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Politics In the Age of Absolutes

'These 35 Celebrities Support Donald Trump!' the headline read. Yes, it was click bait. Yes, I clicked on it. No, I didn't read the whole thing. Does it really matter which famous people support Trump for president? Probably not. A cursory perusal of the first few names on the list informed me that actor Charlie Sheen is (supposedly) on board the Trump train. This is about as shocking -- and meaningful -- as lefty actor/producer/director Rob Reiner supporting Hillary Clinton.

The fact of the matter is, most folks who identify as conservative/Republican will likely vote for the GOP nominee for president come November. Those who identify as liberal/Democrat will likely opt for the Democratic nominee. Some will sit it out. Others will vote third party. Between now and then, we can be sure that opinions will be espoused, arguments will be had and feelings will be hurt. So it goes.

This isn't to make light of the seriousness of politics. Make no mistake: politics is very, very serious. Or at least its implications are. Who we elect (not only for president but for every other office in the land) will have control and oversight of the taxpayers' purse strings, the autonomy of people's bodies, individual and group freedom, judicial appointments, business regulations, etc. None of that is to be scoffed at. One does so at their own peril.

I guess it just doesn't seem all that relevant to me that certain celebrities support a politician whom I don't support. I watch a movie or a TV show for the entertainment value, not so I can do the opposite of suspension of disbelief, and instead seethe with rage and incredulity at how someone playing a character on a screen could possibly support a candidate with whom I disagree on most things.

The same goes for people in my own life. I have friends and family who are more (some of them much, much more) conservative than I, and who support politicians that I don't. We talk and hang out, and it's okay. We carefully avoid the political pitfalls, or, on occasion, engage in robust discussion/disagreement on the issues/candidates. More often than not, I prefer the former. Life is calmer that way.

Going back to celebrities for a moment, it has come to my attention that the country group Dixie Chicks -- no strangers to controversy -- are displaying a defaced picture of Donald Trump during their tour. Color me unimpressed. I would prefer entertainers keep their politics away from their entertainment, if at all possible. Though I share the Dixie Chicks's dislike of Trump, it still ruffles my feathers in the sense of if I were attending a concert and the performers displayed a defaced portrait of Obama.

My social media feed of late has become inundated with a plethora of memes proudly displaying my friends' politics of the moment. Not surprisingly, my Libertarian/Republican friends post stuff hating on Hillary Clinton. My establishment Democrat friends post things in favor of Clinton, and against Trump (with some dismay toward Bernie Sanders). My uber-left/hyper-progressive friends are all about Bernie, and of course diss on Clinton and Trump. It's doubtful any minds are being changed during this snarky sharing of opinions.

So, dear reader, I get it it. I truly do. Everyone has their preferred politics, including celebrities. The fact that people support a particular candidate isn't really newsworthy. It's a free country and folks can share their political beliefs with abandon, yet it doesn't really sway anyone's opinion much, and would seem to define 'preaching to the choir.' I dunno. In an election year that some are trying to hype as being so different from what's come before, from where I sit it seems more like business as usual.


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