Deplorable versus Delusional
‘Denouncing voters who were tired of politics-as-usual and declaring them to be a basket of deplorables is hardly the way to win them over’. — BREDA O’BRIEN
By Ladson F. Mills III
The great American cultural divide is no longer between race, gender or socio-economics. It is now a divide between deplorables and delusionals.
Actress Meryl Streep’s speech at the recent Golden Globe Awards ensures her status as Poster Child for the delusionals. Criticizing President-Elect Donald Trump for his immoderate comments against a special needs reporter during his recent campaign, Ms. Streep spoke movingly of how his remarks brought her to tears.
Missing from her statement was any mention of outrage or even concern for the special needs man who had been tortured the previous week by four Chicago thugs; one whom he had believed to be a close friend. The victim was cut, mutilated and made to drink from a toilet while being filmed live on Facebook as the four chanted ‘f__Trump’ and ‘f__ white people.’ They tried to extort money from his parents for his release and later attacked a neighbor who complained about the victim’s loud cries for help.
This never made it into Ms. Streep’s script. Perhaps she believes that hurtful, boorish remarks are more serious than violent sick demented behavior. Regardless of her motivation it is a telling commentary on her values.
There has always been a symbiotic relationship between celebrities and politicians marking them kindred spirits. Being seen in the same company is mutually beneficial as well as ego enhancing. Actors like to be regarded as more than performers, but important contributors to society. Politicians associate with celebrities hoping to appear attractive and popular.
It is often overlooked that John Wilkes Booth was the equivalent a Hollywood A-lister. His celebrity status allowed him the unchallenged access which aided his success in assassinating President Lincoln. His face adorned post cards throughout the country and among his many female admirers was Lucy Hale, the daughter of Lincoln supporter and powerful Senator John P. Hale of New Hampshire. She was betrothed to Booth at the time of his death.
But times have changed with the current rise of the deplorables. Those who work hard, and play by the rules have grown weary of being chastised by the same people who are afforded a handsome living from their support. Just ask the NFL.
Despite Ms. Streep’s disparagement of those who watch football and ‘think martial arts are the arts’ professional football viewership is down between 12-15 percent his season. League apologists suggest it is in part due to the presidential election coverage. This may be partially true, but it is mostly fatigue from watching overpaid, pampered, personalities who readily accept all the benefits that come from the country and then treat it with disdain.
The deplorables as labeled by Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton no longer feel the need to be lectured by delusional self-absorbed elitist who practice selective outrage. These delusionals fail to comprehend that the privileged life they live is supported by average people. Performing before a camera is hardly construction work. When the going gets tough a director can always say cut unlike the life and death reality faced daily by police, firefighters and the military.
Tom Hanks in an interview concerning his role of heroic pilot Sully Sullenberger, who successfully landed the stricken passenger jet in the Hudson River, stated how insignificant he was in comparison to such a man. I suspect his self-deprecation was calculated, but at least Hanks recognized the need to do so. And he is right. Playing a hero does not make a hero.
And hanging around celebrities does not make a politician better at his job. We have reached the place where competence outweighs attractiveness.
So, if I were a delusional celebrity or politician I would be a little more circumspect for the immediate future. As for Ms. Streep’s tears, her performance was impeccable as usual but meaningless. She now finds herself confronted by a world greatly changed from the past eight years.
She began her speech by stating the audience she addressed was the most vilified in America. She was wrong. It is the most delusional.
Being a successful actress now means that you are recognized as good at your craft, but not necessarily anything more. The deplorables have come to the realization that you need them more than they need you.
Just ask Hillary Clinton.«
Ladson F. Mills III is a former Marine Corps Line Officer and Navy Chaplain. He is retired and lives with his wife on Johns Island, SC. He is a regular contributor to The Covert Letter and Virtueonline.
Breda O’Brien is an Irish teacher and columnist, writing a weekly column for The Irish Times.