In a time of social media and political chaos, more and more celebrities seem to be using their platform to take a stance. This has created differing opinions: should this be a tactic for politicians to gain support, or should the celebrities stick to what they know?
Recently, we have seen that rapper Cardi B has opened up about her views on politics and who she is supporting in the 2020 election. Though Cardi B has always been known for her wild, personal video rants, this seems to hold more power than a simple Instagram post.
The rapper took to Instagram to ask her followers what questions they would like to know and hear from Democratic candidates. Later she teased a video of her meeting with Sen. Bernie Sanders and interviewing him with the most popular questions asked by her followers.
Being very open and humble about her lower-class roots and struggle to fame, Cardi B expresses her interest in political science and equality for minorities and low-class citizens. She told her followers that she believes Sen. Sanders is the best option for social justice.
“Stay tuned to see how he will fight for economic, racial, and social justice for all. Together, let’s build a movement of young people to transform this country.LETS LEARN OUR CANDIDATES!” the rapper said on Instagram.
This sort of activism often gets criticized, being debated that stars need to stick to what they know rather than bring politics into their work. Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga and many other stars also get called out for being too vocal about their political views and swaying their fans' opinions based off their idolization rather than the actual agreement on political views.
However, I believe that stars using their platform to speak their truth is one of the best things that they can do. Celebrities, especially in the entertainment industry, often have to water down their creativity and be stripped of their freedoms from their labels, leaving them unable to express what they believe through their art. I think celebrities using social media to help their followers become politically informed and eager to vote is an incredibly positive impact.
We’ve seen proof of this impact as well. Back in October during midterm elections, Taylor Swift finally broke her political silence by sharing her Democratic candidate endorsement to her millions of Instagram followers.This resulted in a massive surge of voter registration.
“As of noon Tuesday, less than 48 hours after Swift’s post, more than 169,000 new people had registered on the site to vote ... By comparison, the group said 56,669 new voters registered in August and 190,178 registered in September,” spokeswoman Kamari Guthrie told The Washington Post. “In October 2016, there were 405,149 new registrations on Vote.org.”
Though many people see celebrities involving themselves in politics as a form of brainwashing on their loyal followers, I see it as a way to get younger generations more aware of politics and the power they possess as a voter. We are lucky to have our privilege to vote, and so many of us don’t exercise it like we should.
If it takes entertainers and stars to endorse their selected candidates to focus our attention on our country, I don’t see any harm in that, regardless of who and what party the celebrity supports. We all have a right to speak our truth and share our opinions, no matter what size platform or following you have.