Inexperienced celebrities threaten politics

Connor Heffernan , Online Editor

At this point it has become a cliché to talk about the rise of Donald Trump and the aftermath of the 2016 election. His name has appeared in the news for an entire year now, slowly exhausting the American public and preventing any constructive dialogue on many issues facing us.

However, Donald Trump is not the only celebrity name appearing in political news.

People like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, actor superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, billionaire Mark Cuban, rapper Kanye West, and most recently, businesswoman and actress Oprah Winfrey have  generated the question, “Will they run in 2020?”.

The introduction of so many celebrities into political life is disastrous for our political process and prevents the thoughtful and important legislation that this country needs, no matter how much or little integrity these celebrities may have in their own careers and lives.

Members of Congress devote their lives to public service, spending much of their time learning the process and thinking of solutions.

By the time that many run for president, these politicians are seasoned and have experience in the political process. You may disagree with their views, but the vast majority are qualified.

In contrast, celebrities have spent their lives in their own respective disciplines. While great singers and actors inspire many at their concerts or movies, they do not have experience in the political process.

As much as some may love these celebrities, they quite simply do not know what they are doing when it comes to governing and legislating.

People said in 2016 that Trump would know what do because he could run the country like a business. Many business leaders advocate for the same style but the evidence is clear: the government must be governed politically, not run like a business.

In a business, the primary goal is to make profit. The government’s primary goal is to better peoples lives. These two goals intersect at times but they are not the same.

Trump does not have the experience of a politician and it shows, as can be seen in his refusal to compromise in the recent government shutdown.

Some have criticized Trump, citing his inability to differentiate running the country from managing a scripted program like The Apprentice. According to Politifact, Trump had signed only 94 bills as of Dec. 21, the least amount of legislative progress made by any modern President.

The Republicans have failed many of their campaign promises and despite calls for balancing the budget, the deficit has increased by $400 billion annualy.

Although many have heard it before, it is still worth declaring that Trump’s Presidency has been a failure so far.

Instead of just bashing Trump and taking nothing from it,  we should learn from this.          

He is a celebrity that listened to the angers of millions of Americans and in a populist fervor called for reform without knowing how to accomplish his goal. This is the same case with celebrities today.

When news sites like Politico freak out about a potential Winfrey 2020 run, I see the same future mistakes. Winfrey is an inspiring figure that motivated me personally with her Golden Globe speech, but she is not a politician. She simply has not spent any time practicing politics.

The same exact thing goes for Johnson, West, Zuckerberg, and any other celebrity that you hear being called to run for President, despite having absolutely no political experience.

It is a special moment when you find a candidate that you believe in, but this candidate should be a politician who will actually solve issues, instead of make things worse.

Average Marin residents the day after the election zealously yelled things like “#notmypresident” and “I didn’t know my country was racist”. Many take pride in their opposition to a reality TV show host becoming President.

There is merit to this opposition, but it is unacceptable to then turn and support Winfrey, or Johnson, or any other celebrity with virtually no political experience. This is hypocritical and is not going to solve anything.

This affects our futures. By supporting celebrities to be politicians, we diminish the political opportunity awaiting us. We face many crises and the only way to solve them is to open our minds, understand others, and come together as reasonable people.

By supporting celebrity candidates, the very Marin voters who claim to be on the “liberal side” will be damaging the integrity and structure of our country.

This is why I will stand with any conservative, liberal, or anyone in between that says enough is enough, no more celebrities in our government.