should use the Golden Globes to prove her virtue by criticising the president-elect. Donald Trump is a target whom it is almost impossible to miss, and insofar as everyone needs an object of disdain and reprobation, he performs a valuable public service. Even quite bad people can, with some justification, feel morally superior to him in some respect or other.
Streep’s attack, Dalrymple notes,
was neither unexpected nor original.
If she had
come out in favour of Mr Trump’s Mexican wall, and threatened Mexico with war if it did not pay for it, her speech would have been marginally more noteworthy.
As it was, Trump’s response
was the more interesting. He seems to have a rhinoceros hide and a very thin skin at the same time.
Trump replied that Streep was overrated, presumably as an actress. This, says Dalrymple,
was a very adolescent reply. I know nothing of Ms Streep as a person, whether she is good or bad or something in between (as most of us are), and I am not interested; but she is a very good actress, and this would be so even if she were a Nazi, a Communist, a flat-earther, a vegetarian, a spiritualist, a sadomasochist, or a child molester. Her acting ability has nothing to do with the justification of her opinion (or lack of it).
For the president-elect to react
like a child in a playground quarrel is alarming. Someone should take his mobile phone from him. If there is one person in the world who does not have the right of spontaneous free public expression, it is the president of the United States.