2012 May 30 Wednesday
Celebrities Hurt By Supporting Politicians

Since most celebrities lean left and many have impractical views their hurting their own careers probably helps the country overall.

In this case, the data showed that people who are not particularly fond of Republicans were turned off by Manning's support for the Republicans and adjusted their opinions of him accordingly. Similarly, people who disliked the Democratic Party viewed Jennifer Aniston more negatively after learning about her support for Democrats.

"If this study has a practical meaning," Nownes said. "Its advice for celebrities: keep a low profile."

Even celebrities who have leanings more similar to my own cause me to have doubts about celebrities when they support individual candidates. Think about it. Do you lean Right? Think it was a good idea for right wing action hero actors to support George W. Bush? I don't think so.

What we need: Better ways to identify who is a good judge of political character. Primaries decide the major presidential and Congressional candidates months before the general election. We need better advice for voters in primaries. We also need better voters too.

My preferred voters: serving military officers. My guess is they'll do the best job of any major group I can think of. They'll be smarter than cops. Though the advantage of cops is that they deal with lots of evil people and know how dangerous the evil people are.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2012 May 30 08:14 PM  Democracy Failure


Comments
Shampaign said at May 31, 2012 11:57 AM:

Mr. Parker,

Former US Marine here. Trust me, you do not want military officers advising voters. As a whole the Marine officer corps is honorable but also deeply servile, non-creative, and risk-averse. You should read the military writings of a former US Army officer turned real-estate writer, John T. Reed. He articulates the military's dysfunctional culture better than anyone.

Be warned -- he has the unfortunate tendency of mentioning his "Harvard MBA" in approximately 75% of his articles. It is a minor criticism in light of his overall quality.

Here is the link to his military articles:

http://www.johntreed.com/military.html

Shampaign said at May 31, 2012 11:58 AM:

Mr. Parker,

Former US Marine here. Trust me, you do not want military officers advising voters. As a whole the Marine officer corps is honorable but also deeply servile, non-creative, and risk-averse. You should read the military writings of a former US Army officer turned real-estate writer, John T. Reed. He articulates the military's dysfunctional culture better than anyone.

Be warned -- he has the unfortunate tendency of mentioning his "Harvard MBA" in approximately 75% of his articles. It is a minor criticism in light of his overall quality.

Here is the link to his military articles:

http://www.johntreed.com/military.html

dave.s. said at June 4, 2012 3:17 AM:

When Chuck Norris supports a politician, that politician stays UP.

Leno said at June 4, 2012 4:04 PM:

"When Chuck Norris supports a politician, that politician stays UP."

Is he still alive? Wow!

albatross said at June 6, 2012 11:00 AM:

The question that comes to mind is basically what fraction of celebrities have an opinion worth hearing? I mean, if Tom Hanks or Spike Lee or Bruce Willis wants to tell me something about acting or making movies or how show business works, I figure they're worth hearing out--they really are genuine experts and insiders on those things. But I'm not sure why I should expect them to have better judgment about the right economic policy to avoid a big recession, or the right way to protect ourselves from rare but nasty terrorist attacks at reasonable cost, than the guy behind the counter at the local Starbucks.

As far as better voters, there's a difference between providing meaningful oversight and guidance to political leaders (which requires interest and knowledge and time) and providing meaningful feedback on how things are going and whether some kind of change is needed. National elections are probably a lot better at that second goal--whether or not you can make an intelligent evaluation of the Administration's response to the financial meltdown and more recent sequence of Euro crises-of-the-month, you can broadly tell whether things are going well for you and your family. That kind of feedback is important, even though it doesn't provide detailed guidance.

The detailed guidance only makes sense from people who pay close attention to politics. I imagine it's healthier for a country like ours if there is vigorous debate within the parties on that stuff, and then the big election ends up being (as it inevitably does) more of a referrendum on whether or not people are broadly happy with the direction of the country, whether things seem to be going well or not, etc.

I don't think any easy-to-identify subset of people would be the best voters. Any such group will probably have shared assumptions and blind spots and places where they just don't know much. (How many serving military officers have ever tried running a medium-sized business, for example?)


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