Celebrity and Politics

I don’t like seeing celebrities endorsing or campaigning for political candidates. While I understand that entertainers have the right to promote political agendas just as the rest of us do, I do not care to know their party affiliations. The synergy of fame and politics must seem irresistible to both sides. The celebrity gets free publicity while the politician gets to piggyback on the “brand” of the celebrity. The goal may be to enrich the reach of both, but I think the effect has become the opposite. I can’t be the only one who is fed up with this phenomenon.

I am a lifelong Democrat, but I have not once trusted a celebrity endorsement of a Democrat candidate. It flies in the face of reason that the super-wealthy would expose themselves to higher taxes for the greater good of us all. The rich can afford to donate to whatever causes are important to them, and they are better able to enrich charities when they pay lower taxes. The involvement of celebrities in liberal politics just gives fodder to conspiracy theories that there is a so-called Liberal Elite. It looks genuine to no one.

Conservative politics has its fair share of celebrities as well, but this is fraught with its own problems. There is a cultural price to be paid for a celebrity who espouses conservatism, and then these folks are upheld as saints for the cause and ammunition against groups whose interest the right does not support. Now that I think of it, this last problem is shared by liberals too. I hate seeing memes with a celebrity picture and quote that insults the other side, no matter which side is the target. We do not need the words of celebrities to enforce our opinions. They are authorities on nothing but the experience of fame itself.

I want to see less celebrities in politics, unless they are serious enough to run for office. However, it is also not a good thing when someone runs a campaign powered by fame. Now I must give some credit to Ronald Reagan. He is the only celebrity I can think of whose rise in politics was grounded in experience and was true to his own interest.

1 thought on “Celebrity and Politics”

  1. Actually, I think Reagan fits your sentiments as well as the others. Up to 1964, he was just like any other celebrity endorser, trotted out as a show pony by candidates to add glamor. He didn’t focus on politics heavily until his career in entertainment was exhausted and he needed work. If he had been in greater demand he probably would have continued, but his last two pictures with substantial roles were seven years apart, and on TV he was only sought to host and record intros, not to act. He disliked having to play a bad guy in his last film The Killers, and his pal from the old Warner Bros. days, George Murphy, had just gotten elected to the US Senate. Three years later, Reagan became Governor of California.

    Ever since the ’60s, that’s been the usual pattern. Once an actor’s box office demand drops, then they get serious about politics.

    Like

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