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Celebrities Still Don't Get It: People Don't Care
The 2016 election is over, but the consequences, good or bad, are just beginning to transpire. As inauguration day approachs, the incoming administration is in full throttle preparing for the next four years. Meanwhile, the minority Democrats plan their strategy for the next four years, being careful to walk between raindrops. While many have learned a great deal from this election, including pollsters, politicians, and everyone in between, some still don't get it, including Hollywood's elite.
Do As I Say
Since the beginning of time, famous people have voiced their opinions and leveraged their influence across a multitude of issues, politics included. But the last eight years have been particularly noteworthy given the current administration's political-leaning (liberal) coupled with an influx of new mediums for celebrities to communicate through. This marriage of ideology and technology has most emboldened the little California community known as Hollywood.
As the 2016 election began to pickup steam, before Trump and Clinton even faced off, celebrities began sharing their choices. While Trump received almost blanket criticism during the primary season from left-coast liberals, the Democrats divided celebrity opinion. Some, such as actress Sarah Silverman supported Bernie Sanders, while more more liberals, such as George Clooney, stood firm behind Clinton. When Sanders lost the nomination to Clinton, most of his celebrity backers got 'Ready for Hillary.' and encouraged others to do so as well, while simultaneously maintaining criticism of Trump.
Their constant assault of Trump's campaign, and the media's non-stop coverage of it, made celebrities believe their opinions all of a sudden carried more weight than they previously did. They believed that by backing Clinton, the millions of American's who watch their movies, listen to their music, and go to their games, would vote for her. But unfortunately for Elizabeth Banks, Lady Gaga, and Kobe Bryant, the heartland of America cares little for their opinions.
Rust Belt Revolt
Donald Trump will be the first Republican in a century to win the White House while losing his home state of New York, and the state of Colorado, along of course with his popular vote loss, and the only president without prior political experience. So how then, with all these markings against Trump, did he manage to secure a seemingly impossible victory? The answer is simple:
The working class.
While Manhattanite's and Los Angeleno's wake up every morning wondering why on Earth states like Michigan and Wisconsin, which last voted Red in Reagan's 1984 landslide, elected Trump, blue collar employee's punch in at a limited and dwindling number of manufacturing plants across the rust belt. These blue collar workers worry not about the new sushi restaurant around the collar but if they'll have jobs next Christmas or be able to put their kids through college. Obviously these are cliche stereotypes for both groups, but it demonstrates the stark cultural differences between the coasts and Middle America.
These states voted confidently for Democrats since Clinton, believing they would be the best defenders of the shrinking middle class. But by the reelection of Obama in 2012, things seemed troublesome for the Democrats. While Obama secured the rust belts core states of PA, MI, & WI, his lead was nothing to laud. A gradual shift to the right was clearly occurring, and has only been amplified in 2016.
Shift From Left or Right 2008 to 2016
While Obama led a liberal shift in 2008, by 2012 the pendulum began shifting back the way it came from. His margin of victory was considerably diminished in the rust belt his second time around, as they began feeling less confident in him and his party's ability to keep their jobs domestic, their cost of living affordable, and their communities safe. And when Clinton showed up in his place this election, they felt nothing more than betrayal and disappointment. The choice between "Make America Great Again" and being "Stronger Together" was clear, and they gave a Republican an opportunity for the first time in a generation.
A World Apart
The working class in the rust belt, while entertained by and fans of Hollywood and points beyond, clearly care little for their political stances. For a family of four with a combined household income of $47,000 per year, getting told who to vote for by someone who doesn't fly commercial, led alone worry about mortgage or car payments, is more than just distasteful. It's insulting. What Ben Affleck, and more recently Meryl Streep fail to realize, is that their insults and attacks towards the president-elect only emboldens him and pushes the common man closer to him.
But much like major media, celebrities think know better than the voters-at-large. They think: "sure Trump won thanks to a silent majority uprising, but he's still bad for you, and we're going to prove it nonstop over the next four years." It is unlikely Hollywood's elite will learn from the error of their ways anytime soon, and going forward they're more likely to ignorantly and unintentionally hurt their crusade, instead of helping it.
Mark Walhberg probably said it best: Hollywood, you live in a bubble and have no idea what everyday Americans experience; as such, it's time to shut up about your political opinions.