The Politics of Celebrity

At the Republican National Convention in 2012, it was Clint Eastwood who made a splash with his speech regarding President Obama.  At the Democratic National Convention in that same year, 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?

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Quote of the Week

“I am not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.” — Then Congressman Newt Gingrich (R-GA) of Georgia

What is your take on the status quo in government?

The Internet Ad of All Internet Ads

The following Internet ad is from 2010 for Dale Peterson, a one-time candidate for Alabama Agriculture Commissioner.  This ad, for the obscure state position, gained a lot of international attention due to Peterson’s candid nature and the creativity of the ad.  Peterson ended up finishing third in the Republican primary, but a follow-up ad, which was as creative as this one, was made where he supported one of his GOP opponents in the runoff election.

In your opinion, what made this ad stand out?

Term Limits in Congress?

From time to time, someone in Congress asks that the Constitution to be changed so that Presidents could be elected to more than two terms, thus repealing the 22nd Amendment. What about calling for term limits on members of Congress?

Fifteen state legislatures have term limits.  Thirty-six governors are limited as well.  Why not Congress? After the 1994 Republican Revolution in Congress, where the GOP won both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years, reform-minded Congressmen put term limits to a vote.  The vote was in the form of a Constitutional Amendment in 1995.  It failed.  Then three other versions of term limit legislation failed in the House.  After all, it would very difficult to pass a bill in the House, where you are asking the members themselves to support something that would put them out of work.

Some believe that term limits would bring a new face and new vision to the legislative body.  With that new vision comes new ideas.  Others say that term limits would unfairly limit the terms of those Congressmen and Senators who are doing a decent job for their constituents.  It is sort of like saying that you wouldn’t want to throw out the good with the bad.

What are your thoughts on limiting the amount of terms a Congressman or Senator can serve?  How many terms would you limit them to?

Your Grade for Congress

Media Bias

News bias is the ideological slant that you find in a news story.  You may also find the same ideological slant in a column.  A column is where you would find an opinion, and therefore, you would expect to find an ideological slant.  In a news story, where you are supposed hear only the facts, you may find yourself listening to a reporter’s bias.  Where do you believe that the bias in the media lies?  Is the media, conservative, liberal, libertarian, or socialist?

Hillary Clinton’s Announcement