capitol building, washington dc

Donald Trump

This is only my opinion, and not the representation of Saintel Daily, LLC.

Celebrities can have a significant influence on politics.  But does that mean they should run for office? We often see celebrities endorsing political candidates, but that’s an attempt to help them win.  So would it make sense for the celebrities to run themselves, or is there more to it than meets the eye?  There have been several who have been successful including Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and even Sony Bono. So my question is whether or not this is a good thing or a bad thing?  With the election of Donald Trump, it seems that more and more celebrities are thinking about throwing their hat in the ring.

While maybe not true, both Oprah and Mark Cuban have been questioned in the media recently about a run.  And both did not confirm or deny.  Is this something that we should see more of, or should we leave the politicking to politicians?  I’m honestly on the fence about this as I don’t think we should categorize someone in any sort of way based on their profession.  Being a celebrity doesn’t automatically disqualify you from being a good politician.  But it also doesn’t mean that you can’t be either.  Just to clarify here, when I say “celebrity”, I essentially mean anyone famous.  I don’t care if you are famous because you’re a businessman, or an heiress, you are still famous.
Being famous just means that people know who you are.  They have seen you on TV or in a movie.  They’ve read your book, or caught your stand up show.  All of these things don’t necessarily qualify or disqualify you from taking office.  But the big question we need to answer is – what qualifications make a good politician?

  • Task oriented.  In my opinion, you want someone who is task oriented.  The job of a politician is to shape policy.  Hopefully for the better, but that isn’t always the case.  Sometimes policies end up taking things away from people  But as a politician it is your job to focus on the task at hand.  Sometimes that’s in the form of passing a really amazing law.  But sometimes the task might be helping a local company from going out of business.  Tasks are a big priority as a politician, and anyone trying to do the job needs to be prepared for that.
  • Have ambition and drive.  To be successful in anything you need to have ambition and drive.  You need to be able to push yourself to the limits to achieve the goals of your constituents.  This might be one of the more difficult parts of being a politician.  I know that I wake up some mornings and feel like going back to bed.  But I can’t, and I can only imagine what it must be like for someone in political office.
  • You need to know how to work the system in order to achieve your goals.  I’m not suggesting that you pull a Frank Underwood, but it is a political “system”.  You need to know who your allies are and who is working against you.  Building relationships is also key in working the system.
  • And lastly, you need to be able to put aside your own wants and needs for the common good.  Ok.. this one might sound a bit hokey, but I guess I feel like politicians have an obligation to represent their constituents.  They put you in office, so make sure you understand what it is they want.  Or you won’t see a second term.  (Hint, hint Donald Trump…)

I guess I should also qualify what I mean when I say a “good” politician.  I like to think that the measure of a politician is how much good he has been able to do for his constituents.  As the President, I would think that you would have a harder time being able to do this than someone at a lower level.  A mayor of an extremely divided city is going to have a hard time trying to please everyone.  The number of terms in office doesn’t always equate quality.

The question of whether or not a celebrity should run for office may have been answered.  If a celebrity can possess the above qualities (and many others), then they have a good shot at a political appointment.  Politicians have usually been in the game for many years.  They have been through the system, and they know all the players.  Their years of experience as a politician might be the only advantage to their opponent.  But that doesn’t always mean they are the better choice.

I had a professor in university who taught political science, and I will never forget his comments in regards to a politician taking a run at a second term.  It was one of those elections where you didn’t like the guy who was in office, but you really didn’t know what the opponent was going to do if elected.  He said that when making a choice, even if you don’t like the candidates you always choose “the devil you know”.  It allows things to remain constant, in theory.  But it doesn’t always mean that the devil you know will not end up being the one you wished you hadn’t voted for.

By Staff Writer

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