Busted Halo
feature: politics & culture
February 3rd, 2004

Election Direction

Celebrity and the Search for Decent Political Advice

 
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My name is Tony Rossi and I’m a registered Republican.

There, I admit it.

I don’t remember what year I registered, but it was before I started paying much attention to politics. The GOP seemed to share my moral values so I signed up.

Leaning GOP but not a sealed deal
In the ensuing years, I’ve become more interested in the workings of government, our political system, and the people we elect to serve the public interest.

While I still lean conservative, I won’t automatically vote for the Republican on the ballot. And since I disagree strongly with Democrats on certain issues, they can’t count on my vote either. So in a big election year like 2004, where can I?and all those questioning voters like me?turn for guidance?

Madonna.

Material girl goes political
That’s right, the material girl believes she’s qualified to tell me who to vote for. In a letter on her web site endorsing Democratic candidate General Wesley Clark, Madonna says, “Our greatest risk is not terrorism and it’s not Iraq or the ?Axis of Evil.’ Our greatest risk is a lack of leadership, a lack of honesty, and a complete lack of consciousness.” Of the Bush administration, she says, “They think too small. They suffer from the ?what’s in it for me?’ syndrome.”

A complete lack of consciousness? The ?what’s in it for me’ syndrome? Should Madonna really be casting stones about that?

It isn’t because of her acting skills in “Swept Away” that I question Madonna’s judgment. It’s because of her affect on young women and popular culture. Even if you like her music, you have to admit that her over-sexualized image hasn’t exactly made a parent’s job any easier. [What message does the now-infamous Britney kiss send to her young fans about sexuality?]

And has Madonna ever made a move without calculating what’s in it for her?

So where do we go?
I don’t want to sound like your standard ?basher of liberal celebrities.’ I’m not. I still enjoy my Dixie Chicks CD’s. It does, however, concern me when celebrity endorsements hold a lot of weight?especially when the judgment of the celebrities in question is perplexing and disturbing.

There are many important issues to be addressed in this upcoming election?issues that require thoughtful minds and intelligent discussion. So where do we find it?

Like a journalist
Newsweek columnist Fareed Zakaria is someone I turn to for a more objective view of America’s role in international relations. He’s a straight shooter who parcels out praise and criticism and backs his arguments up with sound reasoning. Mr. Zakaria isn’t pushing an agenda or personal bias like many commentators today. In my opinion, he’s just telling it like it is. I encourage everyone to read his work and seek out other thoughtful writers like him.

I’ll admit I’m leaning toward Bush in November, but my mind might be changed by educated, reasonable arguments from another candidate. Madonna, however, will not sway me.

Now I just hope Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake keep their preferences to themselves.

 
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The Author : Tony Rossi
Tony Rossi is a writer/producer for various Catholic media and publishes the blog "The Intersection."
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