Involvement of Hollywood artists and other media influencers on the campaign trail is not uncommon. Appearances of celebrities alongside a candidate help draw attention to the campaign, get publicity and gain followers on social media.
The presence of Hollywood elites, however, does not guarantee that the candidate’s message will resonate with the people and translate into votes.
Recently, actor Michael Douglas visited Wisconsin to promote Democrat Michael Bloomberg’s campaign. As a late entrant into the presidential race, the former New York City mayor is trying to energize his campaign and become the front-runner. Being self-funded, raising money is not an issue for him. Rather, he wants voters to listen to, recognize and find themselves in agreement with him. So what does Michael Douglas’ presence in Wisconsin, in support of Bloomberg, say about the candidate’s strategy?
Wisconsin is a battleground state and a key target for both Democrats and Republicans in 2020. Wisconsin is “America’s Dairyland” and agriculture is one of the state’s biggest industries, contributing over $104 billion annually to the state’s economy. Any presidential candidate who wants to connect with voters in Wisconsin must understand the value of agriculture as a major economic driver and the importance of farming in the state’s history and culture.
Michael Bloomberg, at an event in 2016, said he could teach anybody to be a farmer. He described farming as a simple, process-oriented job, suggesting that it involves digging a hole, planting a seed and adding water.
Bloomberg either does not know or refuses to acknowledge the complex nature of farming and the challenges that farmers face.
From managing the land and animals, sourcing the input, dealing with weather-related uncertainties and preventing crop damage to finding a profitable market for the products, being subject to government regulations and addressing financing issues, people involved in the agricultural sector go through a lot of difficulties in producing the output that helps sustains life on earth. Portraying farming as a linear process of planting a seed and adding water is a travesty.
People of Wisconsin are hardworking, down-to-earth and intelligent. They pay attention to local, state, national and global affairs, and make informed decisions. They enjoy good movies and entertainment, but when it comes to choosing a leader who would make crucial decisions affecting the lives of Americans, Wisconsinites would not be swayed by the words of a Hollywood actor vouching for a candidate who does not recognize the true nature of one of Wisconsin’s largest industries – agriculture.
Michael Douglas’ appearance in the state does not strengthen Bloomberg’s campaign, but rather highlights how out-of-touch with reality the candidate is.
When Donald Trump was the GOP nominee for president, several Hollywood celebrities, such as Cher, Samuel L. Jackson and Chelsea Handler, spoke against him and even declared that they would leave the United States should Trump become the commander in chief. The slew of opposition from celebrities, however, did not dampen support for Trump but rather energized and mobilized the average American to go to the polling center and vote for him.
Donald Trump’s message of “America first,” his understanding of the plight of many Americans burdened by overregulation and taxes, and his candor when speaking to the people made the voters choose him as the president. His victory was made possible by a historic event in Wisconsin. In the 2016 election, Trump was the first GOP presidential candidate in 32 years to win Wisconsin.
Hillary Clinton, backed strongly by Hollywood elites, was over-confident and did not appear in Wisconsin for the general election campaign. But Trump campaigned in the state over and over again, and received the 10 Electoral College votes from Wisconsin, shocking the political establishment.
As president, he is helping boost the American economy through domestic policies and international negotiations, fighting to protect the Second Amendment, ensuring record-breaking employment levels for minorities and supporting men and women in uniform — all policies that align with what the people of Wisconsin want. President Trump is delivering on the promises he made.
As a big victory for the agricultural sector, President Trump helped negotiate the historic United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement that would greatly benefit Wisconsin farmers, in addition to helping boost other key industries like manufacturing. That puts him on very firm ground for the 2020 election in the state.
Michael Bloomberg is struggling to find a message for his campaign. As a billionaire, he cannot embrace the socialist agenda like Bernie Sanders. Criticizing gun rights would be to stand against the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. There is no case to be made against the Trump economy, which is experiencing unprecedented success. So in comes Hollywood to help carry Michael Bloomberg’s campaign forward when no significant talking point exists.
Counting on celebrities to win in battleground Wisconsin is a mistake. Hollywood elites must not tell Wisconsinites what the important issues for our state and the country are. Men and women who work hard every day know what our priorities are and which leader could solve pressing problems. In fact, Bloomberg’s strategy might backfire.
President Trump has recently been acquitted by the Senate in the impeachment trial. Not too long ago, a poll from Wisconsin’s premier Marquette Law School showed that 49 percent of Wisconsinites supported acquittal, and only 44 percent wanted a conviction. Needless to say, support for President Trump in Wisconsin is very strong.
The more candidates there are on the Democratic side, the greater the competition and discussion on key issues, the more the reliance on and the involvement of celebrities in each Democrat’s campaign and the clearer the understanding that President Trump is seeking re-election based on results and not rhetoric.
Hard-working Americans, not Hollywood, will determine the outcome of the 2020 election. While celebrities might amplify certain voices, the loudest roar will come from average Americans across the country, who are seeing greater opportunities, bigger paychecks, safer communities and a stronger military under President Donald J. Trump.
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