Voters must avoid casting ballots for celebrities who take away from important issues in elections


Cady Armstrong

When my sister told me rapper Kanye West was running for president, I found it funny. When people think of Kanye West, they think of his Yeezy shoe brand or the Kardashian family—not him seated in the Oval Office making decisions that can affect the lives of millions.

However, once I was done laughing at the thought of him in charge of our country, I realized how West running could negatively affect the outcome of the 2020 election. Thus, he, along with other candidates who are not serious about the position’s responsibilities, should not run for office.

West has a huge platform and can spread his message to millions of young voters who admire him. However, putting his name on the ballot takes away from important issues our country is expected to encounter over the next four years. Despite going through the process of officially running for president, it is clear West isn’t taking his candidacy seriously.
On his website, he lists 10 main things he would do if elected. Among these main goals was his contradictory initiative to “restore faith and revive our Constitutional commitment to freedom of religion and the free exercise of one’s faith, demonstrated by restoring prayer in the classroom including spiritual foundations.”

This very sentence contradicts itself, with West promising to ensure the freedom to believe in any religion by forcing prayer into the classroom. With this large misinterpretation of the Constitution and reckless disregard for the First Amendment, West shows he hasn’t done the proper research to educate himself—a huge red flag for a potential leader of our country.

West isn’t the only unqualified celebrity to run for office. In 2002, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger ran for California’s governor and got the job. However, it quickly became clear his gubernatorial duties were not his top priority.
During his time in office, Schwarzenegger made cameos in movies such as “The Kid” and “The Expendables,” and he resumed his acting career quickly after exiting office. In addition to this, his campaign, similar to West’s, featured a slogan that referenced a catchphrase he said frequently at press events.
This reference helps remind people of his celebrity status and also serves as a publicity stunt to expose him to a larger audience. Furthermore, it shows he became governor to advance his acting career rather than make a difference for the people of California.
Despite publicity being a driving force behind the candidacy of most celebrities, West will still be on the ballot in 21 states as an option for presidency. This is an added weight to voters, with some of them having to decide between voting for someone famous who they like and someone whose policies they support.
When people vote for West as a joke or in spite of other candidates, they perpetuate the idea that the election shouldn’t be taken seriously.
This takes away from what elections are really about: making sure you are well-represented in government. Clearly, West, and other unprepared celebrities, shouldn’t run for office. Citizens should not entertain his candidacy by voting for him.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Cady Armstrong at [email protected]

Click here to read a column about the importance of voting for citizens.