Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ben Affleck - "actor/activist", or just "hypocrite" ?

I like Ben Affleck as an actor, really. But I don't think he should be trying to pass himself off as a credible commentator of politics.

It bugs me when celebrities try to push their opinions on the public, as if their status in our society means their opinions matters more than the "average joe".

I'm not saying they don't have a right to voice their opinions, I just don't feel they should be using their celebrity to influence people like it's being done most of the time.

I have no problem with celebrities using their status to help a worthy cause, but I think it's an abuse for them to use their celebrity to sway public opinion on political issues.

It's one thing to have Michael J. Fox raise public awareness and/or raise funds on the topic of stem cell research... it's another thing for the Dixie Chicks to publicly offer their opinion of the President to the people attending their concert.

People look up to actors, musicians, athletes, and other celebrities - it's not proper to use that enhanced public perception to promote a particular political party.

I go to a movie, concert, sporting event, etc to see a performance... I don't want to be told how I should think on an issue when I came to be entertained.

It's nice that these people have opinions, I just don't care to hear them. A celebrity's opinion shouldn't matter more than mine, and when celebrities use their status to influence people it's not what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they created the way our Government does business.

That's why they set up the system to prevent the domination of large states/cities over the smaller states and/or towns in this country.

It's in the spirit of that concept that celebrities shouldn't use their status to influence our decisions.

But even beyond that idea, another reason I oppose this behavior is because far too often the celebrities aren't following through with their comments. It's hypocritical (even offensive) for someone to tell me what I should be doing when they aren't doing the same.

Which brings me to Ben Affleck.

I haven't read anything of his recent actions, but I know that Ben Affleck hasn't had a good track record of voting. The Smoking Gun reported how Affleck had voted in only 1 election over a ten year period, and failed to vote during the 2000 Presidential election - even though he travelled the country with Al Gore trying to promote voting among young people.

Anyone remember Paris Hilton when she joined Sean "P. Diddy" Combs in his "Citizen Change" campaign? In case you missed it, Paris (along with Ludacris, 50 Cent, and others) was photographed wearing a "Vote or Die" t-shirt for ads to promote voting. The problem was that not only didn't Paris or Ludacris vote, they didn't even register so they could vote! (to his defense, 50 Cent has an excuse - he is not allowed to vote, being a convicted fellon)

What is the point of promoting a cause if you don't follow what you expect of others?

There are serious issues for potential voters to consider before they vote next... it's an insult to the process if hypocritical people influence our decisions?

MSNBC should have chosen a better person instead of Affleck to have on Hardball with Chris Matthews... but what else do you expect from a biased network like MSNBC? Of course they'll put anyone who promotes the liberal agenda they love so much - regardless of a simple fact that the person they put on air to talk about politics doesn't even vote.