Opinion: Celebrity politicians do not represent the average citizen

Nolan Shen, Staff Writer

Just a couple weeks ago, former NFL star Herschel Walker, the latest in a growing list of celebrity politicians, was defeated by incumbent senator Raphael Warnock in his bid to represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate. Walker’s campaign was plagued by numerous scandals that likely led to his eventual defeat.  This is a trend heading in the wrong direction.

In recent years, numerous celebrities have expressed interest in running for office. Matthew McConaughey considered in running for Governor of Texas, though he ultimately decided against it. Caitlyn Jenner ran unsuccessfully for governor of California. Celebrities like McConaughey and Jenner are dangerous because they have zero experience in government, law or the military. 

The most notable celebrity candidate of recent times is former President Donald Trump. To this day, Trump is the only U.S. President with no prior experience in government or the military. His only experience was running the Trump Organization—a real estate company (which was recently found guilty on 17 counts of criminal tax fraud). His time in office was incredibly damaging to America, between lowering standards of democracy and fracturing foreign relations. 

Celebrities today are ridden with scandal after scandal and controversy after controversy. If they are busy dealing with these issues when in office, they can’t govern effectively. While it may be difficult, we need politicians who are free from major controversy. Politics is a messy game to start with, and celebrities turn that mess into a dumpster fire.

Look at Kanye West, for example. He was a controversial figure when running for president in 2020. Since then, he has fallen down the alt-right pipeline, spewing antisemitic comments left and right. He has praised Hitler, denied the Holocaust, identified himself as a Nazi. Now, he plans to run for president again in 2024. Not only are these controversies a hindrance to his ability to campaign and potentially govern, they are dangerous lies that harm millions of Jewish-Americans. 

Instead of celebrities running solely on a platform of popularity, we need candidates with serious qualifications and experience. Former President Barack Obama is a prime example of an experienced candidate. Obama studied at Columbia University and Harvard Law School, and after graduating he taught law at the University of Chicago, not to mention his decade of experience in state and federal legislatures. 

The politicians we elect make decisions that have consequences, some affecting every single person living in the U.S. We need to make sure that these decisions are made with the everyday American in mind. Politicians need to be working in their interest. Celebrities represent a small portion of the American population: the rich and influential. We need politicians who represent the everyday American. When celebrities, representing the rich elite, are in office, they progress people like them, allowing millionaires to make more money, while lower-class Americans get left behind.