Why Treating Politicians Like Celebrities Is Bad For America
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

You Need To Stop Stanning Politicians, They're Not Celebrities, And Politics Isn't Entertainment

We need to learn how to support politicians without idolizing them.

You Need To Stop Stanning Politicians, They're Not Celebrities, And Politics Isn't Entertainment

OK, listen, I also think Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is cool. I had an Elizabeth Warren sign in my dorm room for a while. I'm currently interning for a congressional candidate. I'm very invested in politics. And supporting and liking certain politicians over others is a part of being invested in politics.

But it's time to stop treating politicians like celebrities. Please.

There's nothing wrong with supporting or liking politicians, but treating them like artists or actors is inherently problematic. You aren't a "fan," of senators or presidential candidates, you're a supporter. And politics isn't entertainment, as much as it might feel like it with major candidates yelling over each on national television.

My problem with fan-cams of AOC and calling Nancy Pelosi a #GirlBoss isn't so much with the actions themselves as with the idolization and uncritical support they foster. By treating elected officials how we treat celebrities and entertainers, we make our priority them as people rather than the ideas and issues they support.

Politicians are public servants — our priority needs to be on what they bring to the table and what they've done for the people they represent.

The most obvious and troubling example of this idolization of elected officials has to be the cult of personality that's been built up around Donald Trump. For many of his supporters, the president is simply incapable of doing wrong. Anything he says or does that's bad can be written off as a misunderstanding, a joke, or an example of him 'trolling' the media. The emphasis isn't on the president's policies or his actions in office; it's on Donald Trump as a person. And that's dangerous.

This isn't a one-way street, however. No one should be idolizing any politician, even if you like them.

Support them. Vote for them. Like them as people. But don't let the priority be anything other than their beliefs. For instance: I really like Bernie Sanders. I like the majority of his ideas, and I think he's a genuine, principled person. But I need to be capable of disagreeing with Bernie Sanders if he says something I don't agree with.

We all need to acknowledge and engage with the faults of our public officials. They can be your role models and they can have your support. But we all need to be able to criticize them when it's necessary. They're not your favorite actor that you'll defend even when their new movie is bad. They're public servants who are supposed to help the people who elected them.

Report this Content

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

College 101: How To Ease The Back To School Blues

Getting back into the school groove when you just can't seem to let go of summer.

Beyond The States

With fall classes just beginning, many of us find ourselves struck with summer withdrawals. Especially for those who refrained from taking courses over the summer, it can be quite difficult to get back in the swing of things. Fortunately, there are various ways to help make the transition back to college as smooth as possible.

Keep Reading... Show less
Dating Apps

We Met At A Bar

Salvage what you can; if you can't, it's alright to walk away.

We Met At A Bar
Anne Waldon

We met at a bar.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Mets And Me

They may be the worst sometimes, but this baseball team has given me more than I could ask for.

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

On September 3rd, 2001, a sea of children littered my home's navy-carpeted den to watch baseball during my dad's 40th birthday extravaganza. A baseball game flickered on the TV, and a red and blue bubble of a scoreboard sat in the bottom right corner of the screen. The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies were in a wild game at Veterans' Stadium. As I, a five-year-old boy with a jumble of curly blonde hair, sat in the back of the kid clump, I wondered which team I should root for. After a long debate with myself, I decided that I should root for the team that's winning (duh). But, as the ninth inning rolled around with the Phils maintaining a 7-5 lead, some magic occurred. The Mets put up five runs in one frame, stunning the Phillie fans in the room and winning the game 10-7.

Keep Reading... Show less

Which BTS Member You Are Based On Your Star Sign

If you love BTS, I'm sure you relate to one or many of them in several ways. This star test will help you learn more about which member you are most connected to.

Which BTS Member You Are Based On Your Star Sign

Astrological signs tell a lot about a person. Do you ever wonder what your BTS bias star sign is? Is it the same as yours, or or are you more like one of the other amazing members? Take a look and find out what yours (and the members of Bangtan) says about you.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments