After Donald Trump's election victory, Michael Moore suggested Democrats should run a celebrity in 2020. If they aren't already considering it, they should be, writes Jeet Heer at New Republic. Some argue that voters are actually turned off by celebrities, whose lectures can feel patronizing and whose bank accounts hardly make them relatable. But "we live in a media-saturated world where fame has persuasive power," and the political victories of Trump, Ronald Reagan, and Arnold Schwarzenegger prove that, Heer says. But whereas Republicans have used celebrity to their advantage, Democrats have chosen to hope for a candidate that's both smart and charismatic.
The problem is that combination, owned by Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, is hard to come by. And so, rather than risk a 2020 run with "another accomplished, dowdy politician" like Hillary Clinton or John Kerry, Democrats should opt for someone like Beyonce, Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, or Rosie O'Donnell, Heer writes. After all, "it's easier to surround a good actor with smart policy advisors than to make a lackluster campaigner seem sexy and exciting," he writes. Even Trump recognizes the kind of power such a celebrity could wield, Heer adds. Why else would he largely ignore critics like Elizabeth Warren—a top 2020 contender—but publicly insult Streep? Read Heer's piece in full here.