Recently Caitlyn Jenner, reality star and former Olympic champion, announced that she would consider running for U.S. Senate in California in the next six months. Jenner is only one of several unqualified celebrities that have hinted at their intention to run for politics in the upcoming election season.
So where did this sudden burst of celebrity newcomers with literally zero qualifications come from? Look no further than our current president who sent the message to all these other celebrities that truly anything is possible.
In addition to no experience, the problem with celebrities running is that people tend to fall in love with their characters and not their values. I know more about the movies Johnson has been in and about Jenner’s Olympic history than I do about their knowledge on international relations, domestic and foreign policy, and the basic structure of government. That’s a huge problem and for that reason, I don’t feel comfortable voting for them.
There’s also the problem of celebrities having a difficult time separating their celebrity status and business empires with their politics. With Jenner’s connection to the Kardashians, I imagine this would be extremely hard to do. Trump is the perfect example of a celebrity that still hasn’t separated the two entities.
Of course, there’s no doubting that there are indeed some qualified celebrities out there.
But still, we live in two different worlds. How can someone so privileged understand what it’s like to live in affordable housing? How can someone so privileged understand what it’s like to live in Flint Michigan and not be able to have clean water? They can’t. They can’t possibly understand the flaws of the system because they’ve never had to truly live through them. Someone with celebrity status doesn’t know the hardships of life and if they do, because I do acknowledge that some celebrities have had hard childhoods, they now have endless loads of money to bail them out of any horrible situation. Normal people can’t use money as a solution simply because we don’t have it.
So if celebrities shouldn’t run, who should?
There’s a saying that goes, ‘Leave politics to the politicians.’ Well, I don’t necessarily believe in rooting for politicians either. We often associate politicians with liars, people who manipulate us in order to elevate their status and power. Rarely do we ever associate politicians anymore with honest human beings just trying to help people.
Instead, I say, leave politics to the poor and middle class. These are the people that know how to fix the system because they have lived through it. These are the people that have overcome burdens and fought for solutions. These are the people that know the value of money, of healthcare, of a single human life. Representation is everything. Who better to represent the poor and working class than someone from the poor and working class?
If celebrities run, the opportunity to run is taken away from someone who truly understands the poor and working class. We live in two different worlds: the celebrity and working class. We may pretend to be in eachother’s world every now and then, but I will never understand what it’s like to be a celebrity. And a celebrity will never know what it’s like to work a double shift not because you want to, but because you have to in order to keep your family alive.
If celebrities want to help, they should use their celebrity status to promote social activism and bring attention to issues. Several celebrities such as Chris Evans, Carmelo Anthony, and in the teen department, Rowan Blanchard, have already showcased how much change can be brought about if celebrities are social activists. They have such a huge platform to bring about change and I heavily admire them for using it.
But in regards to elections, leave it to the people to run. The people who don’t have privilege. The people who work overtime to feed their families. The people who have experienced the worst life has to offer. These are the people that will make the greatest changes in politics because they have lived through the very system that is falling apart and know how to change it.