The Republic of Celebrity


More and more lately it is becoming apparent to many that politics is a game of re-election and money. Those who are voted into office, spend an inordinate amount of time fundraising in order to gain re-election. While this is a necessity for them to keep their office, can we place the blame entirely on them? Even the best intentioned politician still has to play the game, and spends less time enacting the will of their political constituents and more time ensuring they have the power to do so.

Advisors are paid good money to ensure their public image is spotless, with the intention of the politician in question becoming a celebrity among their community. Constituents who encounter their candidate of choice out in every day life treat them as such, asking for pictures and autographs. We even set up public events specifically for this purpose.

But while we treat our politicians like celebrities, does this effect their policy making? There doesn't seem to be any real concrete way to prove(or disprove) this idea but it does seem to effect how much time they put into policy making. Most people have no idea what's going on with policy, and most of us believe we shouldn't have to. We elect officials to take care of the details for us, in the hopes that they will represent our interests.

This is most likely the reason that most politicians also studied law. It increasingly apparent that with a government so steeped policy and laws, that the average person will not understand how language in a bill can be exploited in different ways. One wrong sentence, or one clause missed and your bill could have an entirely different legal interpretation than you originally intended. 

Regardless of their intentions, these celebrities are impacting our every day lives. Most of them use that celebrity to gain favor with specific companies, and even some companies use their own notorious celebrities in order to gain favor with those politicians. Are we sabotaging our own interests by allowing this culture to continue? Are we causing stress and potentially undue harm on those we elect by coveting them in such a manner?

We want policy to be transparent and available to the people to decide if their elected officials are truly keeping their interests at heart. But at the same time, this system raises them to a level of power that can potentially harm the process we are trying to obtain. This is not an easy concept to explore beyond the realm of philosophy, but it is definitely one we should think about. Even if you don't trust the government, the people within it are still people.

No matter what level of corruption there may be, sometimes it is best to make your enemy your friend. We're all in this together, and we stand to gain nothing by placing one above the other. That is unless, you're the one being lifted.

E Pluribus Unum