Arnold Schwarzenegger (whose last name is German for “Black Nigger” — translate it yourself if you don’t believe me) is running for governor of California. Your IQ level determines whether you just cheered or shuddered. When I heard the news, I laughed and shook my head in dismay. That’s all California needs. Another actor acting as governor. Remember the last one?
After letting the idea of the Terminator working on budgets sink in, I started thinking about what life would be like if other actors became governors. What if Will Smith became of the governor of Pennsylvania? What about Vin Diesel running Montana? Reese Witherspoon taking control in Nevada? The possibilities are endless and terrifying. Who do these people think they are?
Actors as politicians is nothing new. There are several, and they generally don’t fuck up things too much (which is part of the problem), but it still strikes me as incredibly odd that people would vote for them in the first place. Just because a person starred in something like “Jury Duty” doesn’t mean he or she can run a state or have the capacity to understand something like the environmental and fiscal impact of a textile factory’s would-be construction in an industrial zone. These people have agents and get interviewed by Entertainment Weekly. “Meet the Press” and lobbyists are new creatures and aren’t handled as easily as Jay Leno.
If this is a trend that continues, you can bet that life in America will get mighty interesting. Imagine Tom Cruise telling the president he needs more money for the state of Idaho. If he doesn’t get it, he can threaten to get all “Mission: Impossible” on his ass. Things may actually get done that way, though. After all, everybody loves a star.
If people like Schwarzenegger insist upon running, liberal-minded stars will soon follow suit, too. Susan Sarandon may think of running in Georgia, and Martin Sheen may want to rule Ohio. Conservative stars and their worshipers will whine about liberal Hollywood taking over the country without realizing they started the process. “Real” politicians will point fingers at the stars and claim they are turning politics into a joke. It’ll be as funny as one of those American Pie movies.
I don’t vote for leaders because I don’t need them, but I do enjoy the chaos they produce, and I love the fact that actors running for office really does turn the entire process into even more of a fiasco. I can’t imagine why anyone would vote for any leader, let alone an actor, but I’m glad some people are dumb enough to do it. It provides me with amusement that goes well beyond the person’s term in office, and there is no greater comedy than what you get when you combine Hollywood, politics and the American voting public. That’s a blockbuster that can’t miss.
So next time an actor gets the notion that he or she would make a good candidate — think carefully. Do you want to keep your dignity, or would you rather supply me with some chuckles? The future of your state may depend upon your decision. Think carefully.
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Posted on September 8, 2003 in Features by Doug Brunell
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