Everyone has a voice

“Stay out of politics.”

It’s a phrase that I’ve noticed more and more in the last several months.

It always seems to be directed toward some celebrity who’s made a vague remark on the political climate, or has blatantly taken a side on some current event.

“Every week, my buds and I would get together to watch ‘Dude, Where’s My Car?’ and I just want you to know that my Blu-Ray has officially been thrown in the fire-pit! Stay out of politics, Ashton Kutcher!”

I just have one problem with this attitude. It carries an air of ignorance toward a celebrity’s humanity.

It is all too easy to perceive celebrities as being completely walled-off from the rest of the world.

Posing vainly at red carpet events, buying houses that cost the GDP of a small country and giving their children ridiculous names, it isn’t hard at all to discard a celebrity’s opinion as trite and meaningless.

“What do they know, lording over us from their summer homes in the Caymans? What can they tell me about my country?”

Well, the thing is, they can tell us quite a lot.

Celebrities are people, just like us. Their lives aren’t all premieres and photo-shoots; they are feeling the effects of the political climate every bit as acutely as we are.

Their lives, and the lives of those they care about, are affected by politics. In that regard, they are no different from you or I.

When Meryl Streep devotes a portion of her acceptance speech to discussing the importance of preserving free press, or when Leonardo DiCaprio urges people to educate themselves about climate change, understand that these words are not coming from some disconnected rabble-rousers.

When there is darkness, a light must shine upon it. Thank heaven that sometimes those lights can shine from the highest levels of society, because we don’t always pay attention otherwise.

We all have a place in politics; we all have a right to stand up for what we believe in, no matter how much money we make or how many Twitter followers we have.

And if all you have to say to someone taking that stand is “stay out of politics,” just know that you’re the type of person who needs to stay out of politics.