Should Celebrities Get Involved With Politics?

If you actively use Instagram, it’s likely you will have seen Taylor Swift encouraging Americans to register to vote on her Instagram account.

Image from Instagram

Not only did Swift use her voice to encourage American citizens to make a difference, she also endorsed her own political views, something which she has been reluctant to do in the past. She has been encouraging her fans to share photos of themselves after voting and posting a select few on her Instagram story. Vote.org reported that there were 65 000 registrations to vote just 24 hours after the original Instagram post.

Image from Instagram

Compared to the UK, American celebrities seem to take a much more active role in politics. Whether it’s down to British politeness, our celebrities are discouraged to talk about two main things: politics and religion. It therefore seems strange to us that US political involvement is so different.

In a world where celebrities seem to have more influence than ever, it seems positive that they are using their voice to encourage the public to play a role in democracy.

But as we are all too aware, the internet can have a negative effect too. During the 2015 UK general election campaign, a reverse technique was adopted, where Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour party, tried to appeal to younger voters through celebrity involvement. He was interviewed by comedian Russell Brand, a publicity stunt that left him humiliated (aside from losing the election).

Image from Cosmopolitan 

You didn’t really see British celebrities weighing in on Brexit, but there is something chilling about how it is these personalities who can engage the public when national political agenda is in disarray.