Americans influenced to vote by celebrities, not candidates

March 7, 2017 — by Julia Miller

People voted based on celebritie's view not the canidate themselves. 

As far as the 2016 presidential race and its subsequent aftermath went, it sometimes seemed the biggest spotlight was not so much on the policies Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton supported, but more on who supported them. News coverage, whether on Snapchat or FOX news, seemed to be full of headlines about the celebrities who agreed or disagreed with our presidential candidates.

Stars like Beyonce and Jay Z followed Clinton through her entire campaign, and more people were likely to be talking about their support rather than the woman they were supporting. Similarly, outrage struck when star New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady announced he was a Trump supporter, a voice of the nation’s most prominent football player among millions of other Americans who supported Trump as well. (He, of course, was balanced out by LeBron James and his support of Clinton.)

Which leads me to ask this question: If celebrities are not politicians or even political specialists, then why do we care so much about their opinions?

It makes a bit of sense that since celebrities are widely known, they can be seen as role models, so what they say regarding politics will be made public. But does it mean that their opinions matter equally or even more than those of the people who have been governing this country for decades? To simply put it, my answer is no: Their opinions are pretty worthless.

Once Donald Trump was elected into the White House, coverage of Madonna and Scarlett Johannsen constantly flooded my feeds, showing their thoughts on the Women’s March, and less on the masses that joined together to create the largest organized march in history.

The constant coverage of celebrity opinions during the presidential race could have influenced voters to vote for a certain candidate because of the candidate’s association with that celebrity, rather than the candidate’s association with certain policies.

If this were widely true, then citizens now are treating elections as a chance to vote along with a favorite personality, not for an agenda. We treat our candidates like celebrities as well; we focus on their personalities rather than on the policies they plan to carry out.

In 2020, most current high schoolers will be eligible to vote for the next president and members of congress. My advice is to learn the facts about the candidates. Be familiar with the stances they may have on important issues. And, above all, don’t base your decision on what Lady Gaga or Tom Brady believes.

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