The Celebrity Factor


Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not quite as taken with this now-famous Obama video as everyone:

In particular, I’m always made uncomfortable for the celebrification of progressive politics in the United States. I think it’s nice that a certain number of rich celebrities like progressive causes in the United States and certainly I encourage them to both use their richness to provide direct financial support to such causes and also, perhaps, to deploy their social connections to encourage other rich people they may know (rich people tend to know lots of rich people) to do the same. But to what extent do they really need to be putting themselves forward as the public face of a political candidacy? Are these people supporting good groups that are doing important work? Helping to build an infrastructure of progressive ideas and communications channels? Mostly, the answer is no. And yet a lot of them are really in a position to make a different rather than make a music video.