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Opinion: Celebrities may be experts but not about politics
Hollywood
The Hollywood sign is seen under a snow-covered mountain range Friday, Dec. 27, 2019, in Los Angeles. - photo by Associated Press

Celebrities are professionals who have gained international acclaim. Some of them have found fame as athletes. Others as actors, activists, authors, singers, broadcasters and corporate magnates. The most famous ones don’t even need a last name: Oprah, Tiger, Beyonce, Cher, Engelbert, Shania, Olivia and Madonna, for examples.

In practically every case, they became celebrated because they mastered their craft. They are very good at what they do, far better than so many others pursuing the same careers. Their years of preparation, coupled with their natural talent, have brought them recognition they really earned: Academy Awards, Heisman Trophies, Oscars, Emmys and Hall of Fame memberships. 

Celebrities have every right to voice their political opinions, when they are citizens like the rest of us. In no way would I try to curtail their opportunity to express their ideas about elections and world problems. 

However, just as celebrities have the right to speak, we have the right not to listen — or not to agree with them. After all, why should a famous individual be able to judge global situations and potential leaders better than the rest of us can? Have they earned political science graduate degrees or written books about the governing process? Have they even visited countries they tell us how to handle? 

Again, I admire actors who can memorize lines and say them so convincingly that we believe we are watching real events. I admire singers who stir our emotions. I tip my hat to football players, since I only got to play three plays on the junior high team. 

But there’s no reason for me or you or anybody else to turn to A-list celebrities as authorities who will help us make our political and worldview decisions. I say ignore them, unless they are doing what they are genuinely qualified to do.

Bill Lampton

Gainesville

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