It’s deplorable that Kid Rock is even able to entertain the idea of running for Senate in 2018. Michi­ganders should want better leaders than profane public figures with a knack for political slo­ga­neering and self-pro­motion.

In the Atlantic article, author David A. Graham makes the case for Kid Rock’s can­didacy. Graham says it comes down to money and fame: “Parties like to recruit celebrity can­di­dates because they bring to the table broad name recog­nition, access to wealthy donors, and often the ability to self-fund a cam­paign, at least in part. Rock has all three.” At least that’s the theory, though the latest polls may not support Graham’s case. Kid Rock is down 20 points in the most recent poll against incumbent Debbie Stabenow.

Pres­ident Donald Trump won last year’s election because he promised to clean up the mess the politi­cians made. He was an anti-politician, full of bom­bastic out­bursts and genuine spon­taneity that allowed many of his sup­porters to gloss over his char­acter flaws.

Now the logic is that Kid Rock — a rare Trump-sup­porting celebrity — can use the same prin­ciples to run for Senate. And it might even work — espe­cially if people forget what George Wash­ington said: “It is sub­stan­tially true, that virtue or morality is a nec­essary spring of popular gov­ernment. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free gov­ernment.” Basi­cally, our leaders must be vir­tuous if we want to be free.

That Kid Rock has a basic grasp on important issues like racism (it’s bad), gay mar­riage (it’s fine), trans­gen­derism (not really fine), and religion (Jesus give us strength) is wholly under­mined by his delivery, which shows a lack of char­acter. For example, he addresses his “con­stituents” with equal parts pro­fanity and levity.

A rhymed mock-political speech given at a recent concert in Detroit demon­strates his anti-politician rhetoric: “Cause wouldn’t it be a sight to see, Pres­ident Kid Rock in Wash­ington DC. Standing on the desk in the Oval Office like a G. Holding my d – k ready to address the whole country. I’d look them straight in the eyes, the eyes of the nation live on TV, and I’d say to them, ‘You never met a m —  —  — er quite like me!’” His treatment of the nation’s most pow­erful political office signals his flip­pancy and dis­regard for public service.

His songs aren’t merely vulgar. They promote indecent behavior. In “American Bad Ass,” Rock sings about con­sorting with pros­ti­tutes after the concert is over. Unfor­tu­nately, Rock fails to keep his immoral themes con­tained in his music: He and Creed frontman Scott Stapp made a sex tape back in 1999. Look it up, or better yet, don’t. Only in the age of Trump would a potential politician ever con­sider running with such an immoral past.

Kid Rock’s sup­porters point out that the enter­tainer gives back to his com­munity in Detroit.  That’s good of him, but everyone should behave this way, not just those with money and celebrity. Praise Kid Rock for good cit­i­zenship, but don’t confuse that with good lead­ership. Kid Rock lacks the public moral char­acter or ideals for public office.

Nothing says that celebrities can’t be good leaders, but they have to be more than just celebrities. Take Hol­lywood-star-turned-pres­ident Ronald Reagan for example. He was prin­cipled and dis­played good public char­acter. He spent years thinking about policies before he ran for public office. He never made a sex tape and the only public swearing he did was at swearing-in cer­e­monies.

Kid Rock may be a popular showman, but he’s not a good can­didate for a Senate race in 2018 because he lacks char­acter, virtue, and a serious under­standing of public service. If Michigan Repub­licans want to win against Debbie Stabenow in 2018, they need a better can­didate, an upright leader.

It’s shameful that Amer­icans want celebrity leaders more than they want good ones.

Brendan Clarey is a senior studying English.