Another year, another celebrity announces they are running for political office.
The most recent celebrity to kick-start their bid for higher office is Caitlyn Jenner. On April 23, Jenner, 73, revealed on Twitter that she was running for governor of California.
“California has been my home for nearly 50 years. I came here because I knew that anyone, regardless of their background or station in life, could turn their dreams into reality,” Jenner tweeted. “But for the past decade, we have seen the glimmer of the Golden State reduced by one-party rule that places politics over progress and special interests over people. Sacramento needs an honest leader with a clear vision.”
Recently, a petition was signed by 2 million people in California to force a recall election of Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom. Jenner, a Republican, former Olympian and reality star, is planning to take advantage of California’s shaky governorship and run during the recall election.
Jenner’s notoriety and fame may give her a solid chance at winning and being elected the next governor of California. This unfair advantage is exactly why celebrities should not run for any political office.
However, Jenner, who publicly came out as a transgender woman in 2015, would break many milestones if she were to be elected governor.
Though Jenner is transgender, she stated that she opposes biological boys who identify as transgender, competing in girls’ school sports, in a TMZ interview May 2. This controversial comment has caused outrage from transgender activists, such as actor Elliot Page and Equality California, an LGBTQ+ non-profit, who don’t want her to speak for the rest of the community.
A May 4 ABC news article revealed Jenner is running on a platform to combat “big government.” Jenner is overseeing a promise to open up schools and businesses in California.
“California, it’s time to reopen our schools, reopen our businesses, reopen the golden gates, so I don’t care if you’re a Republican or a Democrat. I’m ready to be governor for all Californians,” Jenner said in her ad campaign May 4.
Jenner is currently getting more publicity than any other candidate and even more than current Governor Gavin Newsome. This is no surprise considering her fame.
It is more respectable when a candidate running for office works their way up to gain popularity over the course of a campaign. When there’s a candidate like Jenner, most people already know who she is, so her chances at being elected is greater.
Meanwhile, other lesser-known candidates have to work twice as hard for people to know their name. Celebrities like Jenner could overshadow hard-working candidates, especially candidates who would better serve the community to which they have been elected, like current governor Newsome. It is also worth mentioning that any celebrity that is elected to political office could bring unnecessary distractions like family drama and keeping up with social media.
Jenner, who was married to Kris Jenner for 24 years, is familiar with petty drama. Jenner helped raise Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian, while also having two children, Kendall and Kylie, with Kris Jenner. Over the years, the Kardashian family has been a big sensation in the pop-culture world, gaining over 1.9 million viewers of their show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”
Jenner is no stranger to celebrities running for office either. Maybe she even got the idea to run from her former son-in-law Kanye West. West, who is currently divorcing Kim Kardashian, ran for president in the 2020 presidential election. According to a Nov. 7 BBC news article, West accumulated 60,000 votes out of 160 million votes that were cast.
This pitiful attempt at a bid for the presidency was embarrassing for the United States. Everyone who meets the requirements should be able to run for president, but that doesn’t mean everyone should run for president. West is one of these people who shouldn’t.
In a presidential campaign that included both Donald Trump and Joe Biden, West’s bid did not make much sense. In a Billboard article written Nov. 6, it was noted that West’s campaign was probably nothing more than promoting his brand.
Running for any office, especially the office of the president, should not be used as an attempt to garner more attention, money or fame for yourself. It deserves much more respect than a publicity stunt.
For the sake of California, hopefully Jenner takes the role seriously and does not use it to “further her brand.” The voters deserve better than that.