T Nation

Celebrities in Politics

Heard recently that few celebrities are potentially getting into politics the next election cycle.

First, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He’s a registered republican who might run in California.

Arnold the governator might come back and run in California in the Senate. I think the dynamic between him and Trump would help him.

The big one, which I think could really shake things up in 2020… Oprah. If you look at the 2016 race, I think she would be a VERY strong candidate compared to Trump. Will she be the first woman president?

Overall, as we’ve seen with the 2016 race and Trump winning, policy isn’t what wins votes. I’m not sure what any of the candidates (Dwayne, Oprah, or Arnold) bring to the table that is unique, but their personalities have a big following.

For discussion: Is it good that celebs are running for office? Is it all just a popularity contest?

Personally, I believe we required a certain political environment to elect Trump, just like a certain environment was needed for Brexit to take place (which they are basically re-nigging on now but that’s outside of the point.)

Oprah could do well but it truly depends on how poorly Trump does and how well democrats mobilize (assuming she would be a democrat). I can guarantee that their base will be fired up to vote against any Republican offered up.

There is an element of popularity with both celebrities and career politicians. The question is, are career politicians doing so poorly/appearing so spineless/corrupt that people are willing to vote for someone with only transferrable skills, and no true experience.

We don’t do that (normally) In the workplace, but it is a valid check on career politicians. Keeps them honest.
Trump is doing a good job of trying to accomplish what he said he would do right now, so he’s already making half of the careers politicians look bad, even if he fails.


We’re living the early years of idiocracy.


I want to see George Clooney in the White House next. After seeing all of the hard core libs heads explode its only fair to explode the hardcore conservatards too.

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Just put Paltrow in office then.

Agreed, what a shit show.

True celebs? Absolutely it’s just a following thing. I hate it when celebs pretend to be concerned about government issues out of nowhere. Essentially capitalizing on a tragic situation.

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Thats just too far! Clooney is a lefty goofball that wants to save the world but she’s just plain crazy.

The “mindless partisanship” thread would be going bonkers. Suddenly the other side becomes okay voting for a celebrity with little experience after years of bitching the contrary.

Well, television is bound to get more interesting. Monday Night Rehabilitation and

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Haha, both sides are too good at flexing their hypocrisy muscles for that to be an issue.

I mean… Trump. Also look at the popularity of Bernie Sanders. There are a lot of ill-informed people out there who vote.

I’m ok with celebrities running for local or state positions, but jumping straight to the most powerful position without any experience yields the empty promises and chaos/flip-flops that we’ve seen from Trump so far.

I agree, but that was more populism. Reagan and Arnold were able to get elected in California without that environment.

I think Democrats will be fired up regardless. They hate Trump, but with Bernie Sanders saying he will run again (among other politicians) would a celebrity like Oprah make it out of the primary?

Bernie Sanders touring with DNC Chairman Tom Perez on the “Unity Tour” makes him the current favorite. But we have a long way to go.

I don’t get any of the support behind Bernie (not that there was a lot of it).

Why would you vote someone in who promises to take money from those who have earned it and distribute it to others who haven’t worked as hard. Everyone in America has equal opportunity to become rich and be in the 1% but most don’t.

It’s not like the money they have gained is done so in a immoral way as they have engaged in numerous consensual transactions with others.

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While I don’t agree with high level wealth distribution, this statement is patently false.

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That is a whole other thread, it would be a major derail. You are espousing John Smith/Ayn Rand rational self interest style capitalism. When humans persue their rational self interest and create value for other humans with their labor and capital everyone prospers.

Many people in younger generations do not believe in that (and some old hippies). It doesn’t matter how many socialist regimes and up being Venezuela they always scream “but Europe!” That’s a whole argument in itself (we underwrite EU big time).

Don’t want to derail this thread. Suffice it to say that BOTH Republicans and Democrats want bigger government and socialist policies. It’s just the dose they are arguing about.

No it isn’t. Everyone has the opportunity to be a smash hit success. Most of us have limited work ethic, talent etc…

Most limitations people have are self imposed (mind forged manicles).

Very good question and the answer is quite simple, it’s called “the politics of envy”. The democrats have mastered the use of this technique. Ever hear the following statement from the left: “The rich are not paying their fair share.” Of course you hear it every four years. But the fact is the top 10% income earners in the US pay just over 50% of all federal income tax. But if you listened to the left one would think that everyone in higher income bracket is an income tax dodger… Currently the average Joe thinks that those who make the big bucks pay nothing because they have all sorts of loopholes. This is a fantasy pulled off by the left to…promote the politics of envy!

Bernie Sanders is the lowest form of life. A person who never succeeded in the private sector (like Obama) and now wants to (apparently) continually run for President on a platform of stealing money from those who have worked hard and succeeded and, as you say, give it to those who have done nothing to deserve it. And of course those who love to hear this nonsense are the young who are naïve enough to believe this would work over the long haul.

In addition to Bernie crazy Lizzie Warren and a host of other would be left wing democrat candidates are spewing the same lie.

Of course everyone has the opportunity. But to say everyone has an EQUAL opportunity to become a 1%'er is just silly.

As for celebrities running for higher office, that is unfortunately an offshoot of Donald Trump winning the Presidency. I said when he was running, if he wins that socialist Hollywood will come forward with their own candidates. Boobs like Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney…and God only knows who else.

While that may be the case, “The Rock” is hardly a socialist and is a declared Republican. Arnold and Reagan won as Republicans in California as celebrity candidates. Arnold may run again in the Senate. This is not a one-party phenomenon, if anything Republicans have been the one electing celebrities (Trump included) and Dems might be catching up.

True enough. I grew up in a working class household with a stay at home Mom. And I had a goal of owning my own business. Were my chances of financial success as good as the doctor or lawyers child? No. But, my goal was achieved. And it happened in spite of the government trying to hold me back through excessive regulations and runaway taxes.

No, not everyone has an equal opportunity. But everyone can have a BETTER opportunity if government would get out of the way and stop punishing the job creators and those who want to become successful.

An illiterate crazy homeless person probably isn’t going to get there. But not because there are excessive obstacles society put in his/her way.

Now if you want to talk about classism and the corruption of big business buying off big government to stifle competition there are some structural problems we could address to level the playing field.

Also I don’t think people realize just how low the bar is for top 1% of net worth. According to the NYT it is $8.4M in net worth. Depending on what area of the country you are in that could be 10 paid-for duplexes. I think everyone reading this right now has the brain power to go and make that happen. But it’s a mindset thing. Most people do what’s comfortable and work their 9-5’s with “less risk”. I’m stuck in that trap now trying to claw my way out.



You pointed out the exceptions to the rule.