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Pop Culture Politics

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It’s been two weeks since Election Day, but the American people still have a lot to say about the results. Celebrities are no exception.

As the nation decided on its 45th president, the polls took an unexpected turn, and celebrities took to social media to share their thoughts. There were plenty of both positive and negative reactions, but few remained completely neutral. Upon Donald Trump officially being announced the winner, he received congratulations from actors Stephen Baldwin and Stacey Dash, among many others.

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More prominent, however, have been the opinions of those opposed to a Trump presidency–including John Legend, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Rashida Jones, among many others.

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Snoop Dogg even tweeted a photo of Toronto, referring to it as his “new home,” giving a nod to the many people who had previously joked about moving to Canada if Trump were to win.

Clearly, celebrity social media has become abuzz with politics. But despite their major presence both online and in person, how much does an average person actually pay attention to these “celebrity insights,” and do they really have any influence over the public opinion?

“Voters like to think that they are independent and not influenced by Hollywood celebrities but yet […] the line between politics has virtually disappeared,” Darrell West, author of “Celebrity Politics,” said in one CBS News article. While many people believe that their beliefs are totally free of pop-cultural influence, it might still be worth taking a step back from social media.

In order to get an even even better idea of how the public processes opinions shared by celebrities, some Apple Valley students gave their thoughts on the ordeal. As it turns out, there might be more than one answer.

Initially, students came to a general consensus that celebrities getting involved in politics isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“They have the right to their own opinion,” senior Kyle Bergevin said. “It could be good or bad, but it’s free speech.”

“As long as they’re not blindly conforming to the most popular opinion, it’s fine,” sophomore Ben Orzolek added.

When it came to influence, however, not all students were on the same page.

Lady Gaga's actions reflect her words as she speaks during a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Raleigh, N.C.

(AP Images/Gerry Broome)
Lady Gaga’s actions reflect her words as she speaks during a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Raleigh, N.C.

“It’s definitely influential,” senior Caity Wright said. “Just because so many young people seem to follow whatever their favorite celebrities do.”

This seems to be the attitude of many students, though not all. When asked about political messages on celebrities’ social media, Orzolek called them “hardly influential, unless their actions reflect their words.”

Whether or not celebrities’ political comments are appreciated, they continue to saturate our timelines and newsfeeds. Although we tend to pay the most attention to the people we agree with, maybe it is a good thing to acknowledge the vast array of views that differ from our own—as long as we stay true to what we believe is right in the end.

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The student news site of Apple Valley High School
Pop Culture Politics