Campus Editorial

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Politicians grow on trees

"Come with me if you want to live."

"Grab my hand."

"I'm Detective John Kimble."

"My CPU is a neuro-net processor. A learning computer."

"As I said in my campaign all along, I want to reach out. I want to be the people's governor."

Wait a minute.

Did I hear that last one correctly? That actually came out of his mouth?

We're talking about the same guy here, right? You know, built like a Mack truck, square jaw and can't really speak English very well? And he sucked in the movie "Twins."

It's kinda hard to believe that an actor of the highest caliber can run for a legitimate political office and still win. Then again, it IS California.

There was some stripper running for governor at one point, wasn't there?

See, ladies. If your career at Hotshots falls through, you can always go into politics if you desire a little more prestige.

After very little research on this topic (because, hey, where's the fun in knowing everything, right?), I learned that Ah-nuld wasn't the first actor or Hollywood star to hold a political office.

Oh no. There were more. Childhood stars, singers, professional wrestlers, mimes...

Fine. I made that last one up, but if a bodybuilder-turned-actor can run for governor, why discriminate against mimes?

They're bound not to say anything stupid, and they could never verbally harass coworkers on the set of a movie.

Clint Eastwood tried his luck in politics; he made it. As a mayor of Carmel, Calif., in 1986. Impressive, huh? After his term, though, he decided to go back to making really bad movies.

Shirley Temple had some success, too. After she failed to win a congressional seat in California in 1967, that is. She did serve as a delegate to the U.N. General Assembly from '69 to '70 and then as U.S. Ambassador to Ghana from '74 to '76.

It didn't end there, though - she was the U.S. Chief of Protocol, a member of the U.S. Delegation on African Refugee Problems in 1981 and the U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia from 1989 to 1992. Not bad.

Jessie "The Body" Ventura? Stud. Sure, professional wrestling might be considered by most people as a joke and might demean someone's credibility, and he had his 15 minutes of fame in "Predator" along with Arnold, but he managed to win Minnesota's 1998 governor's spot as a Reform Party candidate. After his term, he quit.

He ain't got time to be governor.

Gopher from "The Love Boat" managed to win a spot in the Iowa Congress in 1987; he ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1994. Thank God.

You remember his real name? No one does. It was Kris Kringle.

Just kidding - it was Fred Grandy.

And you all recall Ronald Reagan's wonderful career as an actor in Tinseltown to his days in the White House. Give him a call to help him remember, because, well, he can't. (The Letter to the Editor Policy and address are at the bottom of the page.)

All horrible jokes aside, though, he managed to work his way up through the California governor's office to the Oval Office - maybe Arnold's got the same idea.

Finally, Republican Sonny Bono of the infamous Sonny and Cher. Served as mayor of Palm Springs, Calif., from 1988 to 1992. Elected to U.S. House of Representatives in 1994. Hit a tree skiing in 1998. Died.

So except for Gopher and The Body, have you noticed the trend?

All of them started their political careers in California. Some did well (Reagan), and some did not so well (Sonny).

Also, Iowa and Minnesota have shown that we take these people seriously and put them in political offices. Granted, they've done well, but it just goes to show that anyone can hold a public office.

My advice to you, aspiring politicians?

Give up your poli-sci majors and drop out of school immediately.

You don't need a degree to succeed, especially in politics!

Simply move to Hollywood, beg for change on the streets between movie auditions, finally make it big and then offer your opinion on political matters, no matter how much you know about them.

Someone's bound to back you.

Personally, I have hardly any knowledge of politics, so as long as you've got the stardom to draw a crowd to listen to you, speak. I'll vote for you.

Yeah, right.

Buena Vista University student journalists contribute a weekly Campus Viewpoint opinion column for Pilot readers.