Right off the top, let me get it out of the way and say I am a fan of Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson.
He is one of the more iconic figures from the world of professional wrestling. He’s been in quite a few enjoyable movies, and most importantly, he doesn’t seem to take his celebrity for granted. He actually comes across as a good guy.
With all that said, and with all due respect, the idea of using his celebrity status as a springboard for a run at the presidency in 2020 is weapons-grade stupid.
Johnson, who has said he’s registered as an Independent, has publicly voiced a “Maybe I will, maybe I won’t” stance on running for the highest office in the land. It seems to be his “fans,” however, who are really promoting the idea of continuing on in this new precedent set by Trump, where political experience is eschewed for pop celebrity status.
We haven’t even had the time to grasp the full horror of what damage 2016’s grudge vote will have caused us, before someone has formed a campaign committee and officially filed to draft Johnson for the presidency.
“Run the Rock 2020,” the name of the official organization, was filed on behalf of Johnson with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Sunday, according to FEC records.
The paperwork was filed by a man named Kenton Tilford under a West Virginia address. Tilford’s connection to Johnson and his motivation for filing the organization is not clear.
The motivation is simple. It’s the same thing we’ve been hearing about for a few months, now. If a reality TV huckster can win, it would be SO cool to have a professional wrestler as president, next!
The irrational, unreasonable, and unserious are beginning to outnumber those who understand the need for sober and seasoned leadership in the top offices of government. Or at least, they’re beginning to outnumber those willing to stand firm in their convictions.
Our nation was founded on the idea of a citizen government, where the people were encouraged to become an active part of the running of the nation. We don’t have a monarchy, or a ruling class for a reason. We don’t want one.
That being said, the world we now live in is so much more complicated, and if higher office is a desire of anyone, whether they’re a reality TV host, professional wrestler, doctor, mailman, or blogger, let them show the measure of their dedication by beginning in a lower office, getting a feel for government, learning the intricacies of the job, before spring boarding straight into the presidency.
I don’t believe we’ll see Johnson launch a bid for the White House in 2020, but still:
In an interview with GQ in May, he spoke about how he would take on Trump’s policies, adding that he would like to see better leadership, responsibility and “poise” from the Oval Office.
If we start seeing more interviews like this, the Rock becomes more vocal about political and social issues over the next three years, then it’s for a reason.
Otherwise, let’s just hope the mistakes of 2016 are not revisited in 2020.