I remember the day President Donald Trump was elected. I had gone to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner with friends, knowing the TV screens normally displaying sports would now be displaying politics — not that there’s much difference in how they’re covered. The usual electoral map of the United States was shown, with Republican red and Democratic blue displaying which states had been won by which candidate. As I watched more and more states turn red, each wing I ate began to leave a bad taste in my mouth. How could a candidate with no prior experience win out against one of the more qualified candidates in history? I left the restaurant feeling sick, hoping that America would learn from this election.
The American people did learn an extremely valuable lesson … that celebrities make good candidates? Trump’s election was the catalyst for a wave of celebrities to join the political realm — from Oprah and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson pondering running for office to Cynthia Nixon commencing her campaign to become governor of New York and receiving overwhelming support from her fans. As a symptom of the disease that is the conflation of politics and entertainment, Americans have seemingly decided that electing a liberal celebrity is the perfect response to Trumpian politics.
Nixon, best known for her role as Miranda Hobbes in “Sex and the City,” is running for governor — and doing well. As easy as it is to get caught up in the idea of your favorite actress, who shares your ideals, running for office, it is important to stop and reflect on what makes a good candidate.
The most important thing to note is that experience matters. Trump is a paragon of what comes from inexperienced politicians, with many failures abroad and at home and a lack of productivity in a scandal-ridden White House. Some may say “but Trump is crazy and Nixon isn’t,” — a valid point — equating Trump to others is a mistake. However, what voters must realize is that Cynthia Nixon is no different from any other politically-active liberal, besides the fact that she is a wealthy former television star. I would not want her as Governor of New York for the same reason I would not want myself to be Governor of New York — she lacks experience in policy making and political leadership.
Americans must acknowledge that just because celebrities have the same goals as them does not mean celebrities are capable of holding office. To actually achieve those goals through a position such as the Governorship requires experience and knowledge Nixon lacks, and supporting her serves to reinforce the dangerous idea that celebrities make good politicians. Anyone can run for office, but who we support directly influences what changes are implemented in government. Our generation has been particularly obsessed with celebrity culture, but this is where we must draw the line.
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Email Victor Porcelli at firstname.lastname@example.org.