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After Reagan and Trump, Republicans don’t get to complain about liberal celebrities anymore

“Leftist Hollywood elites smearing, slandering, besmirching the character of President Trump at the Emmys,” Hannity said. “Now, take a look at just some of the comments from these overpaid, out of touch, pampered Hollywood liberals — and they’re kind of dumb and hypocritical — including the host, Stephen Colbert.”

Notice that, again and again, the logic here isn’t that the celebrities are wrong because of specific ways in which they disagree with Trump’s policies. No, the complaint used by Hannity is that there is something inherently wrong with celebrities having political opinions at all.

And yet we’ve had President Ronald Reagan. And President Donald Trump.

There have also been a plethora of other prominent Republican celebrities-turned-politicians, from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California to New York Rep. Jack Kemp (later a vice presidential candidate) and California Reps. Sonny Bono and Bob Dornan. There have been a handful of liberal ones as well, most notably Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, as well as the occasional iconoclast like Gov. Jesse Ventura of Minnesota.

Yet the reason Reagan and Trump need to be singled out is that, well, they became president. Schwarzenegger and Ventura may have led individual states, and Kemp, Franken, Bono and Dornan may have influenced specific public policies in Congress, but Reagan and Trump have transformed our nation single-handedly.

The 1980s are colloquially known as the Reagan Era because his brand of conservative politics became so indelibly associated with the zeitgeist of that decade. While Trump may never earn a similar distinction, he has helped the disparate white supremacist and misogynistic political movements routinely categorized as the “alt right” receive mainstream acceptance by virtue of his election.

Source: Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture > Politics

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