Kim Kardashian speaks with Donald Trump
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Why Does Kim K Have More Of A Political Voice Than We Do?

Experts, students, average citizens are all being disenfranchised and ignored... but KimK? Apparently she calls the shots now.

Why Does Kim K Have More Of A Political Voice Than We Do?

Whether or not you like to admit it, political experience and understanding is crucial for developing and writing key policy. Allowing our political institutions to be run by reality TV stars should concern people, but given our celebrity hyper-glamorized society, we somehow have come to accept that those with no experience are running our daily lives. To me, this sounds like a poorly written beginning to some devastating dystopian literature novel.

Kim Kardashian was recently in the White House with President Trump to discuss policy change in regards to prison sentencing. I must admit that in the early workings of the policy and my current understanding of Mrs. Kardashian-West's stance on the issue, I'm not necessarily opposed to the policy itself.

What I am concerned about is the fact that young people (especially people of color) have been advocating for similar policy changes for literally generations, but no one has taken the time to hear them out until it comes from the lips of a reality TV star with relatively no experience in public policy making.

In fact, it's not even that these young people have just been shut out of the conversation, but they have also been consistently bullied, ridiculed, and disrespected for being advocates of change on literally any policy issue. Even those of us that are pursuing or have obtained degrees in Political Science, Public Policy, or Economics are often told that we are too young to understand the ills of the real world, despite our diligent studying of the subject.

So, I wonder-- if you can't trust those of us who have literally dedicated our lives to policy, then how are you so willing to hand the reins over to those who have literally no experience in politics except for when it is convenient for a photo-op or public relations move? Social media and reality TV stars can use and have used their platforms for both good and bad, but regardless that's really up to interpretation and I praise and respect anyone who uses their platforms to be politically active. My fear, however, is many celebrities' inability to yield to experts who have studied and constructed policy.

Many times opinions get posted online from stars with romanticized expectations and concepts that are easier on paper than in reality. This creates a misconception among the general public, who have begun to confuse celebrity status for political scientist. While advocating for an issue is important and encouraged, not doing research on the issue or understanding that every objective is not always possible within the constraints of our institutions can cause more harm than good.

Why do we block out those young advocates who have both the knowledge and the passion to make real change in the long-term happen? Where is the platform for them and why do we refuse to give them one?

My fear moving forward on this particular issue is that quick policy action will cause inefficient and ineffective change. President Trump has been quoted saying: "Get a bill to my desk, and I will sign it." This seems pretty optimistic and exciting that he is willing to do something about our corrupt prison system. However, it also sounds like he's unconcerned with particular contents of the legislation and to him, any bill will do. Between the time a bill is introduced in committee to when it hits the President's desk, it has gone through so many changes and modifications that oftentimes amendments have added in hidden problems that political outsiders and those less familiar with policy tend to overlook and ignore.

Look, as a feminist, I respect the fact that Kim Kardashian has been able to build a business and brand for herself. I am supportive of her ability to advocate for an issue and step within the White House. However, as a youth advocate and Political science and Economics major, I am quite honestly tired of political outsiders getting to shape policy more than the experts or even the people that policies directly affect. This goes for whether I actually like the policy or not.

When young advocates of color spoke up about prison reforms, they were ignored. When students rallied for gun control, they were told they were too young to understand. When young LGBT+ individuals march in pride parades, they are told that they are too young to know if they are gay (but apparently old enough to know if they were straight).

You don't have the agree with specific policy (I certainly don't always agree with the opinions of other young people around me), but you do have to recognize that young people deserve a platform and a chance to engage with policy that's going to affect them for the rest of their lives. Wishing to minimize or strip someone of their platform is one of the most un-American concepts I have ever heard of, yet every day so many disregard the stances of children and youth based purely on their age. The fact that more credibility is given to reality stars than those who have faced the issues first hand or those who have studied them for years, concerns me and reveals a true problem within our society.

Most of America believes that politics is just smoke and mirrors and that establishment politicians are crooked and corrupt. The truth is, experience in politics means you know how to create policy or work within a crooked and corrupt system, even when it doesn't look like you are from the outside. It's easy to criticize politicians as an outsider, but unfortunately, so many of the general public has developed a romanticized filter about how the government works.

So, President Trump, when will you invite some of us young political science majors to talk to you and help shape real policy for tomorrow? Or are you more concerned about the pop culture publicity you gain from meeting with celebrities?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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