Meryl Streep has spoken out against Donald Trump once again, after criticizing his cruelty at the Golden Globes last month and earning a subsequent label of “overrated” from the president himself. Her latest invective came at the Human Rights Campaign’s 2017 Greater New York Gala on Saturday, where — once again without ever saying his name — Streep painted a viscerally terrifying picture of the threat President Trump poses to democracy. She said: “If we live through this precarious moment, if his catastrophic instinct to retaliate doesn’t lead us to nuclear winter, we will have much to thank our current leader for. He will have woken us up to how fragile freedom is.” Streep continued, explaining how Trump’s behavior has demonstrated the fundamental insecurity of our basic rules of order:
His whisperers will have alerted us to potential flaws in the balance of power in government. To how we have relied on the goodwill and selflessness of most previous occupants of the Oval Office. How quaint notions of custom, honor and duty compelled them to adhere to certain practices of transparency and responsibility. To how it all can be ignored. How the authority of the executive, in the hands of a self-dealer, can be wielded against the people, their Constitution and Bill of Rights. The whip of the executive, through a Twitter feed, can lash and intimidate, punish and humiliate, delegitimize the press and imagined enemies with spasmodic regularity and easily provoked predictability.
Later in her speech, Streep also responded to Trump’s “overrated” dig, saying, “Yes, I am the most overrated, overdecorated and, currently, over-berated actress.” Read her entire speech, which covers how we got to this point and where we go next (nuclear winter aside), here.
Watch her speech in full below.
This post has been updated throughout.