Flat White

Why we hate campaigning celebrities

6 January 2017

8:49 AM

6 January 2017

8:49 AM

Admit it. For just a fleeting moment you thought to yourself, ‘I hope Trump does go on a fascist rampage, just to spite these people.’

The video is produced by a group called Humanity for Progress, formerly known as – you guessed it! – Humanity for Hillary. And yet, ironically, the video couldn’t be a more poorly-suited appeal to human nature. People instinctively recoil from sanctimonious nagging. So why do celebrities choose that as their exclusive method of political communication?

Sure, conservatives have a retinue of annoying VIP scolds. Scott Baio, for instance. Remember his speech to the RNC? ‘For you first-time voters it’s important for you to know what it means to be an American. It doesn’t mean getting free stuff.’ Shut up, Scott. I’m not going to sit around and be lectured about the nanny state by someone whose kids actually have a nanny.

But the lefty scolds are particularly wearisome, because there’s always this undertone that they’re hard done by. Rich people complaining about having to support poor people is passé; rich people complaining about being oppressed by other rich people is hypocritical and stupid and annoying.

It’s the same deal with the Asian-American actors’ ‘outrage’ that they’re not getting a fair shake in casting-calls for multi-billion dollar movies. You know what? Maybe they’re not. But I just can’t bring myself to give a shit. Hollywood is such a rarified place, full of people who spend more money on their annual shopping sprees to Milan than I’ll make in my entire lifetime.

Asking regular working people to care about their problems is like going to Nigeria and complaining that people in Flint have to drink bottled water because their taps are full of lead. Yes, that sucks. Yes, the people of Flint deserve better. But there’s a time and a place to make that case, and Africa isn’t it.

This is why we hate celebrities. It’s not because they have political opinions. Of course they do. And as Americans (or Australians, or Brits, or whatever) they’re perfectly free to express those opinions. But they have so much wealth and prestige that things like elections have literally no consequences for them. If Trump did stage a Hitler-style takeover of the US government, they could pack up and move to France with nary a thought for their bank accounts. Hell, they could pay Elon Musk to fly them to Mars and found a new civilization.

And that’s basically what all their whinging boils down to: ‘Please don’t make us go through all the trouble of having to found a Martian colony.’ Sorry, but I don’t care. And I never will. I’m metaphysically incapable of caring.

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