Idolizing politicians makes it easy for us to turn away from their past history


Social media has redefined how politics is perceived and has made it easy for people to be blindsided by the information they see. When it comes to politicians that we are inspired by, you may often find compilation videos, tweets, etc. on social media. Some of which can include: AOC, Kamala Harris, or even Donald Trump. These politicians and many more are seen as icons and glorified for what they have said in the past. 

However, have you ever considered how this negatively affects us all? Maybe you haven’t, and find nothing wrong with these types of videos. Well, it’s quite the opposite. The videos and comments you see on social media are made about politicians, the same people whom we elect into office to make the laws that reflect this country. When it comes to idolizing politicians it makes it easier for us to be blindsided by the information we see on social media and disregard the actions they made in the past. 

Donald Trump

**Trigger warning: Sexual assault is mentioned**

While some of us might not see the videos and comments Trump supporters make about Trump, you would be surprised how often it happens. Trump supporters are known to praise him, even before he was elected into office. His supporters would do anything to get recognized by him.

It may not seem like a bad thing to support the candidate you want for the presidency but it’s very easy to brush off the scandals and accusations that Trump has been involved in. Many people who do not support Trump are aware of the actions he has committed. Some of the allegations include his sexual misconduct against women over the years.

Ever since Trump ran for presidency, at least 26 women have come forward to discuss the way Trump has treated them. In an interview with the Guardian, Amy Dorris, one of the many women to come forward with their allegations of sexual misconduct with Trump, claims, “She has alleged that Trump accosted her outside the bathroom of his VIP box at the US Open tennis tournament in New York in 1997.” 

It’s clear that Trump has faced sexual assault allegations even before he entered the White House, but when Trump supporters glorify him, it makes it harder for them to realize how this affects the country Trump runs as President of the United States.

Sexual assault allegations are not the only scandals Trump has encountered, most recently he was found having a phone call with Georgia officials to find votes in his favor.

I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” claims Trump in a voice recording obtained by the Washington Post

When Trump supporters are too attached to Trump, it’s easy for them to turn a blind eye on how dangerous it is [for a president caught on videotape] trying to rig the election in his favor. Not to mention that he has argued out against rigged elections in past debates. One of the effects that happen when you glorify a politician, allowing them to get away with their actions because they know they won’t get held accountable by their supporters.

Kamala Harris

After the results of the 2020 election, millions of people were brought to joy knowing that Trump was out of office. However, with their joy came the excitement of the country’s first black female Vice President. It wasn’t long before videos and comments circulated on social media showing their appreciation for Harris. Some of these posts consist of Harris crossing stages wearing outfits symbolizing how powerful and iconic she is now that she is Vice President of the United. While these videos can serve as inspiration for young women who aspire to one day run for office, it’s easy for people to be blindsided or uninformed about the actions Harris committed in her past.

For instance, during Harris’s time as a prosecutor, she pushed forward the truancy program that passed in 2011. The truancy law ensured that children attended schools otherwise parents can face jail time if kids missed too many school days without reasonable excuses. While Harris planned to increase school attendance in San Francisco, it began to take a turn once she ran for state attorney. Harris was able to expand the program for the whole state of California. As described by NPR, “… ended up becoming so controversial, and why it disproportionately affected families of color.”

Many people who see posts of Harris on social media may be unaware of the truancy program that she advocated for. The truancy program shaped the criminal justice system in California. Families who were affected by this program include the Cheree family, Cheree is the mother of Shayla who has sickle cell anemia. As a result of Shayla’s illness, she missed several school days and had to find ways to resolve any issues her school may have with her illness. However, Cheree was not able to come to a consensus with her school resulting in Cheree failing jail time. In the article by NPR, Cheree describes this instance as “It felt to her like a really excessive show of force for what was essentially a misunderstanding between her and her child’s school.”

Cheree is only one of the millions of families who were affected by the truancy program that Harris fought for. This is not the only program Harris advocated for. During her term as California’s state attorney, many people were sent to prison for marijuana offenses. According to PolitiFact, “The agency’s data shows there were 1,883 admissions to state prison on marijuana offenses during the years Harris was attorney general.”

It’s evident that Harris has committed actions that negatively affected millions of people, some of her actions go unnoticed on social media as it’s easy for people to be blindsided by the videos glorifying Harris.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a well-known politician on social media and loved by many members of Gen-Z. She quickly grew to be one of the most known politicians for being the youngest woman to be sworn into Congress. Many gen-Z members admire AOC for her advocacy and her “progressive” beliefs that appeal to the younger generation. AOC can also relate to the average worker because before running for Congress, she worked as a bartender and waitress. 

While AOC has continuously advocated and proposed legislation to reform the unjust that take place throughout the country, many people on social media have created compilation videos idolizing AOC and showing clips of the powerful words she has said in Congress. It’s common to find tweets, comments, and videos showing their admiration for AOC. It may seem practically normal to show support for a politician who you admire, but much of AOC’s actions go unnoticed by the same people who see videos of her on social media.

Many people from both the right and left are criticizing AOC for her radical policies including the Green New Deal. The Green New Deal sponsored by AOC and senator Ed Markey has gained attention from climate change activists as this legislation can reform the way we move in the next decade. 

In an article by Stanford news, Stanford energy and environment experts explain the weaknesses of the Green New Deal. “The biggest potential problem would be broadly deploying technologies that aren’t yet sufficiently developed,” claimed professor Benson. “We need to move as quickly as we can with technologies that are ready to go, like wind and solar power, and continue to develop other critical components of a deeply decarbonized energy system like large-scale weekly to seasonal energy storage.”

AOC’s policy has been perceived as too progressive for the country making it harder for both sides to agree and enact the Green New Deal legislation. While many of the legislations that AOC has proposed and drafted have received positive feedback from her constituents, people within Congress find it difficult to work with her because she proposes progressive ideas that the U.S. is not ready for.

So what now?

Idolizing politicians affects society as a whole if we continue to praise politicians moving forward. The more we praise politicians either through social media or in person, we allow politicians to create policies that affect us all without being held accountable. It makes it easier for them to get away with their actions if they know their supporters are blindsided or disregard their actions. At the end of the day, these are the politicians who represent us and create legislation that affects how this country runs.

It’s easy for us as teens to get carried away with the reality that politicians are not celebrities. Even when we see these acts of glorifying, it’s up to us to do our research on their history and make sure we don’t get blindsided by what we see on social media.