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Tue Dec 20, 2016, 10:09 AM

 

The age of the celebrity politician

Are we at the stage where we need a politician to be a celebrity to elect them?

In the US we elected Trump, a reality TV host. We elected an actor Governor of California and have previously elected celebrities to congress (and the WH)

In Canada, they have Trudeau (a liberal) who's fast becoming the selfie king. Before he became PM, he appeared shirtless in a boxing match and had no issues taking his shirt off on TV.

Other countries have elected celebrities to be their head of government or head of state.

What the fuck is going on here!????

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply The age of the celebrity politician (Original post)
Txbluedog Dec 2016 OP
blue cat Dec 2016 #1
djsunyc Dec 2016 #2
treestar Dec 2016 #3
Txbluedog Dec 2016 #5
no_hypocrisy Dec 2016 #4
Txbluedog Dec 2016 #7
treestar Dec 2016 #8
crazycatlady Dec 2016 #6

Response to Txbluedog (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 10:13 AM

1. I'll admit

I'm okay with Trudeau taking his shirt off

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Response to Txbluedog (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 10:14 AM

2. well...

i think the only requirement now is that the candidate needs to be more charismatic than the other one.

reagan over carter
reagan over mondale
bush over dukakis
clinton over bush/perot
clinton over dole
bush over gore
bush over kerry
obama over mccain
obama over romney
trump over clinton

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Response to Txbluedog (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 10:14 AM

3. It is food for thought

Maybe something to do with name recognition. Shallow voters. Then by running someone already known, you get some votes just for that, as the opponent has not been heard of before.

People can be really defensive for the celebrities they like, too, almost as if they were real friends. So if they like the person, they will care not as much about whatever stand they are taking on issues.

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Response to treestar (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 10:19 AM

5. I thought it was name recognition as well, but...

 

this election proved me wrong. Hillary is a name as much as Trump is, in fact you could argue that Hillary is more well known (for better or worse) than Trump

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Response to Txbluedog (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 10:17 AM

4. Something shifted between 1976 and 1980

In 1976, Gerald Ford won the republican nomination over Ronald Reagan. The majority of voters preferred a candidate with substance and experience, not a faded B-movie star whose only reputation was getting tough with student protestors in California when he was governor.

In 1980, Jimmy Carter was ahead in the polls until two weeks before the Election. Then something turned and Reagan first won, and then galvanized public support.

In 1986 Fred Grandy (Gopher from "The Love Boat" because a House member from Iowa for four terms.

In 2003, there were more than a dozen candidates running for governor of California. Movie star (not actor) Arnold Scwartzenegger "captured the imagination" of voters (who bothered to show up to vote) and won a plurality, a low plurality.

In 2008, we dodged a bullet with Sarah Palin trying to elevate herself to celebrity to allow her election to the second highest post in the nation.

All I can figure is the prophetic words of a childhood friend who honestly told me why she liked Palin: She looked like she was fun.

That's right, "fun". And this may explain why when many voters make their choice, it's on the level of a Nielsen survey, not political office with consequences.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 10:22 AM

7. I agree

 

That's right, "fun". And this may explain why when many voters make their choice, it's on the level of a Nielsen survey, not political office with consequences.

I think you hit the nail on the head. People think being Head of State/Head of Government is a job for attention-seekers. No prior political experience necessary.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 10:44 AM

8. "Fun" yes they are not taking it seriously

It is entertainment. The way the media covers the election is for entertainment. Notice they argue with their interviewees. They don't ask them for facts. The don't report any but the shallowest facts.

You can probably go on CSPAN or somewhere for real policy discussions. But that is not as entertaining.

You get these people who become personalities. Even we do it - we have Keith and Rachel. All this "analysis" is really for entertainment. They know they would lose ratings if they simply reported on what a bill contained and who was voting what way on it.

Instead of the arguing and analyzing, they could use the time to report further on other bills say, that are never reported about. People complain that Washington is being corrupt or lazy, but they do have something to do with it, choosing entertainment over really finding out what is going on there.

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Response to Txbluedog (Original post)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 10:21 AM

6. Name ID only goes so far

Honestly it works better in downticket races. By the time we reach the general (presidential) election, both major party candidates have 100% name ID. Those who don't know who they are won't be voting. Even my 4 yo niece knew both candidates' names (and asked why 'the girl' didn't win).

Before picking his own (soon to be) celebrity for his running mate, John McCain ran an attack ad calling Obama a celebrity.

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