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To All Celebrities Who Support Barack Obama: Please Shut Up!

Jose Flores Jose Flores
10/14/2008 10:00am EDT
Barack ObamaAs election day draws near, Barack Obama seems poised to make history and defeat John McCain on November 4. With the hope of witnessing this historic event foremost in my mind, I have but one simple request for all of the Hollywood mega stars who like, love, support, and just can't get enough of the Democratic candidate: For the love of God, country, and everything capable of ousting the Republican party, please shut up.

This means you, Matt Damon. I know that John McCain is old, and I know that the prospect of Sarah Palin falling backwards into the oval office is frightening, but referencing actuary tables and giving John McCain a 33% chance of surviving his first term is a little on the morbid side. I don't want Sarah Palin ascending to the presidency any more than you do, but believe me, she is perfectly capable of losing that battle on her own. Your assistance is not needed. If worst comes to worst, we've got Tina Fey on it. Just leave it alone.

Ditto Madonna, who's banned Sarah Palin from all of her concerts, in a decision that's as mature as anything you'll see on "My Super Sweet Sixteen." I suppose it should be refreshing that a celebrity is actually turning away money based on principle, but it just feels like a high school cat fight running its course. Pretty soon, Sarah Palin will tell the whole student body that Madonna slept with half of the football team, both parties will develop eating disorders, and the whole thing will blow over until the ten-year reunion rolls around.

Been there. Done that. Left it behind for a reason.

The worst thing is that this type of criticism is not only petty and ineffective, it's counterproductive. While the Republican Party scrambles to make John McCain seem half as capable as Barack Obama, every celebrity comment gives the Republican base a common enemy to rally against. It seems hard to believe, but the most effective Republic attack ads so far have been the ones that portray Obama as an out-of-touch celebrity. Every superstar that opens their mouth is just feeding that fire.

I know people are going to disagree with me and I know exactly what they're going to say: This is America! Freedom of Speech! Freedom of Expression! Just because they're in the public eye doesn't mean they can't express their opinions like everybody else!

Yes it does.

Aubrey O'DayAmerica was built not only on freedoms, but also on the belief that all men (read: human beings) are created equal. That is the entire reason that Barack Obama has gotten as far as he has; that is the whole reason Sarah Palin is in the position she is in. That is also the reason that celebrities are torn to shreds every time they express a political opinion. I don't care if you're Matt Damon or Madonna, this is America, and your name doesn't make you any better than the middle class family down the road. And just like I don't care what the middle class family down the road thinks about the upcoming election, it simply doesn't matter to me what box Hollywood is going to check when the time comes.

As unfair as it may seem, celebrity status affects what you are allowed to do, or at the very least how you are perceived for doing it. We are a country obsessed with fame; we catalog celebrities' every move, to the point that it is impossible for them to ignore and lead normal lives. While I'm sure no celebrity asked for this kind of treatment, it is absurd to think that they didn't know it might happen once they stepped out of anonymity. And if a celebrity is going to recognize constant media presence as a violation of their own privacy, they must also recognize that there is added responsibility for someone whose every action becomes a matter of public record.

Celebrities must know that everything they say will be recorded, and most of what's recorded will be distributed to the public. That is why celebrities rarely appear genuine or principled when they share political opinions; they may sincerely support a certain candidate or ideal, but mostly, it seems that they just want the public to know who or what they support. That isn't being principled, that's just being arrogant, and that gets annoying pretty quick.

I know some people will say that often, celebrities are only responding to questions that they are asked. Though this may be true, there is nothing stopping a celebrity from declining to answer, especially when the question is about something as personal and incendiary as a political opinion.

So please, CAMP (Celebrities Against McCain-Palin) members, if you truly want change, and if you genuinely want to see history made when the polls close, stop talking and let the campaign run its course. Barack Obama is competent enough, and John McCain does not have the ideas or ingenuity to catch him. And when the time comes on November 4, let your votes do the talking, because the ballot box is the only place that anyone's opinion really matters.

Jose Flores
Story by Jose Flores

Starpulse contributing writer
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