The most common thing you see on Twitter, or really, anywhere, when a celebrity, popular blogger/vlogger, YouTuber, etc. speaks out on the issues, most often human issues, is “I follow you because X, keep doing that and keep your head out of politics.”
This is an issue.
(From this point, I’m just going to say ‘big names’ to encompass all of those types of people.)
Those big names are speaking out because they are human and these are human issues.
Yes, they’re political, but, first and foremost, they are human issues. If you don’t believe that politics are purely human, you’re living in a bubble with your head in the sand. Politics exist because of humans; they exist for humans. The entire political process exists solely for the people.
You cannot be anti-government and pro-America. That’s not how it works.
America is America because of its government. The freedoms we have, the ones that are being attacked at this very moment, we have because of our government.
America, as Abraham Lincoln (who the Republicans like to tout their party as the party of; more on that later) put it, is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
This means that We the People of these United States, make up the government; that we make the government; that the government is there for us.
That does not mean just Susy from Texas or Dan from Kansas; that means Alyssa Milano (of Charmed fame) from California and the cast of Hamilton on Broadway. This is their America too.
Are they famous? Yes. Are they rich? In some cases. So are many other private citizens who aren’t in the entertainment industry. They are not ‘elitist’ because of those things. They are not ‘coastal elites‘. They are American, first and foremost. They are citizens; they are We the People of these United States. Just like you. Just like me.
Getting more closely to the point, when they’re told to “shut up and stick to [talent/job]” that they’re a “coastal elite” and their opinion doesn’t matter, the big name that is doing that is attempting to stifle their freedom of speech, their First Amendment right.
And, the more and more of that blowback they get, the less and less likely they’ll be to speak out in the future, or for others like them to speak out in fear of this blowback.
These big names speak out because they are seeing something wrong. They are seeing the issues that are plaguing you and I, that are happening each day, these injustices and attacks on our democracy and freedoms, and they are trying to get the word out.
They know they have a platform that will help them get the word out, the information that people just may not know, simply because we, as humans, do not like hearing bad things, especially when we disagree with the sentiment behind it.
But, still, they persist. They know these issues are important, they know what these issues mean for us, and the ramifications they may have.
Some of them live through them for their jobs.
Fiction is so popular because, yes, it offers an escape, but also because it’s easier to focus on these horrible things happening to these people who aren’t real than it is to focus on those same horrible things happening to us.
That is why they speak up and speak out on these issues.
Fiction, be it television, movies, books, video games, whatever it may be, have long since been a way to focus on issues that happen in real life in a way that’s disconnected from real life. It’s just easier for us to swallow.
Yet, so many are so quick to disregard fiction as simply entertainment, as unimportant fluff, and they stick their heads in the sand and ignore what fiction is trying to show us, all because we, as humans, dislike hearing bad news.
There are those that often bring up the ‘bubble’ that we keep ourselves in, that we are oblivious to other people’s lives and problems. While, yes, that is true with some people, that is not wholly true for all people. And a bubble is not always a bad thing.
Those that live in a bubble do so simply because we, as humans, dislike hearing bad things.
Then, when people who are outside of our own specific bubble says truth that is uncomfortable to us, we attempt to disregard it, making excuses after excuses, so that we can live more comfortably with ourselves and our lives.
This is a problem.
It’s time for us to recognize the problem; that we, as humans, dislike hearing bad news.
And it’s time for us to stop avoiding it. We need to face it head on.
We have a voice, each and every one of us, and it’s time for us to use it.