Why Celebrities Should not be Politicians

El'ad Nichols-Kaufman, Writer

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Disclaimer: opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent any official position or policy of the Shortridge Daily Echo or of Shortridge High School

Following Oprah’s Winfrey’s speech at the Golden Globes, many people began to discuss seriously the possibility of her candidacy for president. Democrats who support this idea claim that her popularity as a celebrity would allow a progressive, African-American woman to have a chance to rise to the highest office in the United States. This is all true, but the issues and complications that come with an Oprah presidency would be many of the same ones that are coming from the Trump presidency.

Experienced politicians need to understand issues that affect the nation in order to do their jobs, and they understand these issues and proposed solutions to them far more in depth than anyone outside of the government. The average American, including celebrities, understand only what small quantity of knowledge they get from watching thirty minutes of news a day, which usually delivers no more than a basic outline people with no prior knowledge can understand. Experienced politicians and civil servants who have served in office before have had years to research and process these issues, and to truly understand how to solve them. Trump’s ignorance of foreign policy has plummeted the United States into a catastrophic breach of international trust which will take decades to repair. His ignorance of immigration policy has him pursuing pointless immigration reforms which have been proven to be colossal wastes of money and effort. While a liberal celebrities’ mistakes may be very different, they would be mistakes none the less.

Politicians know that they need to watch every word they say and every action they do. They know that a single sentence thirty years ago could destroy their entire career, and in try to avoid any scandal or controversy which could hurt them later on. Celebrities are not half as careful. For them, scandal gets media attention, which helps their fame and makes them money. This is not good for a future in politics, and could potentially collapse an entire campaign.

While it is certainly good for popular figures in the public eye to speak out on important issues, and it is a good sign that celebrities are finally using their powerful platform of fame to speak about politics, it is vital that this is not taken as a sign  that celebrities like Oprah should run for office. Future celebrity politicians would be just as bad as previous ones. Just look at Arnold Schwarzenegger or Donald Trump, not exactly people we would want in office. A powerful and popular woman like Oprah would do best to support another experienced woman politician rather than run for office herself.