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Palisades Charter High School

Is ‘The Rock’ going to rock the 2020 Election?

“Cool piece on why I should run for President. Maybe one day. Surely the White House has a spot for my pick up truck.”

Dwayne Johnson, also famously known as “The Rock,” posted this tweet on March 25. Although the possibility of a “Rock” presidency started out as a joke, the seriousness of Johnson becoming the leader of the free world has only grown.

And the weird thing is, he might actually be able to win.

Johnson’s has a charismatic personality, and many agree that he doesn’t have the typical “politician” character. He is universally admired by both old and young people and his charisma already makes him more likable to those who don’t want another classic legislator in the White House. If Johnson is able to show this side of him on the national scale during the campaign process to make everyone feel heard, this can give him a major push to the White House in 2020. In the previous election, President Trump was able to rally up a side of the country that felt lost and left-behind, which led him to his victory. On the condition that Johnson follows the same path Trump took, the presidency can easily be his in 2020.

Johnson also has a tough backstory, which he can use to gain emotional support from poorer families. Having his family evicted from a one-room apartment when he was a kid to becoming the highest paid actor in Hollywood of 2016, Johnson defines the meaning of the “American dream.” He can relate to the struggles of the working-class Americans to ensure that their voice will be heard if he decides to run in 2020. Just like Trump, he will be able to connect with the forgotten people.

His mixed-ethnicity is an additional advantage to gain a wide variety of supporters. One of the most significant problems with the Republican Party is that it’s losing minority votes in an increasing diverse country. If Johnson ran as a republican, he could possibly bring African-American and Latino votes back to the Republican Party. However, he has stated that he doesn’t support excluding immigrants.

“I believe in our national security to the core, but I don’t believe in a ‘ban’ that bans immigrants. I believe in inclusion. Our country was built on that, and it continues to be made strong by that,” he said. This belief of promoting “inclusion” is not one to be said by a conservative republican.

With the topic of immigration being a defining feature in the political party system, does this mean that he will be accepted as a republican nominee? However, it is unlikely that the Republican Party will dump Trump in 2020.

If Johnson decided to run under the Democratic Party, he could possibly gain a larger group of supporters since more minorities are registered as democrats. In 2008, 95 percent of African-American voters, 67 percent of Latinos, and 62 percent of Asians voted for Obama, while McCain held 55 percent of the white vote. The 2008 election shows how powerful race can play in an election, and Johnson’s race can benefit him greatly.

Although Johnson sounds like a great candidate in theory, his political views aren’t exactly clear to the American public. Once registered as a republican, he later switched to independent. This switch in parties makes it difficult to see where he is on the political spectrum.

In 2000, he attended the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention to promote voter turnout. In the recent election, he was unwilling to endorse a candidate in the 2016 election because of his fear of swaying opinions. “The Rock” has additionally stated that he is a moderate and supports nonpartisan organizations that promote education. Donations have included $1 million to the University of Miami, $1,000 to the Valley Education Fund in Sherman Oaks, and the creation of his own foundation that provides programs to help empower hospitalized children. He has described himself as a feminist, mental-health advocate, patriot, and believer in God.

How can an actor change the role of  president?

Ronald Reagan, an actor with no political background until his governorship of California, won the presidency in 1980.

Donald Trump, a reality star and business man with no political background, won the presidency in 2016.

Dwayne Johnson, an actor with no political background, can actually win the presidency in 2020.

It seems that a background in politics and government is becoming less and less relevant to hold the most powerful position in that field. Many who have advocated for Johnson to run in 2020 have argued that he can just choose a vice president who is an experienced politician to make up for his lack of experience. The same logic was applied to Trump running in 2016. So, who will actually hold the power in the White House, the experienced politician or the elected one?

In the Constitution, the only official role of the vice president is to act as a presiding officer of the senate. However, he is also expected to act as an assistant to the president. But, how much power will the vice president be given in the future? If people continue to use the vice presidency to balance an inexperienced president, this increases the VP’s role in an administration greatly. Will the presidency just become a ceremonial figurehead, while the vice president takes on the responsibilities that used to be required of the president?

Johnson isn’t the only celebrity considering running for president in 2020; he’ll possibly be running against famous rapper, Kanye West. Once again, another candidate with no political background is hoping to be president. Shocker. If candidates with no governmental experience continue to win positions in government, will background in government even matter?

Some have argued that previous experience in government isn’t that important as long as one has at least some background in a field such as military, business, or community. But, what happens when the people running for president are moving farther and farther away from related fields? Although inexperience can be dangerous, it doesn’t mean one is unqualified to be president. Trump supporters argued that his economic and business background was a skill that could be used to help fix the almost $20 trillion deficit. He may have lacked government involvement, but at least he was, according to some, successful in his field of business.

Ben Carson, a surgeon who ran on the republican platform in the 2016 Election, argued that even though he personally had no bureaucratic history, “The current members of Congress have a combined 8,700 years of political experience. Are we sure political experience is what we need?”

Carson’s story was different from Trump’s. Trump may have been inexperienced, but he wasn’t unqualified. Carson on the other hand actually had no experience in any field related to government. There is a clear line between being inexperienced and being unqualified. With the increasing amount of celebrities who desire to be president, it’s important to ensure that they are certified enough to be president even if they lack the experience.

Before Trump was chosen as the republican nominee, his supporters depended on him to choose a vice presidential candidate with a long history in government to guide him through his duties. He ended up choosing Mike Pence, who had served in Congress for 12 years and governor for almost four. Many felt more at ease knowing Trump would have someone who truly understood how the government functions.

Are future presidential candidates just going to rely on others to guide them on the politics of the presidency instead of learning how the governmental process occurs on their own? Will the American public allow this?

It’s impossible to tell what the president’s role will be in the future as less experience is required to fill the position. However, if candidates running choose to depend on their vice president,  the legislative houses, and others for “experience” then the public needs to pay even closer attention to the future elections.

Midterm results will play an even more significant role than it has in the past. Presidential cabinets will play a larger role than it has before. And vice president? Be careful. He may be the real president of the administration you vote for.

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