Celebrities: where they stand politically and how their viewpoints impact politics

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Evin Ersan, Business Manager

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Celebrities possess lots of power and have a large number of supporters. They can influence the entire world and make a huge impact on politics as a result of their significance.

Celebrities are people and therefore develop political opinions. Some celebrities are democrats and lean left, while others are republicans and lean right. No matter their stance, their political opinions have a huge influence in the grand scheme of politics. Martha V. Shelton, author of the article “Do The Political Opinions Of Celebrities Matter?” states that celebrities use their political fame and power to highlight their political beliefs. She says that celebrities can have a huge impact on the outcome of political campaigns and politics in general. She goes on to cite several examples of how celebrities have affected politics with their viewpoints including: Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, P-Diddy, Madonna and George Clooney.

A huge example of celebrity power on politics was when Oprah Winfrey endorsed Barack Obama. According to Shelton, Winfrey was a huge, positive contributing factor in Obama’s presidential campaign and, because of her endorsement, Obama gained an additional one million votes in his favor. With her democratic viewpoints and huge influence, Winfrey was able to sway the election in Obama’s favor, which brought upon eight years of democratic policies such as ObamaCare. Brenna Morley, a student, also agrees that celebrities have a big impact on politics. She stated, “Celebrities definitely have a huge influence on politics especially on social media; they get their views and opinions across really easily. They can share their opinions with their audience in a couple of seconds.”  

A lot of people believe that celebrities like Winfrey have a history of leaning left. Why is this the case? Ted Johnson, author of the article “Rob Long on Why Hollywood Leans democratic (Listen)” states that the Hollywood industry started off as conservative but is now a liberal environment. Johnson then goes on to quote Rob Long on his view of why Hollywood turned liberal with Long stating that the fact that celebrities don‘t see the pay stub, the money that the government takes out of one’s check, is because only the celebrity’s lawyer, manager, and agent deal with it is why the majority of celebrities lean left politically. Solange Bolger, a student, believes that more celebrities lean left rather than right and she explained why, “I definitely think more celebrities are left leaning because it’s what the media wants to see…the media kind of portrays being part of the democratic party or being a little bit more left leaning as making you a better person and that’s what the media wants to portray celebrities as.”  

There are, however, many superstars such as: Bill O’Reilly, Mike Tyson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone and other celebrities who are republicans. Many of these celebrities experience the same “pay stub” effect, yet they choose to be republicans. In addition, a significant number of these conservative celebrities have also endorsed presidents and other important political figures, greatly helping their political campaigns.

Celebrities do influence politics and many have and continue to boost or ruin politicians’ popularity. A celebrity’s political viewpoint may turn the tide in a significant election and change the course of history, and whether a celebrity leans right or left may impact future policies, decisions, candidates and national beliefs.