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Why celebrities like Kanye West make weak political leaders

George Beatham

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Kanye West

Since the election of people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Donald Trump to political office, people have speculated that more people from the celebrity world are destined for political futures. Kanye West is one popular choice, and he has flagged on several occasions a desire to run for president of the United States.

However, these people ultimately make poor political leaders. Even the ‘Governator’ was a mediocre politician at best, who ended up taking monied interests after campaigning on a promise to self-fund and defeat political corruption.

A lot of the time celebrities are turned to because they are leaders without political backgrounds. Many of them are charismatic and speak on political issues, and people believe that they will ‘shake up’ the political process.

However, history has shown that they never really shake anything up. They are simply more comfortable for monied interests to manipulate because of their inexperience. What you end up getting is a weaker politician who knows nothing about their job and ends up disappointing people on a routine basis.

While it is tempting to make your favourite celebrity leader of the free world, is that really going to help anyone? It’s ultimately a very shallow move that is meaningless at best and damaging at worst.

The novelty of having a celebrity elected to political office is unfortunately too tempting for some people to resist. This is the case even when there are serious candidates who represent their interests better – the uninformed masses are going to vote with the hearts and not their heads because they really don’t know any better.

The best thing people can do is remember that celebrities are not ideal political candidates just because they are popular. They are actually the worst my many measures.

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Leadership

How to be a great leader like Obama was

George Beatham

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Barrack Obama

Barrack Obama is one of the best-remembered leaders of the 21st century so far. He was more than just the first non-white president of the United States, he was someone who managed to inspire millions with a unifying political agenda.

While Obama caused a lot of division and inspired a lot of hatred from his opponents, he managed to stay headstrong and not give in to despair. While he would often look tired and defeated, he never said anything that would make people lose hope.

Obama was ultimately a victim of a system that was no ready for the change he wanted to implement. Obama was curtailed at every turn, and despite his sincere efforts, was unable to create all of the changes he wanted to. Regardless, Obama is remembered as a good leader overall.

So, how was Obama a great leader, and how can you replicate that leadership?

1.   Use the term ‘we’ not ‘I’.

Obama famously used the term ‘we’ when making speeches. This straightforward choice of words meant that he was speaking to Americans as a collective that he was a part of, rather than him being a leader who looks down on them from the outside. This made him appealing as a leader for many people because he was relatable on that level.

2.   He wanted to unite people

Obama did not write of the half of the population that disagreed with him; he was always wanting to win them over. He did not dismiss his opponents, he focused on speaking about the things he believed in and did not acknowledge the opposition that was simply blind hatred.

3.   He was passionate

Obama had a fiery passion, especially in the early days before the weight of the presidency got to him. This inspired many people.

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Leadership

Why didn’t Bernie Sanders become democratic nominee?

George Beatham

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Bernie Sanders

On two separate occasions Bernie Sanders was sidelined by democratic voters. While Bernie had a strong start in both races, he was unable to secure a final victory and become the Democratic nominee to run in the presidential election – but why is that?

Ultimately, it boils down to the fact that Bernie was seen as too radical for the majority of voting Americans to side with. Those in the democratic party were more worried about beating the other candidate by any means and did not want to take a risk with someone who might be rejected on the election stage.

Despite Bernie starting a grassroots democratic movement that had real potential to change the US political system for the better, many democrats were too worried that he was unelectable by the general voting public. This is no doubt due in part to Bernie’s status as a democratic socialist, with ‘socialist’ being a dirty work in America.

Because of America’s famous rivalry with Soviet Russia during the Cold War, many people are afraid of the term ‘socialist’ because it shares some of the views of communism. While communism itself is not necessarily an evil ideology in theory, the way it was applied in Soviet Russian and other totalitarian states like North Korea means that many people associate it with those evils.

This is some capitalized on by all of Bernie’s political opponents, no matter how dishonest it really is. Simply conflating Bernie with communism is enough for many voters to dismiss him out of hand.

Bernie is likely too old now to get a third chance at running for President, which is a shame for many people who had faith in the change he wanted to bring. Other candidates simply have more ‘mainstream appeal’.

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Leadership

Was Arnold Schwarzenegger a good Governor?

George Beatham

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Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger was the Governor of California for some time, and there has been a lot of debate about whether or not he did a good job. He was the first Hollywood movie star to win a run for political office, and there was naturally a lot of hype surrounding is ascendency to the position.

Many speculated that he won simply because of his celebrity status. However, Arnold Schwarzenegger had a likeable ‘American dream’ story, being a foreigner who travelled to the United States to achieve success. Unlike his political rivals, Arnold has a genuine quality and was not a ‘career politician’, a status that many people had begun to lose faith in due to political donations from interest groups.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was popular initially because he said he would self-fund his campaign, meaning that he would not be influenced by donations. However, this changed after he was elected.

When he left office, he was asked about the promise he did not meet. He pretty much said that as a politician, he had to make promises that were impossible to keep.

Many people have said that since he had no experience, he did pretty okay as Governor. Whether he did it intentionally or not, he caved into monied interests and ended up being like most other politicians, which is he promised he would not be.

While many people rallied behind Arnold Schwarzenegger because they believed he would bring new hope to the state of California, he ultimately did not live up to the hype that surrounded him. Many people were left disappointed by his performance as Governor, and you can’t really blame them for feeling that way.

Ultimately, Arnold Schwarzenegger, as Governor of California, is a cautionary tale of why a celebrity candidate is not necessarily going to bring great change.

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