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.