Meryl Streep is a great actor and, judging by her speech at the Golden Globes, she is also a good orator. I want to applaud her for saying “we need the principled press to hold power to account. I agree with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that she is a “class act”.
But for all that she speaks the words I want to hear sadly in the new politics she misses the point. Trump just has to tweet that she is “overrated” and her message is dismissed and its power is lost.
The Hollywood elite having a go at the politics as represented by Trump just confirms, in this new political order, that they are out of touch and not listening. The same happens when the political, religious or press elite speak out – their words, however well-meaning, just confirm that they do not get the point.
Those who voted for Trump, and in the UK for Brexit, as well as those who in 2017 may reap similar political shifts in other European countries, are determined that non-establishment voices be heard, that different priorities are given attention, that the over-looked take centre stage.
The old liberal consensus, however much-loved by some of us, has now become a symptom of being out of touch. When we seek to defend those values, however important we want to claim they are, we just show ourselves out of touch. Until we have shown we are really listening and learning to move in different circles, our defence of those values just seems hollow.
For too long too many have felt overlooked, ignored, undervalued and now they want to play by different rules. Brexit was the chance to give the British establishment a kicking and Europe was a convenient excuse. Trump’s significance is simply that he is not like what has gone before. Perhaps if the Democrats had had the courage to go with Bernie Sanders things might have been different because he too understood that the old order had had its day.
Trump may be brash, his behaviour may not be perfect, his turn of phrase not exactly polished, he may even make mistakes, but if he gives people their jobs back, makes them feel proud of their country again, allow different voices to be heard, then he will be forgiven many things.
Sadly much as I admire Meryl Streep, in the new political order speeches at the Golden Globes will no longer change anything. The way to a better political order is to build bridges with those communities that have felt too long ignored, to show we are really listening and care honestly about their plight and then show that there is another way.
Looking on with horror as Trump tweets his way to the White House achieves nothing. It is time to move onto his territory and show he is not the only game in town – others better than Trump can do it differently too. It is time to get organised but not amidst the glamour of the Golden Globes but in the reality of run down housing estates and decaying factories.