Celebrities are doing their darnedest to affect the upcoming presidential elections. Sure, it didn’t work in 2004, despite their massive push on behalf of Sen. John Kerry.
Remember Vote for Change?
They didn’t learn their lesson, and they’ve only upped the ante this time around to support Sen. Barack Obama.
They just can’t help themselves.
Some famous folks are rallying the vote in vaguely nonpartisan — but creepy — ways. They’re shooting “get out and vote” videos meant to flourish on the web. Check out the “Don’t Vote” clip, which manages to be both endless and endlessly patronizing. Do citizens really need Leonardo DiCaprio to remind them what’s at stake Nov. 4?
Others are taking a more direct approach, pleading with voters to pull the lever, or punch the button, for Sen. Barack Obama.
Either way, it’s simply more of the same — celebrities with little acknowledged expertise in political science acting like learned professors, or at least the kind who bring their views into the classroom. Hard to believe any sentient being will make his or her decision based on what Madonna and her ilk thinks.
That never prevents them from speaking out. It must feel too good to stop. Plus, their Hollywood peers will give them hearty handshakes for their efforts and declare how “brave” they were for taking a courageous stand.
You want courageous? Try wearing a McCain/Palin button to a table read or red carpet film premiere.
One of the earliest volleys in the celebrity war against the McCain/Palin ticket came from Mr. Bourne Identity himself, Matt Damon.
The Boston-bred actor said electing vice-presidential selection Gov. Sarah Palin would be like a very bad Disney movie.
It couldn’t be much worse than The Brothers Grimm, though.
Joseph Gordon Levitt, who segued from 3rd Rock from the Sun fame to a career as a credible young film actor (Brick, The Lookout), shot his own pro-Obama ad to encourage young voters.
Dubbed Politics is Bull(expletive), the clip recalls how he felt every politician in his young life was full of it… until he heard The One.
Now, how can we trust Gordon-Levitt’s B.S. detector if it can’t see through Sen. Barack Obama’s content-free speeches, wafer-thin experience, and penchant for hanging out with prime-time anti-Americans (Bill Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah Wright)?
Oscar-winning director Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind) went so far as to dress up as both Richie Cunningham and Opie to implore voters to choose Sen. Obama in a new Funny or Die viral video. The clip isn’t remotely funny — though it is a hoot to see Henry Winkler, in a dark wig, doing his Fonzie shtick one more time.
Even caustic comedienne Sarah Silverman is getting into the act. Her video, “The Great Schlep,” asks kids to visit their Florida-based grandparents and convince them to vote for Sen. Obama.
Ridiculous? Sure. But it’s hardly as cringe-inducing as some of the other viral video attempts. It still packs its fair share of dopey politics and protestations that Sen. Obama is the “goodest” candidate in forever, to quote Silverman.
Some celebrities don’t need Youtube.com or funnyordie.com to make their views known. The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg spills her political tirades five days a week, and she comes up with regular whoppers.
She asked Sen. John McCain, in person, if she should be worried about the return of slavery under his rule.
Some celebrities will take any excuse to share their views.
Josh Brolin, taking a running gag about coded messages started by The Late Show host David Letterman, blinked his pro-Obama message during a recent show appearance.
What’s hard to deny about even the nonpartisan celeb shoutouts is that, underneath, you know precisely who they’re pulling for, and that only undercuts the goodwill behind the clips. Why? Because they make sure they tell reporters their views every chance they get.
So even if a star like Susan Sarandon meant well by encouraging people to vote in one of the aforementioned videos, anyone who’s every thumbed through a celebrity magazine realizes where her vote lies.
Let’s face it. We love celebrities. We want to see them bedecked in the latest fashions, read about them in Us magazine (especially the ‘Celebrities … they’re just like us!’ section) and pay $10 a pop to watch their movies.
That doesn’t make their political views any more, or less, important than your neighbor’s, the guy who puts his thumb on the scale at the local butcher’s shop, or the lady who gives you an extra spoonful of toppings on your Dairy Queen order.
Those folks just don’t have the time, budget, or impulse to shove their talking points in your face. Or ask you to pass their viral video around.
The next time Hollywood wonders why no movie star save Will Smith can guarantee fannies in the seats each time out, remember DiCarpio’s smug “Don’t Vote” appearance and start connecting some dots.