Good News, America! Nobody Cares What Celebrities Think
by Katie Frates
Some of the world’s most famous celebrities #stoodwithher, and it did a whole lot of nothing for Hillary Clinton.
Madonna, Beyonce, Jay Z, Sigourney Weaver, Katy Perry, Meryl Streep and Lady Gaga — among many others — all threw their support behind Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Those endorsements were supposed to rally their millions of fans to get to the voting booth and elect the first female president of the United States.
Maybe that’s because the majority of their fans are concentrated in staunch blue states like California that everyone already knew Clinton would win. Except Clinton lost a third of her electoral votes in Washington, a very blue state, so maybe not.
Or maybe celebrity star power does not translate well in politics, because getting fans to spend money on a concert or movie is very different from getting those same people to vote.
Clinton’s failed presidential bid highlights just how ineffective celebrities have become when they wade into politics. There was a time when famous Hollywood types (think Bob Dylan in the ’60s) had an impact. “Blowin’ in the Wind” became an anthem in the civil rights movement. Dylan used his skills as a singer and songwriter to craft music that focused on the troubles of the time.
Now, singers are rarely also songwriters, so the best they can do to support a candidate or ideal is sing about Red Lobster and offer blow jobs in exchange for votes.
In 2017, anyone can become famous, and that has played a part in Hollywood’s receding power. The ability for ordinary people like Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber to rise to the heights of fame through YouTube, Instagram and blogging has created such a glut of talent that the influence of each individual famous voice decreases. The threshold for international popularity is as low as a sex tape, and the respect it receives reflects that.
Celebrities of today don’t utilize their talents to make a difference, they just assume being famous and being present are enough.
President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration in less than two weeks proves that is not enough.
Streep gave an impassioned speech at the Golden Globes Sunday railing against Trump. “There was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good; there was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh, and show their teeth,” she said, reaching an ever-dwindling award show audience. “Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose. O.K., go on with it.”
Just last week, celebrities came out with a video called #StandUpForUS, in which they ask Congress to hold the Trump administration responsible. Aside from making themselves feel good, it’s going to have no impact on what actually happens during the next four to eight years.
Same goes for boycotting the inauguration. Trump has had a tough time getting people to perform Jan. 20 — thanks, in part, to mass condemnation of people rumored to be a possibility. The end result of the celebrity boycott is going to be a lost opportunity for those performers to send a message.
While they spent so much time stumping for Hillary and decrying Trump, celebrities have been oddly quiet in the face of assaults and protests against Trump supporters.
Perry openly encouraged the behavior with tweets, saying, “RISE UP” and “THE REVOLUTION IS COMING” the day after the election.
What good that does is murky at best. Using fame to rip open the divides the Left’s identity politics created under the guise of the greater good is dangerous, and is a lot more powerful than any endorsement will be. The biggest power celebrities had during this election was being used as a scapegoat for the vicious actions perpetrated by so-called marginalized groups. If Beyonce says black power is OK, how is assaulting a white man who voted for racist Trump wrong?
The end result of this is that celebrities were most useful when their status was being twisted into an excuse to harm others.
If the presidency were purely a popularity contest, states like California and Massachusetts would have carried Clinton to victory. But it’s not, and they didn’t — no matter what Michael Moore says.
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