Celebrities Influence Politics Through Various Movements
October 16, 2018
Recently, celebrity influence on politics has been prevalent in the media. Through Instagram, Twitter, and other forms of social media, celebrities quickly spread various movements to promote voter registration and increased civic participation, especially as the election on November 6, 2018 approaches.
Bella Addison (‘20) said, “I think that it is good for celebrities to get involved politically and be active citizens, but ultimately I do not think anyone should look to celebrities for political opinions because they are musicians, actors, and actresses, not politicians.”
In terms of politics, two celebrities in particular continue to catch the attention of the media. For example, on October 7, 2018, pop singer Taylor Swift expressed her own political views through an Instagram post that spiked voter registration. Swift stated that she will be voting for Tennessee’s two Democratic candidates for the Senate, Phil Bredesen, and the House of Representatives, Jim Cooper, in the upcoming election. Swift also provided the reasoning behind her decision and encouraged others to do their own research into political candidates before voting.
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I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈
Another public figure with widespread political views is Kanye West. West is an active supporter of President Donald Trump, which he has indicated through social media use, various meetings with President Trump, and most recently, his speech endorsing Trump on the comedy show “Saturday Night Live.” Although it was not aired on the show, Chris Rock, a comedian, recorded clips of West delivering his message from the audience.
Pete Davidson Asks Kanye West To “Make Kanye 2006 Again.” pic.twitter.com/iGHGrMVAaz
— Karen Civil (@KarenCivil) October 7, 2018
West’s past remarks regarding slavery and Trump also sparked controversy. For example, West stated that slavery was a choice and that the 13th amendment should be abolished. During his “SNL” address, West defended his support for Trump and discussed racism in America.
West said, “It’s so many times that I talk to a white person about this, and they say, ‘How could you support Trump? He’s racist.’ Well if I was concerned about racism, I would have moved out of America a long time ago. We don’t just make our decisions off of racism.”
In response, Pete Davidson, a member of the “SNL” cast, labeled West’s Trump speech as “awkward” and encouraged West to look more into his mental health on “SNL’s Weekend Update” skit.
Hira Khan (‘19) said, “I think that Kanye’s blatant disregard for the plight of minorities is an insult to various people of color that inhabit the United States. Furthermore, he erases the atrocities inflicted during slavery and the discrimination they continue to experience to this day.”