Ben Baker is a sophomore journalism major and writes "The Baker's Dozen" for the Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It seems like politics are the only thing people have opinions on anymore. You look on social media or at the news and people are always talking about the latest and greatest (or, perhaps, worst) in government. If President Trump takes a breath, everybody’s instantly all over it. For that reason, I’ve decided that my next column will not focus on politics. I can hear the sighs of relief already.
But this column will focus on politics; specifically, on a political question that grinds my gears. And that question is this: When did celebrities start thinking they knew everything about government? I’m not saying that they can’t speak out about what’s going on in our country. But it shouldn’t be their chief job.
Ever since Donald Trump announced his candidacy, it seems that every celebrity has had something to say about him. For the most part, their comments have been negative. I have heard very few positive things said about him from the celebrity camp. And that irritates me quite a bit. It’s not because what they say is always wrong; some of what they say is true.
Do you think celebrities should voice their opinion? Read this column.
I’m more irritated because when did it become the celebrities’ job to tell Americans whom they should support? The fact is, celebrities don’t live the lives of regular Americans. A U. S. Census Bureau report found that the median household income in the country in 2015 was $55,575.
Meanwhile, Taylor Swift made $170 million last year and Dr. Phil made $88 million, according to forbes.com.
For the most part, celebrities live in complete luxury and don’t have to worry about whether they can pay their bills each month. They don’t experience many of the struggles ordinary Americans face, so why should they be able to tell us which candidates to support?
But I think the more important question is this: why do we value the opinions of celebrities more than our own? What’s so special about them that makes us think our ordinary-folk opinions don’t matter?
To be fair, some celebrities possess a great deal of education, so their opinions are more likely to be well thought-out. But blindly accepting a celebrity’s ideas due to their fame and fortune is, to be blunt, utter stupidity.
One of the pleasures Americans have is the ability to think for themselves and form their own opinions. So why do so many of us give that up? Do people just not like to think anymore? Is it a matter of laziness? You can answer those questions for yourself.
In short, do I think that celebrities should voice their opinions on politics? Absolutely. It’s their constitutional freedom. However, do I think Americans should value those opinions over their own? Absolutely not. We should resist the temptation to blindly follow celebrities’ opinions just because they have a higher societal status.
So, the next time a celebrity makes a political comment, check to see whether it’s true or not. Then determine whether you want to accept their opinion.