North Texas Daily

Celebrities are not going to save politics (but you can)

Celebrities are not going to save politics (but you can)

Celebrities are not going to save politics (but you can)
November 04
12:00 2021

Lately, the outcry for famous people to run for office has skyrocketed. Matthew McConaugheyDwayne Johnson and Keanu Reeves are some of the notorious names floating around the internet as to who should serve as the next commander-in-chief.

Although “President John Wick” has a badass ring to it, this celebrity-for-president narrative that keeps being pushed is a bad idea for our country and highlights a massive issue in American politics.

First, let’s address this weird fascination with celebrities. America is so infatuated with the rich and famous that websites like TMZ solely exist to legally stalk celebrities and expose personal details about their lives, even if they aren’t true. People are dying to know what celebrities are doing and when they are going to do it. They want to know what celebrities are thinking, wearing and saying at all times. Whereas some find escapism in books, films or hobbies, others find it by indulging in the personal lives of others.

Naturally, because a chunk of the population is so obsessed with celebrities, they think it’s a good idea for some of them to run for president.

To be fair, a few celebrities have found success in their political aspirations. Ronald Reagan started out as an actor, Jesse Ventura was a professional wrestler and Arnold Schwarzenegger was the Terminator. Each of them went on to have notable careers in politics.

Still, this does not mean celebrities should start putting their names on the ballot. One of the most popular celebrity front runners for president was previously mentioned: Dwayne Johnson. Despite never sharing his political views, the former professional wrestler is popular in many polls and has a legitimate chance of winning if he runs.

Which begs the question, what does Johnson actually believe in? What are his policies? He spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2000 but endorsed Joe Biden for president last year. Why does he have so much support when no one knows what his views are?

The truth is people do not care what his views are. People want “The Rock” to run for president because they crave someone who is not a Democrat or Republican and actually stands a chance of winning. Frankly, I do not blame them.

If you are not a Democrat or Republican, the U.S. feels like living with two divorcing parents: they blame each other for everything, insist nothing is their fault and claim the other one is crazy (but not them). Also, they both want custody of you. It’s tiring and frustrating for those stuck in the middle.

A celebrity running for office is alluring because it’s a chance to shake everything up and break away from the traditional two-party tug-of-war match that takes place every four years. Much of Donald Trump’s appeal to his base was his promise to “drain the swamp” and flip Washington on its head, a tactic that undoubtedly got him elected.

Trump was different, exciting and nothing like America had ever seen before. Even if you hated him, you tuned in to see what he was going to say. People who are not conservative want something similar. They want their own Trump, someone who will shake things up in a different, more positive way. The problem is they are looking in all of the wrong places.

The answer for breaking away from this two-party system does not lie in Hollywood. It lies in third parties and independent candidates like Andrew Yang, who recently launched the Forward Party. Yang is 46 years old, an entrepreneur and supports universal basic income. He recently faced backlash for leaving the Democratic Party and has been outspoken on the polarization of American politics.

Polarization is what happens when two major parties control everything. It has caused those on the left and the right to have genuine disdain for each other. A popular trend nowadays is for people to label their political adversaries as something completely exaggerated and untrue. Disagree with Democrats? White nationalist. Disagree with conservatives? Liberal snowflake.

There are over 330 million people in the United States. We all come from various backgrounds, races and religions. It is impossible and naïve to think that one day everyone is going to view the world through the same lens. Instead of fighting each other for control, we should agree to disagree and focus on bigger problems that we collectively benefit from.

Of course, it’s also naïve to think that one day everyone will wake up and suddenly decide to get along. So, what is the solution? Seek out a third-party candidate and vote for them! Democrats and Republicans will say you are taking votes from them but do it anyway. Vote for a candidate you get excited for. The best part of having a democracy is everyone gets a vote.

It’s imperative we have more than two parties. Otherwise, this back-and-forth is never going to end and the hateful divide will only widen. If you do not support Yang, there are plenty of other third-party candidates out there to choose from. Do some research, find someone you can rally behind and vote for them in the next election.

Mark my words: if things do not change, 11 years from now the presidential election will come down to Kid Rock and Ru Paul.

It’s up to you to make sure this does not become a reality.

Featured Illustration by J. Robynn Aviles

About Author

Jake Reynolds

Jake Reynolds

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