Politics, Actors, and Your Favorite Thug Rappers

By Slim Jackson

After watching both major political party conventions, I’ve decided that these politicians, actors, and rappers have more in common than people probably think. I’ll get to the why soon enough, but I wanted to first paint the picture of how I got to this entry.

I was chatting with a friend of mine about Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, and John McCain (For the purpose of this conversation, Joe Biden has absolutely no importance). My friend doesn’t particularly care for McCain for President, but he cares even less for Obama. In his view, Sarah Palin would probably be better than either candidate. I disagreed with him as he expected. My thought was that Palin couldn’t have given a great speech without the speech writers providing her with a bombdiggity (remember that?) script. Then he made a remarkable comment…

“Politicians are such great actors. We should just vote for the speechwriters.”

So maybe he didn’t say those exact words, but the quote is about 95% accurate. But let’s think about this one. Barack is an excellent speaker. As I’ve said before, he is the ultimate Articulate Black Guy. Sarah did a great job with her teleprompter work. Kudos. McCain is a smedium public speaker, but we also listened to the others who picked up his slack like Guliani. We also got to hear the star of the White House adult film “Oral Office”, Bill Clinton, also an excellent speaker. The point? Most of these politicians are not speaking their own thoughts. They don’t enjoy kissing babies, and probably would rather not be shaking 100 germ-infested hands per day. They’re political actors, not to be confused with activists. In the case of this election, we have 2 rock stars in the mix. 38 million tuned in to see Barack’s acceptance speech, and 37 million tuned in to see Palin. Gramps McCain? Well, despite the fact he had more viewers than both Palin and Obama, he’s still Gramps McCain. Focusing on his speech was like pulling dentures. People more than likely tuned in to see if he morphed into George Bush. But I digress. But I digress (You had to see his speech to get the hidden joke here.).

The presidential race, or any political race, has become more commercial than some of our favorite rappers. Think about it. All of this political jibber jabber from both sides and it sounds great no matter who you’re voting for. But what are the person’s true views and what will they really do in office…or attempt to have done under a desk? They’re talking this talk because that’s what they need to do to get the votes from their peoples the same way rappers need to sell CDs. Let’s take 50 Cent as an example.

I often hear people talk about how great he was when he wasn’t mainstream. I agree. I heard some of his old stuff and he actually had punchlines. But what happened to this guy once he got into the spotlight and needed to sell CD’s and Vitamin Water? Lazy ass commercial punchline recyclingness to compliment his pseudo-thuggery. How often can a man say good and hood? How often can someone talk about clutchin the handle of their heat, or why the other candidate sucks. More times than not, whether politicians or rappers, I can read right through the BS and congratulate the person for an acting job well-done. They may have delivered an amazing performance in that 4 minute music video or during that 10 minute speech, but real does recognize real. Taking 9 shots 10 years ago, or getting tortured by the Viet Cong 35 years ago does not make you a great presidential candidate or rapper today. “What have you done for me lately?” is often a better question to ask.

And no, I’m not discounting the individual past experiences of others. Those experiences shape the people that we are today. But when you’re fighting for my vote, or to stop me from just downloading your CD from a friend, you need to either give an Oscar performance or be a bit more real. Simple as that.

From the Political Analyst that doesn’t talk about the issues,

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6 responses to “Politics, Actors, and Your Favorite Thug Rappers

  1. Slim, we’ve stated some of the same underlying thoughts. Palin is a great animator to someone else’s lines. However, Bill, Romney, Hilary and others could be questioned by anyone at anytime and stand down on the issues b/c they know their stuff. They are not political dingbats on the inter/national scale, like the recent doll that McCain wants to run the country if he doesn’t survive a full term.

  2. Mulloverthis,

    I guess this is stating the obvious, but exactly my point. I think this is one of the major problems with politics. It’s to a point where kissing babies isn’t even the key indicator of success. We’re to a point where antics win over the real issues. To a certain degree, I’d say a lot of this has to do with the surge in active young voters. McCain was never at risk of losing the older traditional crowd, at least in my mind. I’ve had enough of the robots though. Reminds me of a movie where someone gets a chip put into his or her head and a Jack Bauer-esque (24 TV show) type character is responsible for saving the world.

  3. People often compromise their own self just to sell themselves to the public. You see it in the music industry. You see it in politics. You see it in religion (unfortunately). I guess its the way of the world.

  4. Sowhatiff Jenkins

    Great friggin post. I love Barack, but I always have to listen to his speeches with your underlying point in mind: he too is a politician. They all have to do little song and dance to get and sustain America’s attention. Unfortunately for us, most of our fellow citizens either get caught all up in the hype, and thus miss what’s between the lines and lies, or forget to ask questions and just buy what they are being told. The result: 8 years of Lil’ Bush.

  5. First off, I’m voting for Michelle.
    Secondly, iDied @ “Taking 9 shots 10 years ago, or getting tortured by the Viet Cong 35 years “. That’s real talk right there.

  6. RightCoastLexSteele

    Jay Z and Robert DeNiro for pres and vp. HOLLA!

    Or…maybe I could run for pres after I drop an album. I have all the credentials, I’m from the hood, I’ve been shot and participated in various other nefarious activity that would make a good album or political reformation speech. I have a background in Political Science and I’m technically from overseas, so that covers my international experience. And as far as leadership responsibility, never been a Governor (actually running for gubernatorial office in 2038, stay tuned) but damn it, I RUN NY! And for my VP…Samuel L. Jackson of course. He may not have any qualifications at all, but neither Sarah Palin and I dare you, I double dare you to tell S.L. Jackson he aint qualified. (“What”? “What” aint no country I ever heard of…do they speak English in “what”?)

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