super Bowl, those who prefer exotic foods to a Big Mac and fries, those who drive a Toyota Prius verses a Chevy Camero.
This may all seem trivial when compared with the attempted fascist ethnic cleaning of Donbass or the Takfiri war against secular and non-Sunni individuals in Syria, but because of America’s wealth and power, the intricacies of American social problems do impact the wider world.
For several decades, the snobs, aka the elite, have used the media, including Hollywood, to mock and deride ordinary people. The result has been democratic disenfranchisement combined with the loss of working class jobs which only in America are called ‘middle class jobs’.
Many of these people whom Meryl Streep spat upon voted for Trump because he promised to be a voice for those whom are mocked on a daily basis in over-priced Beverly Hills cafes.
When Donald Trump won the Nevada Republican primary, he spoke with pride about winning votes from the poorly educated. Many thought this was a sardonic remark, but it was not. It was a poignant remark about how those deemed to be worthless by the elite have every bit as much right to participate in American democracy as the people driving a Prius on Santa Monica Boulevard.
Trump understood this and ran a campaign trying to erase the sectarian divides, including the elite versus ordinary people divide that the Democrats have embraced.
The whole scenario reminds me of one of the finest satirical films ever made, 2004’s Team America: World Police. The premise of the film is that due to America’s warped sense of priorities, laurelled actors, in spite of their personal blandness are more valuable to national security than the military or intelligence community. This arrogant attitude mocked in the film was on full display at the Golden Globes ceremony.
Interestingly the poorly educated people about whom Donald Trump spoke are often far clever than the likes of Meryl Streep who may have many degrees but lack common sense and logic.