May 31, 2007

Riddle me this....

I tend to keep my politics out of this blog.... simply because I know most of yous guys don't agree with me -- so, why rock the boat, right?
Well, I'll make an exception this one time..... well, okay there may be others, but I'll try to control myself.... I happened to notice that George Clooney & Matt Damon are endorsing Barrack Obama for the 2008 presidential campaign.

I find this curious for many reasons -- and not to disparage anyone, because in this great country everyone gets a vote -- and if these guys can help raise some cash for "their guy" well then go for it. But, why the hell does anyone care? Should I vote for a presidential candidate because a handsome college-drop out who played a handyman on the Facts of Life told me to?

Jennifer Aniston campaigned for John Kerry, which of course she is entitled to do -- good for her for being politically engaged -- but, should I vote for him because a high-school graduate who is famous for her hair and her failed marriage told me to? Her hair is certainly very shiny, but I'm not sure that's enough of a reason.

Sean Penn, never went past high school -- Janeane Garofalo, dropped out of college -- Barbara Streisand, never went past high school -- Michael Moore, dropped out of college, I could go on, and on and no, it's not just lefties either -- what makes these people qualified to influence my vote?

I realize lots of smart people don't have an advanced education -- and I also realize that many stupid people are extremely well educated -- but do Americans really vote based on what celebrities tell them?

Just wonderin'


Arwen said...

I think who we see endorsing who tends to be based on the fact that some people influence us with their fame. Many people cannot say 'I wonder what Noam Chomsky thinks about this' since Noam is not really a household name, eventhough he's really smart (but pretty left - as left, or possibly more left, than the actors you mention). But Anniston, she's a household name, even if she shouldn't be the person necessarily affecting our thoughts on who we should vote for. The people who we really should be listening to probably don't get the visibility they deserve. Instead we are left with hot actors and political pundits like Ann Coulter and Michael Moore getting TV play. I would now like turn fast forward to 2009.

cape buffalo said...

Lots of celebrities RUN as Republicans, though. People have elected Kindergarten Cop governor of California, a B movie actor to both the Governer's Mansion and White House, a cross-dressing wrestler to the highest office of Minnesota, Dirty Harry has been a mayor, and Gopher from the Love boat was something or other in Congress, and Fred Thompson looks like he's throwing his hat into the ring.

I guess we have to decide whether we're more comfortable with celebrities endorsing candidates or running as candidates.

The Holmes said...

Anyone who votes for a candidate just because one of their favorite celebrities endorses them is a fool. I don't have a problem with celebrities being politically engaged and trying to use their fame for a reason other than promoting themselves, but I have to wonder, if somebody goes out and votes or supports a cause or candidate just because a celebrity did so, is that really taking part in the process? It seems kind of hollow. I have a hard time believing anybody would do that, but maybe that's just the people I know.

Julie Pippert said...

Which gets more press, attention, energy and votes: political candidates or American Idol contestants?

There's a big thing about celebrity endorsement, namely that it works.

Not for me; I prefer to think for myself.

But sometimes I wonder if I am a rare species?

BTW, I say bring on the politics. I regularly do and get intelligent discourse. :)

Arwen, Noam Chomsky isn't a household name? Say it ain't so!

Cape Buffalo, Fred Thompson started in politics so is returning to it. Kind of a reverse. He was a Republican senator (eeks, right?) from TN.

I wouldn't vote for someone in politics because he/she is/was a celebrity but I wouldn't not either, if he/she was qualified (which I haven't seen one yet I thought was).

cape buffalo said...

yes, Fred Thompson was a senator from TN... I knew that but didn't include it in my original comment. His star has risen much higher thanks to a run on a hit TV show, however.

The whole celebs as politicians or celebs as endorsers leaves me cold but you can't deny that many people with name recognition whether as a supporter or on the ballot are likely to have people turn out at the polls or check a box. I like movements that try to engage young people to vote regardless of who they're trying to elect. There are grassroots evangelical movements that do as much to encourage 1st time turnout as MTV. As long as people vote, they earn a right to complain. Don't vote? I don't want to hear what you have to say.

I also appreciate how people whose views are so obviously different can have a discussion here without getting ugly or personal. Wouldn't it be nice if that could happen everywhere?

Darren said...

The celebrity endorsements haven't seemed to have had much of an effect yet. But I think that people who support Republican candidates should get some equal time on TV...which may mean watching a lot of Mel Gibson and old Pat Boone movies.

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