Keeping Celebrities Out of Politics

We all know Donald Trump is going to be the President, right?

Of the United States?

The same Donald Trump whose reality TV show was a major success on network television.

Also, do we remember that Ronald Reagan was an actor? That Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor of California? That Jesse Ventura was governor of Minnesota? That…

 

In the past…well, seemingly since I’ve been alive, it seems that there have been people questioning why celebrities feel the need to give their opinion on politics. “These people don’t know what they’re talking about,” they say; “why should they be talking in public about these issues?” The anger at how such an unqualified person would share their thoughts on such a platform is amazing.

And yet…

The number of social media posts that I have seen about this topic has been profoundly frustrating. Celebrities are people. Celebrities are asked what they think. Thanks to our fascination with celebrity, we hear what celebrities think. Celebrities are not disallowed from having opinions just because more people know who they are. How many of the angry social media posters would continue to share their opinions if their audience were larger? Should all of these people’s opinions be disallowed at a certain subscriber count?

And to return to the point from above, celebrities have also held office in this country, to the point that the current President-Elect has never held office, but rode his celebrity to Washington. His opinions weren’t disallowed because of his celebrity status. His words even had impact well before his campaign.

In a country where celebrities of all stripes have held offices all the way up to the presidency, I fail to understand why celebrity is a disqualifying factor in expressing political opinions. In a world where everyone can create their own kind of celebrity online, by understanding fails me even more. Disagreeing with positions is something I can understand; discrediting because of the number of people who know who a person is I cannot.

 

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