"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Saturday, November 06, 2004

P. Diddy Regrets 'Reckless' Attack on Bush

"Hateful hyperbole" didn't work. It only made the American people mad. In any case, his "Vote or Die" campaign was way over the top. One would think he was in Afghanistan and other places where people actually did die for the privilege of voting. They died because enfranchisement is a precious gift not an opportunity for a celebrity's soundbite.

Don't get me wrong. Celebrities have as much right to offer their opinion as anyone, but they should do so in a manner that doesn't dazzle and inflame. A simple, "Please vote for the candidate for you choice" would have been a more appropriate message. Whoopi Goldberg, Dixie Chicks, Robert Redford, Barbara Streisdan, Eminem, Linda Rondstat, Susan Sarandon, all have the right to their opinion. But young people are immature, often easily led, and usually ignorant of the issues. Some, if not the many, would vote as suggested by their favorite entertainers, who, of course, believe that they have the correct view.

I don't have a problem with legal voters of any stripe exercising their franchise. I do insist that ALL voters become educated in the issues and in the process, and NOT TAKE THEIR LEAD from celebrities just because of that person's celebrity power.

You know I like to listen to Bruce Springsteen, Linda Ronstat, and all the rest, and I enjoy their performances. I go to be entertained, but not to learn about issues UNLESS they bring them the COMPETENT and KNOWLEDGEABLE to explain the issues. Unfortunately learning about issues is hard work that isn't easily done standing under the hot son, or in a stadium full of loud revelers.

At one Mid-West high school, students recently protested the Bush election with a sit-in. (Deja-vu) They were protesting the Bush eledtion, the return of the draft and other issues that affect young people. Bush repeatedly told people that the draft was not to return. Kerry and his team kept bringing up the draft and other issues that turned out not to be correct. The media continued to throw out misinformation on all sides. It IS difficult to wade through all that's out there and THE EXPERIENCED HAVE A BETTER CHANCE at spotting what COULD BE TRUE and what probably is not. These young people didn't have a chance. Through inexperience they would have placed their votes based on misinformation. And I would venture a guess that they were influened by a celebrity or, perhaps a politicized classroom teacher, a more egregious violation of trust. But, I'll leave that topic for another day.

Most celebrities don't know more than we do. Mostly they are more talented in song and dance, trained to speak in front of a crowd, and they are certainly better looking, but that does not make them smarter or better informed. Unfortunately, and in fact, many are not intellectual, although some are, and are "fed" their opinions by others much in the same way are high school kids and many others that don't the time or resources to seek out information.

So the next time your favorite entertainer or celebrity endorses a political candidate or cause take a pause and think about what that endorsement really means.


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