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In recent years, more celebrities have found a need to share their opinion on major social issues and use their public influence to raise awareness. With the election of Donald Trump as president, the popular slogan “not my president” has conquered the media. Many celebrities have spoken out against Trump’s policies and other social issues. In the past, there have been many famous people who have chosen to boycott their respective field to enter the world of politics when they oppose the political system. Trump’s presidency could be the start of many celebrities taking advantage of their platforms to campaign. 

Currently, names such as Kanye West, who claims he will run for president in 2020, and Colin Kaepernick, who began the protest against the national anthem, come to mind when thinking of celebrities who challenge the political system and interject their opinions, but there have been many politically active celebrities in the past with similar goals.

The most famous celebrity to run for office was the 40th president of the United States, Ronald Reagan. Reagan was previously a Hollywood actor from 1937 to 1964 and appeared in movies such as Bedtime for Bonzo and Kings Row. He was famously conservative, and after World War II, he gave his name to a conservative brand of economic politics known as Reaganomics. He was later elected governor of California in 1967 and president from 1981 to 1989.

Australian actor and body builder, known for the Terminator movies, Arnold Shwarznegger, became the governor of California from 2003 to 2011, despite never having held a public office before. After the recall election of Governor Gray Davis, Schwarzenegger was elected. Although he was known as one of the worst governors in the United States, he proved anyone can hold an office, which became apparent again in the 2016 Presidential Election.

Manny Pacquiao is a world-renowned Filipino boxer. He was known as one of the greatest boxers of all time, but is now known for his political work in the Philippines. In 2003, Pacquiao was voted Person of the Year in the Philippines and ran for a seat in the national legislature in 2007. Although his first time running was unsuccessful, he ran again in 2010 and won by an overwhelming margin. He was reelected in 2013 and was later elected to the Philippines Senate in 2016.

Many past celebrities have used their popularity to gain political power, and although some have proved to be unsuccessful, many prove to use their power for good and hope to make the country a better place.

Today, many celebrities use their influence to share their political and social views with the public. Many athletes campaign such as NBA Star Carmelo Anthony or San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who both share their opinions on police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Other celebrities have shared their views openly with the public as well. Meryl Streep gave an anti-Trump acceptance speech at the Golden Globes this year. Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé have also all revealed their political views in front of large audiences, opposing President Trump. All of these celebrities are living example that show regardless of their profession, they can use their fame to educate the pubic. 

Although Trump’s lack of political experience upsets many people, but it is important to keep in mind that celebrities like Donald Trump have powerful networks, and they have the power to demonstrate their political and social views to a wide audience and use their fame for good. 

Published by Lia Assimakopoulos