Are Politicians Becoming Social Stars?

Op-ed

The one thing politicians seek more for in this world is an element chased through money, social standing, and a lack of morality: power. Legislators think multiple steps ahead of everybody else just to obtain some sort of power in their hands. And it doesn’t matter what they lose in the process, as long as they gain it. Is this constant chase of authority helping portray politicians as celebrities in society? And if so, why is this so destructive to younger generations?

How has this idolization of politicians started?

With social media coming to be more and more universalized every day, comes the exploitation of them by politicians. If their main goal is to seek re-election, then they do anything to try and get to teenagers’ minds, which is the primary audience for social media. Posts such as promoting merchandise or making publications in the light of romanticizing politics happen all around the world. For instance, the President that is looked up to the most by Democrats was President Barack Obama. Soon under this administration, the movement of producing merchandise was more commonly normalized. And not just this, but also appearing on several late-night shows that used the idea of his Presidency and turned it into something more social rather than political. And this, in no way, has to do with any subjective standpoint of any politician. Because even taken a candidate from the other primary party, such as Donald Trump, we see the idolization of this figure take place—such as the continuous comfort people find in turning to him when political polarizations aspire or are seen in simple things such as rallies and his famous tweeting abilities. So, whether you consider yourself right-leaning, left-leaning, or even have a belief of your own, this should be an issue looked at objectively. No politician, president, or any citizen upholding so much governmental authority should be romanticized or looked at as a celebrity.

The History of The Issue

As millions of people publicly denounce and express outrage towards what they view as the corrupt power ruling over them in all parts of the world, they find comfort in turning to politicians and parties, “who promise a return to the mythical golden era.” If you open any American History book near you, you’ll see this all takes place back in 1933. Führer, which translates to ‘leader’ in German, was the title used by Adolf Hitler to define his role of absolute authority in Germany’s Third Reich. This type of propaganda, Führer propaganda, and military success soon turned him into an idol at the time, which helped make the Third Reich tragedy possible.

On August 4, 1934, a newspaper headline read “Today Hitler Is All of Germany.” This reflected the vital shift in authority that had just taken place. In a matter of time, Hitler was now head of state and supreme commander of the armed forces and the NSDAP. Articles such as How Hitler Won Over The German People talk about how dangerous it was that one single man had surpassed any constitutional constraints written by a group of men.

Countries, such as the United States, were written based on several historical documents that marked its progression and made it a visible timeline: from the Mayflower Compact to the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, and now the Constitution. All of these, but especially the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, list all the regulations and amendments that the Framers of our Country established to preserve its values. And in Germany, the complete opposite took place: one single individual was able to go against everything the documents ever said.

Why Is This Topic So Controversial?

Some people may think that comparing an issue such as idolizing politicians to Hitler is a way to dramatize the future of politics. However, back in 1933, it all happened with a politician making false promises and a blind audience believing all claims that were made. This is what’s happening in our world today. Every day, corruption rules us more than frankness. As previously stated, “legislators are single-minded seekers of reelection” (David Mayhew, Congress: The Electoral Connection). Meaning, most of them will do anything in their power to achieve extensive power in the first place. This includes but is not limited to giving false information, misleading the public, and causing the perfect amount of polarization to manipulate the country into instantly hating anything that is not automatically listed on your side of the political party. This is what causes romanticizing governmental figures. And if you put enough focus of your attention on solely one party, one belief, and one leader, soon that’s all you’ll hear. And if ignorance is the next thing ruling you, you’ll have no way out of it.

Finally, sources such as Government Technology argue that, through the idolization of a governmental figure, we make certain decisions in an unconscious way to simplify the intricate factors involved in significant organizational outcomes. And, as a consequence, we view the leader as the driving force behind everything that occurs to an organization during its term. How we view politicians all depends on the awareness one has when it comes to their powers of mind manipulation. And again, purchasing a t-shirt to show your support for your preferred candidate isn’t the issue, it’s when you let this candidate exploit you with oblivion that this idea of treating politicians as social stars starts to become detrimental.

Remember, every backhanded tweet, opinion, or fashion choice when a politician goes to an event gains more publicity than the way that a representative voted on critical social issues.

Marta Fernández
10k+ pageviews

Marta Fernández is a rising college freshman currently residing in Washington, D.C. As a young teenager, she has aspired to become an activist. Her ambition is what individualizes her as a person.