Today on Twitter, where most political news gets announced these days, Kid Rock confirmed that he plans to run for a senate seat in his home state, Michigan. Rock has been outspoken politically for years now, being one of the few famous “conservatives” (or at least conservative compared to his colleagues) in the celebrity realm. Despite Rock’s track record of being politically outspoken, his bid raises the question of where entertainers fall in the American political sphere. Between film actors like Reagan and Schwarzenegger and TV personalities like Ventura and Trump, entertainer-politicians fall into a weird camp when it comes to politics. Typically, their personal lives have been publicly broadcasted during the duration of their careers, and the breadth of their entertainment typically signifies that they then have little to no actual political connections. Is it acceptable for more and more cult of personality figures to take office thanks to their established fan base vibing with their alleged ideologies? What will Rock do once he takes office? Well, let’s take a look.
Libertarian In Republican’s Clothing
Something that I find interesting about most conservative identifying entertainers, Rock included, is that almost all of them fall more into the Libertarian camp than the Republican one. When Kid Rock or Ted Nugent talk about freedom of speech, right to bear arms, being against abortions morally but supporting the woman’s liberty to choose, they almost always admit that they’re libertarian leaning. In years past, this might have hurt Rock’s run for office, as people have traditionally been slaves to the ideologies of their two party systems, and any deviance from the R/DNC ordained party line is seen as an attempt to shift the party. In the age of Trump though, I think people with more libertarian ideals are actually in an advantageous position. A lot of Americans are sick of both parties, seeing the corruption that lies on the left and the in-fighting that lies on the right. Libertarians have always had a tough time proving that they’re not just marijuana advocates, but libertarians who run as Republicans, like Rand Paul, have actually found great success and respect for injecting truly conservative ideals into the GOP. If Rock runs in Michigan on the ideals he’s been defending for the past decade, then I think he has a solid chance of appealing to an ever-disgruntled America who is more and more keen on finding an alternative to the typical elite.
Drawing Blood From a Stone
Also on Twitter, Roger Stone, the man who arguably got Trump and several other major Republicans into office over the years supported Rock’s campaign, warning him against typical establishment Republicans. He said, “Throw the bums out!”, which in Stone-Speak points out an important truth, a Republican hasn’t held a senate position in Michigan since 1998. The incumbent seat that Rock will be running against has been held by Debbie Stabenow since 2001, which is an incredibly long time for an incumbent to hold office in such a failing state. I think that Rock can get some serious appeal going for the seat this year, offering something fresh and high profile to the desperate people of Michigan. Think about how many issues they’ve had, between the poisoned water in Flint, the utter collapse of Detroit, and the general death of the state’s once great economy due to bad US trade deals and the death of manufacturing. Democratic candidates have abused these concerns these past years by offering welfare, union benefits, and infinite handouts that the low education voter base has kept falling for. A blunt Rock, with backing from Trump, Stone, and other conservative entertainers, all pointing out that conservative ideals could finally fix these ailments, could really lead to a competitive race.
Stars in Their Eyes
I’m not sure where a celebrity’s place in politics should be. On one end, it makes sense if somebody with large amounts of money, public appeal, and an agenda would want to transition from entertainment to politics. I think that there really are two kinds of politicians, the wonk and the ideologue. The best example of this was the DNC race this last year, between Sanders and Clinton. Bernie was a true ideologue, preaching democratic-socialism and championing the downtrodden. Talk to any Bernie supporter and you’d see real fire and excitement in their eyes as they spouted off Bernie’s ideas. Talk to any other Democrat and they admitted that Bernie had nice ideas but there was no way any of them would actually come to light. Hillary on the other hand is the wonk, obsessed with policy and numbers, and having spent her entire career as a politician. This is what made her seem more legitimate in people’s eyes, as they trusted her knowledge in the political realm just as someone would trust a scientist to talk about physics or a director to lecture on film. Entertainers can never be wonks, if anything because they’ve lived in the entertainment realm their lives. No matter how early they transition, even people like Al Franken still exist more to represent ideas and feelings rather than actually work on the minutia of legislation. Ronald Reagan was an effective politician and considered an amazing president among many because he truly made people feel as if it would be “Morning Again in America”, which is exactly what needed to happen when fighting against the threat of communism and the Soviets. Trump currently idealizes this, with his reality TV personas still currently invading his policies and press coverage.
Those Who Are Ready to Rock…
There’s still time for Rock to back out of running for senate in Michigan, and for all we know he could back out next week. If he does run, he’ll be facing off against a Democratic party that’s doubling down on extremist ideology and misinformation. If Rock can make himself seem honest, intelligent, and above all else genuinely committed to helping his home state, we could see a massive political shift in the state of Michigan. Hilariously, my father and I both predicted that if Trump became President we might see a resurrection of Midwestern cities who used to be powerhouses but now lie in shambles. Trump spent his campaign championing the working class, and has since proven to be serious about his claims. With both him and Rock in office, we could start seeing a political shift in typically Democratic controlled states, and with the wins we saw in the House in places like Georgia recently, there’s reason to be hopeful. This isn’t about party lines for me, nor has it ever been. I’m just absolutely sick and tired of politicians using social issues and welfare handouts paid for by the income of yet to be born humans to win elections. It didn’t work with Trump, America chose to be great through hard work and genuine means, not through the easy path and handouts. We’ll see if the senate elections reflect this same sentiment. 2018 is creeping up on us, it’s never too soon to keep an eye out on things like this.