There has been a trend on social media as of late to compare the Trump administration to some sort of tv show. In a country and culture where we put so much emphasis on entertainment this is a natural outcome. Whether it be Game of Thrones, House of Cards, or The Handmaiden’s Tale we have all seen these types of content. It is even getting to the point where the print media and cable news are starting to pick up on it. In fact, just this week a New York newspaper published a headline along the lines of Survivor: White House. I am now going to posit that perhaps this attitude is exactly what we need to trivialize and then unshackle ourselves from the federal government’s rampant intrusions.
It can not be denied that Trump was a B list celebrity before he was elected. He was best known as a rich guy with a show about running a business. He has shown us that the translation from celebrity to politician simply doesn’t work. He has almost completely paralyzed the executive branch. He has managed to drain all the political capital out of the Republican Party completely by himself, no mean feat. This is perfect.
You may have heard that Kid Rock is exploring a senate run in Michigan as a Republican. I can’t say for certain but I would wager a good deal of money that he has no background in any policy area at all. I would be deeply surprised if had any interest in any area of policy. He would seem, like our president to be more concerned with Making America Great than he is with any actual way of doing it. This is one hundred percent alright in my book. If he wants to go to Washington and perform live concerts on the floor of the senate as a form of filibuster, then C-Span could get popular in a hurry.
Caitlyn Jenner has also floated the idea of running as Republican for senate out in California. I honestly have no idea just how that would work out or what it would look like. It seems like it is exactly the sort of thing that Californians would love though right? An ex-Olympian, tv star, and one of the most famous trans gender individuals in the nation should be a smash hit on the left coast. If nothing else it is one more elected official with no background in policy or really anything other than entertainment of various forms.
In the immediate after math of the election, it was a short lived meme that the Democrats were going to run Oprah or George Clooney against Donald Trump in the next election. I think they should take it a step further and run as many Hollywood types in as many states as they possibly can. There is no incentive not to, they already have the same bland rhetorical talking points with no substantive proposal that every other Democrat and most Republicans have mastered.
The most immediate and effective counter argument to this proposition is that it will lead to out sized influence from lobbyists who can play to the ego of these celebrities to advance their agendas. First of all, we would be naive to assume that this isn’t happening to at least some degree anyways. Second, it is self-evident that every interest group has a counter part that holds inverted and opposing policies opinions. This combined with the high levels of partisanship in congress should prevent any real meaningful manipulation of congress.
My own biggest concern with this proposal to just elect celebrities en mass is the effect it might have on the regulatory state. It is a historically observable trend that as congress does less and less legislation that the executive branch and its regulatory minions will begin to pick up the slack and legislate by fiat. For this reason, I think it would be important to declaw these departments before we would begin this exercise. I don’t think it would be necessary to eliminate them, rather just convert them into something closer to think tanks. This would allow them to help guide and influence policy with out being able to inflict those policies on us themselves.
So in summary, we need more celebrities in congress. We should declaw the regulatory state. Most importantly, we need to Make C-Span Great Again.