Lately, the outcry from famous people to run for office has skyrocketed. Matthew McConaughey, Dwayne Johnson, and Keanu Reeves are some of the notorious names floating around the internet about who should be the next in chief.
While “President John Wick” has a badass sound, this celeb-for-president narrative that keeps being promoted is a bad idea for our country and highlights a massive problem in American politics.
First, let’s address this strange fascination with celebrities. America is so infatuated with the rich and famous that sites like TMZ only exist to legally track celebrities and divulge personal details about their lives, even if they are not true. People really want to know what celebrities are doing and when they are doing it. You always want to know what celebrities are thinking, wearing and saying. While some find escapism in books, movies, or hobbies, others find it by indulging in the private lives of others.
Naturally, with so much of the population obsessed with celebrities, they think it would be a good idea for some of them to run for president.
To be fair, some celebrities have had success in their political endeavors. Ronald Reagan started out as an actor, Jesse Ventura was a professional wrestler, and Arnold Schwarzenegger was the terminator. Each of them made remarkable careers in politics.
However, this does not mean that celebrities should put their names on the ballot. One of the most popular high-profile top candidates for president was previously mentioned: Dwayne Johnson. Although he never shared his political views, the former professional wrestler is popular in many polls and has a legitimate chance of winning if he runs.
The question arises: what does Johnson actually believe in? What are its guidelines? He spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2000 but supported Joe Biden as president last year. Why does he have so much support when nobody knows his views?
The truth is that people don’t care what his views are. People want The Rock to run for president because they long for someone who is not a Democrat or a Republican and has a real chance of victory. To be honest, I’m not blaming them.
Unless you’re a Democrat or a Republican, the U.S. feels like living with two parents divorcing: you blame each other for everything, insist nothing is their fault, and claim the other is insane (but not them) . Plus, they both want custody of you. It’s tiring and frustrating for those stuck in the middle of it.
A celebrity running for office is tempting because it’s a chance to shake things up and break away from the traditional two-party tug-of-war that happens every four years. Much of Donald Trump’s appeal to his grassroots base was his promise to “drain the swamp” and turn Washington upside down, a tactic he undoubtedly chose.
Trump was different, exciting and America had never seen anything like it before. Even if you hated him, you tuned in to see what he would say. People who are not conservative want something similar. They want their own Trump, someone who will shake things up in a different, more positive way. The problem is they are looking in the wrong places.
The answer to abandoning this two-party system does not lie in Hollywood. It lies in third party and independent candidates like Andrew Yang, who recently started the Forward Party. Yang is 46 years old, an entrepreneur and supports the universal basic income. He recently faced backlash for leaving the Democratic Party and has been open about the polarization of American politics.
Polarization is what happens when two big parties control everything. It has led the left and right to sincerely despise one another. A popular trend these days is for people to label their political opponents as something completely exaggerated and untrue. Disagree with the Democrats? White nationalist. Disagree with conservatives? Liberal snowflake.
There are over 330 million people in the United States. We all come from different backgrounds, races and religions. It is impossible and naive to believe that one day everyone will see the world through the same lens. Rather than fighting each other for control, we should agree to disagree and focus on bigger issues that will benefit us together.
Of course, it’s also naive to believe that one day everyone will wake up and suddenly decide to get along. So what’s the solution? Find a third party candidate and vote for him! Democrats and Republicans will say you take their votes, but you do it anyway. Vote for a candidate you look forward to. The best thing about a democracy is that everyone gets a vote.
It is imperative that we have more than two parties. Otherwise, this back and forth will never end and the hateful divide will only widen. If you don’t support Yang, there are plenty of other third-party candidates to choose from. Do your research, find someone to stand behind, and choose them the next time you vote.
Remember my words: if things don’t change, in 11 years the presidential election will fall on Kid Rock and Ru Paul.
It is up to you to make sure this doesn’t become a reality.
Recommended illustration by J. Robynn Aviles