American Celebrities In Politics

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Celebrities in Politics Celebrities undoubtably play a large role in American society. They are the faces of commercials, have large followings, and have become household names. Especially with the rise of social media such as Twitter, celebrities have become closer to the everyday person. Celebrities can tweet out their opinion on politics or show support for social movements, and have this be seen by millions of people in seconds. With the recent Colin Kaepernick controversy, more of the general public are starting to hound famous people with messages criticizing their participation in politics. Should celebrities keep out of politics? Well, stars have already been participating in politics for decades, and have even held political positions.…show more content…
Former president Ronald Reagan was a Hollywood actor before he was president from 1981 to 1989. Reagan had a fairly high presidential approval rating by the end of his presidency, at 63 percent (Newport, Jones, & Saad, 2004). His presidency was fairly successful, showing that despite being an actor and living a more privileged life then the general public, he was still capable of making decent decisions in politics. Also, some celebrities actually gained fame due to their ties in politics. While celebrity influence is more critically attacked now, stars such as Green Day have been making obvious political statements since the early 2000s. Green Day’s song, American Idiot, was released in 2004 and openly criticized the American government and society under George W. Bush. Their inflammatory lyrics, “now everyone do the propaganda, and sing along to the age of paranoia” mockingly refers to the post 9/11 xenophobic mindset of American society and the manipulation of society via media and government (Armstrong, 2004). This song was widely acclaimed, and was so successful that its album, American Idiot, was adapted to a musical (Nassiff, 2014). This greatly bolstered Green Day’s fame. Celebrities and politics are intertwined, and therefore famous stars should not be criticized for participating in political…show more content…
Studies have shown that a celebrities do in fact effect how people perceive politics. Anthony J. Nownes’s experiment on how political activity effects someone’s perception shows that “celebrities’ political activities can influence how people think about the political parties” (Nownes, 2014). Their massive followings allow stars to sway public opinion by just speaking out. This could be used to inform the public and attract attention to political or social issues. A clear example of this is found in Oprah Winfrey, actress and talk show host. She has a massive influence on the American public, as seen when she announced that should would be buying stock in Weight Watchers. Nathan Bomey stated that the stock price of Weight Watchers increased by 105 percent in a matter of days (2015). Oprah’s influence had also extended to politics, when she endorsed Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary. Garthwaite and Moore estimated that “Oprah’s endorsement was worth about 1 million votes for Obama”. These extra votes could have won the vote for Obama, given that he had only had 278,966 more votes than his competitor, Hilary Clinton (2012). Celebrities can draw a larger voter turnout, which allows for more representation of people in voting. This shows that famous stars have some sway in American public opinion, and that they could use it to work for the development

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