Clint Eastwood made quite a stir at the Republican National Convention last week. Eastwood’s usage of an old vaudeville era bit to show his displeasure with the job performance of our president was a success or an embarrassment depending on your political affiliation. Why was Clint even at the Convention? Why was he given free reign in a historically prized time slot? Easy! Americans are celebrity obsessed.
Does anyone understand our sick fascination with celebrities? Entire periodicals are dedicated to what they eat, where they sleep, who with, and what they do in their spare time. We cannot get enough of the mundane details of these glittery people. Celebrities stumping for candidates is hardly new. Every four years various famous and semi-famous actors, athletes and musicians turn out to support the candidate of their choice.
Celebrities from the idiotic (Toby Keith) to the highly intelligent (Ben Stein) step up each election season to tell you who to vote for. Even celebrities who don’t live here and cannot vote get in on the stump. (Bono, Mel Gibson) The tactics used range from simply playing a few songs at some campaign rallies (Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne) to making campaign videos suggesting that if you plan to vote for someone other than his chosen candidate then just don’t vote (Matt Damon).
I hate everything about this practice! Not only because the liberals get better celebrities (all the way back to Frank Sinatra and The Rat Pack Stumping for John Kennedy), but the idea that we common folk should be lectured by the shiny millionaires about which politician will do the best to solve our common little problems makes me want to rip the remainder of my hair out.
Then we are supposed to react something like this:
“Well Ron Howard thinks Obama is a good choice…I liked Happy Days…I want to be happy…a vote for Obama is a vote for Happiness”
Or something like that. It is insulting and preys on the uninformed.
During the conventions and beyond both parties will trot out whomever they can to win your vote. This week’s DNC will be overrun with celebrities attempting to sway your opinion. Just do me a small favor whenever one of the parties tries to employ this tactic–try to really listen. Consider the actual issues and listen for substance. Try to forget the endorsement is coming from an actor who made a movie about smoking drugs and a late night trip to a third tier fast food joint (Kal Penn) and consider what is actually being said. Even Dirty Harry should not be able to sway your vote without some facts…Punk.