Trump and the Dangers of the Celebrity President

Donald Trump is a bad President. I know, controversial statement. So obviously Democrats, Liberals, people who respect the US constitution and anyone who hasn’t recently started a lead based diet will be wanting to replace him come the 2020 Presidential election. I can’t wait to see what great line up of candidates are being talked up to face Trump in that election. Maybe the Democrats will learn their lesson and actually nominate Bernie this time?

Tom Hanks? Ok, wasn’t expecting that. Have you got anyone else? The Rock? Huh. You know he’s a conservative Republican, yeah? Basically Trump with a gym membership. But why all these celebrity candidates? Have we learned nothing from Donald Trump? You see Donald Trump isn’t just a bad President, Donald Trump is bad at being President. Six months into his Presidency and he’s achieved about as much as President William Henry Harrison, who at this point in his administration had been dead for five months. Obamacare repeal? He’s given up. The Wall? Nowhere closer to actually becoming a thing. Purging trans people from the military? Yeah he tweeted it but then the Department of Defence turned around and said: “Yeah, that’s not happening.” Whether you agree with Trump’s policy positions or not he is totally impotent.

Before becoming President, Donald Trump was a celebrity. I won’t even call him a businessman because he was a failure at that. No, he was just a guy on TV who said ‘you’re fired’ and thought this qualified him to dictate how government should operate. A delusion that has unfortunately crossed the Atlantic. As Trump himself has admitted, being President is a hell of a lot harder than being a famous person. One job does not prepare you for the other. So why do liberals want their next President to repeat the failures of Trump? Why, when it’s their agenda being pushed, do they want the person pushing it to be someone incapable of getting it done?

I like Catch Me if You Can as much as the next guy. Toy Story? Love it. But being famous doesn’t qualify you for being leader of the free world. Tom Hanks, the Rock, Dane DeHaan, it’s entirely possible any of these people could get elected President off the back of their celebrity, but should they? You know who Dane Dehaan is. Of course you do. He was in Chronicle. And some other films that weren’t bad enough to be memorable. Looks a bit like the kid from the Omen grew up and got a personal shopper. This guy:

Dehaan 2020

Yes, that’s Dane Dehaan! I’m really hoping you recognised him there or that’s going to read really weirdly.

But let’s say the Democrats choose one of our celebrity candidates and fond memories of The Scorpion King sweep Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson into office. The first question will be whether he goes by President Johnson, President Rock or insists we call him President Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The second question will be whether President Fast and the Furious knows how a bill becomes a law. President Apprentice clearly doesn’t! Or he’d have passed some by now.

Does Tom Hanks have a plan to bring jobs to America’s de-industrialised midwest? Probably not. Does Dane Dehaan know the first thing about Senatorial procedure? No, of course he doesn’t! He’s had important work to do! He’s been too busy starring in 2017’s hit film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Such a magnificent and noteworthy cinematic event I’m not even sure if it’s been released yet.

On most people you see that shirt and say: What a fresh holiday look. On Dane Dehaan you ask: I wonder if he killed the person he took it off?

In the age of the political outsider the celebrity candidate can be appealing to political parties. Notable enough to have high name recognition with voters but not tainted with the stain of having held office or knowing what they’re doing. And if I was, say, Dane Dehaan’s campaign manager and trying to make the guy who when we all took our dogs to the park brought his scorpion appealing, I would probably highlight his complete and utter lack of relevant experience. But if we look at some of the politicians who have captured this anti-establishment wave we see that lack of experience in politics is not what has drawn people to them. Bernie Sanders served four terms as Mayor of Burlington, was a member of the House of Representatives for 16 years and has served in the US Senate since 2007. Jeremy Corbyn was a member of Parliament for 32 years before being elected leader of the Labour Party. Neither of these men can be said to be new to politics. They have been successful not due to their complete lack of experience but because they have broken with the neo-liberal consensus, which has been at the core of establishment politics for the last 40 years. A celebrity candidate might not even be able to successfully capture this populist pro-working class wave. The Rock would be an odd choice for Champion of the Proletariat.

But the point is that you don’t have to have zero political experience to be an anti-establishment candidate. And that time in politics, learning how the political system works, means that if Sanders or Corbyn were to become the leaders of their respective countries they would be able to actually get things done. Dane Dehaan would not. And it’s not like Dane could rely on his Vice President, who I can only assume is a spider, for relevant policy experience.

For proof of this just look at Donald Trump. If being President was a video game Donald Trump would have taken one look at ‘Easy’, thought that sounded too challenging and selected ‘Very Easy’ instead. Donald Trump only really wants to watch the cutscenes, which I think when you’re President is Fox News. His party has control of the House, Senate, Executive and the Judiciary. And yet he’s still not got anything done! This takes a level of extreme incompetence. When everyone with any power is on your side and you still achieve nothing that takes a special level of political obliviousness. And that political obliviousness would be the same for any celebrity who shot straight from fame to the top of politics without getting some experience of a lower office under their belt first. Not even Dane Dehaan, the creepy guy from high school you haven’t seen in ten years until one night you wake up to find him staring at you from the end of your bed, has the charm to compensate for simply not knowing how to get bills through Congress.

Contrast this with Lyndon B. Johnson. Before becoming President Johnson was a veteran Senator who knew the Congress like the back of his hand.  He had intimate knowledge of which levers to push if you wanted to get things done. This knowledge, which can only come from experience, allowed Johnson to pass radical and, at the time, controversial legislation such as the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. With a President less adept at handling the passage of a bill at the helm it is very likely neither of these pieces of legislation would have come to pass, or at least not until much, much later.

So what do I hope to achieve with this article? Other than getting myself fired as Dane Dehaan’s Campaign Manager (who else is going to do the spider’s debate prep Dane? You?) Well I would first like celebrities to take a look at their beautiful homes, beautiful sexual partners, their lives of leisure and luxury and ask themselves; do I want to be President. Unless you are Dane Dehaan, in which case I want you to ask yourself if you would consider working in Cyberdog. And secondly I would ask anyone thinking the Rock or Steven Colbert or Tom Hanks or any other celebrity would make a great President if they want a government that is led by someone who doesn’t know enough about government to get anything done. America will be standing still for four years under Donald Trump. It can’t afford to stand still any longer.

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About Sam Went 9 Articles
Sam Went is a comedian and aspiring writer who woke up one day to discover he had a politics degree. Once on the Equal Opportunities section of a job application he wrote an essay breaking down the different definitions of class, an evaluation of the flaws of each model and where he fitted into them. This tells you everything you need to know about him.

1 Comment

  1. Been looking forward to this and didn’t disappoint – precise political commentary with some great humour thrown in. 10/10 Plus Dane de Haan to make it 11/10

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