Celebrity and Politics

At the Republican National Convention, it was Clint Eastwood who made a splash with his speech regarding President Obama.  At the Democratic National Convention, Kal Penn of Harold and Kumar fame, made a veiled reference to Eastwood’s speech and made overtures toward younger Americans to vote.  In 1964, actor Raymond Massey made a campaign commercial for Republican Barry Goldwater.  Actor E.G. Marshall filmed a spot for Hubert Humphrey in 1968.  Paul Newman campaigned for another Democrat in 1968, Eugene McCarthy.  Sammy Davis Jr. endorsed President Nixon.  Singer Pearl Bailey in 1976 for President Ford.    Even Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon endorsed Ralph Nader in 2000.   The list of celebrities endorsing and campaigning for Presidents and presidential candidates is almost endless.  I once watched a PBS documentary entitled, “Vote For Me”, where the then head of the Oklahoma Democratic Party referred to politics as “show business for ugly people.”  He was alluding to the entertainment value of political campaigns and how the political process had become superficial over the years.  This documentary was filmed in the mid-1990s.  Today, it seems as if politics and entertainment industry have come together as one.  Entertainers of all political stripes are now engaged in the political process by adding their opinions to the issues, events, and candidates of the day through social media and traditional media outlets alike.  Has the separation between politics and entertainment become blurred over the years?  Do you believe that entertainers have any influence on the political process?

2 responses to “Celebrity and Politics

  1. Celebrities are very influential when it comes to anything, including politics. Barack Obama has received plenty of fundraiser donations from celebrities like Lady Gaga to George Clooney. Their money helps politicians run for election and send out ads and so on. There are people who follow what celebrities do and that does influence how people vote.
    Politics and entertainment has become blurred over the years. At times when I watch candidates speak, I feel as if I am watching a reality tv show…. in other words, a bunch of garbage.

  2. I find it frustrating that people would be influenced be the opinions of celebrities. What makes them the experts? At times these celebrities have little education and do not have the experiences of a typical American life.

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