I’m going to get a little controversial here and say that I wouldn’t let Ryan Lochte do my taxes.
I’m probably one of Lochte’s biggest fans, and I can say that after the whole “Hey, maybe I accidentally started beef with the Brazilian government, but who hasn’t?” dilemma, because without knowing the guy, I can pretty much tell that’s par for the course for Ryan. I wasn’t disappointed by the incident, because I really didn’t expect that much out of him anyway. (Ryan, if you’re reading this, I don’t mean it, I promise.)
I wouldn’t let him do my taxes because just because someone is talented in one area, doesn’t mean he or she is talented in another. The guy is a swimming machine, a regular fish both in and out of the water, which qualifies him to have both athletic and celebrity status.
You know what celebrity status gets you? A spot on this season of “Dancing with the Stars.” You know what it doesn’t get you? Pretty much anything else.
Despite popular belief, not every celebrity has gone through Mr. Baker’s AP American Government class. Not all of them count Federalist Papers when they have trouble sleeping. When I want to know about current political issues, I have some places I go. When I want to hear a sick beat, I also have some places I go. The Venn diagram of those places is two distinct circles. There’s no overlap.
It has become the norm to look to companies, restaurants and organizations to either condemn or support political stances. When standing in line at a fast food restaurant (as an on-the-go savvy business woman, I often find myself needing a quick meal between meetings), I have never once wondered how that company feels about any political issue. When I want chicken nuggets, I’m on a mission. No political grandstanding will impact the quality or price of that chicken nugget, so that’s not my concern.
The only opinion from a company I would humor for more than half a second is their opinion of tax codes, regulations, and wages, because that’s something they know. That’s something they have learned about from experience, and I, personally, value experience more than anything in a political science textbook (based off of my vast collection of experiences and vast collection of political science textbooks). There’s a big difference between talking about how a restaurant should run and actually running a restaurant.
The line between celebrity and politician seems to blur more every day. My plea to you, my fellow citizens, is that you consider politics issue by issue.
At the end of the day, a recognizable name or the number on the back of a jersey won’t fix the economy. And athletes really shouldn’t concern themselves with trying to fix the economy. And if they do, they should let me know ASAP so I can take them off my fantasy league because I only want serious athletes with their eyes firmly planted on the metaphorical and literal prize.
I don’t like my celebrities political and I don’t like my politicians to be celebrities. I wouldn’t expect Thomas Jefferson to perform a musical number, so I don’t expect foreign policy advice out of Katy Perry.