The last two years have been a whirlwind of emotions for Democrats and Republicans alike. Tensions rose as Donald Trump announced his desire to run for president in 2016, and negative feelings only grew more pronounced when he was elected into office.
Democrats cited Trump’s political inexperience as one of the many reasons why he should not have been president and, surprisingly, many Republicans also expressed dissatisfaction with his lack of experience in politics — the very thing that attracted his supporters. However, despite years of saying that a celebrity should not run the country, Democrats have already begun trotting out their celebrity picks for presidential nominee in anticipation for the 2020 election.
Liberals have said from the beginning of Trump’s run for office that a person of such profound inexperience and ignorance should not be anywhere near the White House. Nevertheless, a whole host of celebrities are considering a run for president in the 2020 election.
Mark Cuban, a businessman, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (yes, that one) have both expressed interest in running, among others, and some like Oprah Winfrey considered the possibility but ultimately decided against it. So, why are liberals suddenly okay with the idea of a celebrity running in the 2020 election?
My take on the situation is that liberals took a huge hit in 2016 and want to revamp the Democratic Party by including celebrities on the ballot. Hillary Clinton, a woman who has spent her entire life in politics, lost to a crass old man with no political experience whatsoever.
Politicians in state elections didn’t fare much better. In my home state of Missouri, a Navy SEAL won the election for governor against an established political figure, and other positions were also filled by political outsiders. Inexperience won against supposed corruption, and after the election there were no clear leaders to emerge from the ashes to pull the Democratic Party back together.
Not only did Democrats lose in elections both big and small in 2016, but the faces of the Democratic Party are simply too darn old and many voters are disillusioned with seeing the same people in office. Bernie Sanders, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, Maxine Waters and Hillary Clinton are all well above 65 years of age — only Schumer and Warren are still in their late 60s, and Waters will be 80 this year.
While older people are certainly capable of leading active political lives, they all have been in the game for too long, and there isn’t enough room for fresher faces. There has also been speculation that these figures should not run for president because, due to their age, these politicians might be physically and mentally incapable of such a demanding position. They are simply uninspiring and don’t create the same kind of hubbub that Donald Trump could on the campaign trail.
That’s where the celebrities come in. Famous people like The Rock, who seems to be one of the most serious about running, are going to attract the same kind of media circus that Trump attracted in the 2016 election and can match the frenzy he will be sure to incite in the 2020 election. The media attention brought to the Democratic Party will also spur much needed exposure that candidates like Bernie Sanders could have never hoped to receive in 2016.
Celebrity candidates would also attract younger people to the party. Millennials and other young voters tend to lean towards the left on the political spectrum but have not yet surpassed the number of older voters in previous elections. Having people who are decades younger than the last Democratic candidates running could give the party a fresher, revitalized feel and might encourage the younger generations to outvote the older generations that are beginning to die off.
In addition, it appears that Democrats have gotten the message that insider politicians typically are not trusted and might be moving toward less knowledgeable candidates to appeal to wary voters. Hillary Clinton was a lifelong politician, and Democrats and Republicans alike did not trust her. Democrats certainly ruined their chances in the 2016 election by choosing an established yet untrustworthy politician over someone who might have actually garnered real change.
However, it should be obvious why electing a celebrity rather than a politician would be a dangerous and self-defeating strategy that won’t bring the party back together. Though Hollywood and presidential elections are both popularity contests, the reasons for popularity are different.
While it seems now that somebody like The Rock could pull the party together with his charm and popularity factor, the only reason why he is lovable is precisely because he is not political. Once he begins putting forth his beliefs on issues such as foreign policy and civil rights, the likability factor will decrease significantly and the party will still be divided. Name recognition and star power alone will get the party nowhere.
Not only would this strategy not fix the party, but electing an inexperienced celebrity in the 2020 election would be incredibly hypocritical considering the anger directed toward Republicans at electing such a person. Voting for someone who can screw up solely due to inexperience is not going to reunite or reinvigorate the party, and the presidency will become an even bigger joke than it already is on the global stage. By overcorrecting their previous mistakes, liberals will only make a mockery of themselves and of the country.
The current situation should also be taken into consideration. Thus far, Americans have seen that electing a man with no political experience into the highest political office in the nation might not have been the best idea, but Trump’s most ardent supporters still claim that his policies will fix the country’s issues.
The worst part is that many Americans wanted somebody with no experience so he could “drain the swamp,” a phrase most likely inspired by Ronald Reagan’s use of the term during his presidency, but all Trump has done is create a recipe for disaster. Not only does Trump have no idea what he’s doing, but he has also filled his cabinet with other inexperienced people.
He put a neurosurgeon in charge of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a climate change denier in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and so many others who simply do not belong in their respective departments. While some people claim that an inexperienced celebrity can surround him or herself with political experts, there is no guarantee that such a thing would occur or even work.
It seems that the only reason liberals are considering a celebrity as a viable candidate for the presidency is so that they can achieve the same level of grandeur as the Republican Party, but making a mockery of the presidency would do nothing to help the party. Trump used his star power and sway over the media during the election to distract from his unclear political stances and half-baked plans and has boasted inflated statistics during his presidency.
Everything with him has to be the best and the biggest, and he will even lie to make himself seem more important than he is. As voters have seen, grandiosity does not benefit the nation and only serves to boost the president’s fragile ego, so why would Democrats lower themselves to that level in 2020?
While it is necessary to revitalize the Democratic Party, there is simply no need to continue the tradition of voting for a celebrity. Political experience should be reestablished as a precursor to attaining the most important job in the political realm and in the country. Democrats should not attempt to improve upon what the Republicans did; rather, in the 2020 election, Democrats need to reverse the damage done to the integrity of the highest office in the land.