There have been entire mixtapes, songs, punch lines, and public announcements of support from many music artists and other celebrities concerning the Presidential candidate they personally favor. But how informed are these artists that are making such open endorsements? Do they know their candidate’s stance on the economy? What plans they have for education or healthcare or foreign policy? Or are they simply jumping on the band wagon to ensure it doesn’t past them by, leaving them behind?
It is one thing for the every day person (as uninformed as they may be) to go around endorsing or defending their candidate of choice to their family, friends, and co-workers. This particular individual may be very popular and have hundreds of other people to spread their newfound misinformation to, but that is nothing compared to the power of an artist or celebrity. Public figures have the ability to reach thousands, if not millions, of people at one time with a single statement, video, or song. Furthermore, these people hold a sense of influence over those (fans especially) watching or listening to them.
Hypothetically, of course, let’s say your favorite artist of all time just endorsed a certain Presidential candidate. You have followed this artist throughout their entire career, you know the ins and outs of both their professional and personal life (from a safe distance), and you have come to trust them, not only with your money, but to also make the “right” decisions; they are an overall “good” person. Now, because of their endorsement, you have made up your mind to vote for that particular candidate; you needn’t look any further or deeper into the issues at hand. How could your favorite artist be wrong? This is where the problem begins.
Understand, this is not the action of every fan, but the scenario is very possible. It can be a complicated and confusing process to dig through speeches, quotes, voting records, and positions of a candidate to discover what they are really about. It is much easier to follow the lead of some celebrity or artist who is assumed to have already done enough homework for the both of you.
Sometimes, it becomes increasingly obvious that an artist or celebrity is simply following the trend set by their peers. Or, to push the idea even further, sometimes (especially in this election), artists and celebrities are merely walking the line of racial and/or gender solidarity (white man, white woman, black man, black person). It may be an ugly thought to reflect upon, but what is the likelihood that it holds some truth? What is the probability that your favorite singer, rapper, or movie star never picked up a newspaper, listened to/watched the news or a candidate’s speech, etc. before they wrote a lyric or statement of endorsement, only because a certain Presidential nominee shared their gender, race, or both?
The percentage may not be a hundred, but it probably is not zero. Hopefully, you will not find yourself as that one fan mentioned above. If so, you have been grossly led astray. Learn and Vote! —— By: Bethany N.