The Trinity Voice

Voicing your own opinion

Celebrities are actors, not politicians

LILY ISRAEL, MANAGING EDITOR

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Oprah Winfrey had yet to put the finishing touches on her Golden Globes speech before Americans already penciled her in as a candidate in the 2020 presidential election. We were barely able to comprehend Winfrey’s emphatic words, “I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon,” before it was made her campaign slogan.

Winfrey didn’t have the intentions to kickstart her alleged campaign, nor has she since decided to actually run. We automatically jump to that conclusion because of the value we as Americans place on the opinions of celebrities.

Every day we turn on our TVs, scroll through social media and surf the web to keep up with the world around us. Most of the time we are consuming information presented to us by the most popular people in our society—celebrities. Whether they be actors, singers, athletes, or any other public figures, we take celebrities’ words as the absolute truth without considering how they formed that opinion or if it’s even based on fact.

One of the most terrifying developments in human nature in recent history has been the widespread acceptance of the idea that being good at acting or sports or singing seems to mean the rest of us should listen to their opinion on anything from the state of our government, foreign affairs and social issues. All of these are clearly out of their sphere of knowledge.

Just because they have a platform to speak doesn’t mean that what they say is any more valid, right or true than anyone else’s opinion. People are always looking for role models. As social media has exploded, so has the magnitude of celebrities’ sphere of influence. Celebrities have the appropriate platform to influence others and they use this to perfection. However, it is on us as consumers to take what they say with a grain of salt.

Actors are professionally trained to deceive their audience and to make them believe something that is not entirely true. They are simply acting in a role. Their opinion is no more valid than mine or yours. We need to turn off the TVs, open our eyes, open our mouths and voice our own opinions.

With the rapid growth of social media, it is easier than ever before for people to share their ideas. Celebrities send out 280-character tweets expressing their condolences in times of tragedy and their social activism in tumultuous times. President Donald Trump has infamously used his personal Twitter account during his first year in office to comment on everything from fake news to global warming to the NFL. With each explosive tweet, celebrities react and voice their own opinions on the President’s tweet.

Gaining thousands of retweets, celebrities spread their opinions to millions around the world. The seemingly meaningless tweet carries added weight because it came from the fingertips of a valued celebrity. Whatever their reaction is, we immediately take it as our stance on the opinion before considering both sides.

Our desire for instant gratification, especially among teens, makes us believe the first thing we see. In the age of social media, the first thing we see is almost always clickbait of some celebrity pushing their opinion on the current state of our country.

It’s time to recognize that being on a screen is not a prerequisite for sitting in the Oval Office. Celebrities might make us laugh, and they might make us cry—but they should never dictate how we think.

Continue to listen to people’s opinions. Get all sides of the story. But, more importantly, think independently. Read the newspaper, listen to politicians, listen to the celebrities. Take information with a grain of salt and form your own opinion.

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Voicing your own opinion