The power celebrities wield over the electorate
In the months before the 2016 Presidential election, celebrities had a unique part to play in garnering support for certain politicians that best mirrored their values and beliefs. Politicians received certain benefits through celebrity endorsements. Celebrities from diverse backgrounds were involved in political activism. There is an instantaneous ability to share information about or support a specific candidate or policy with followers of these famous people. This phenomenon could easily be overtaken by biased information.
There were some celebrities, like Tom Brady, who had been known to have a relationship with Donald Trump. This relationship had not begun during the election cycle, but Brady decided not to intentionally capitalize on aiding the Trump campaign by a Brady endorsement. Brady was questioned over his ties with Trump and what the extent of the relationship. Celebrities hold the attention of the media, and, during an influential time in American history, their opinions of the campaigns were seen as significant. Brady took a more private approach to what his personal political beliefs were, whereas some celebrities were more willingly to share their endorsement of a certain political belief, and encourage others to follow suit.
Comedians Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham were both highly involved in the Hillary Clinton’s campaign through various measures, from attending campaign rallies, volunteering their time and expenses to share in Clinton’s message to registering people to vote. They were devoted to pursuing the final end of getting Hillary Clinton into the White House, by the necessary means especially using their social media accounts. These were strategic ways of sharing one unified message overall advocating the support of Clinton to the millions of fans. This heavily watched platform was expertly used to put pressure on Schumer and Dunham’s fans to also show support for Clinton. These fans likely started following Schumer and Dunham primarily for their work, but then began to see a flow of politically targeted messages on various social media accounts. No, Schumer and Dunham didn’t make Hillary Clinton president, but they were able to begin a conversation with their followers about politics and the best choice for President of the United States.