Actor Will Smith announces potential political run in a podcast interview


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Will Smith 1999

Like other celebrities, such as Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Will Smith has announced that he could see himself in politics and public office during an interview on the podcast “Pod Save America.” Smith says, “I will certainly do my part, whether it remains artistic or at some point venture into the political arena.” He goes on to say that he wants to see the current office be “cleaned up a bit” before he does.

This announcement comes after the promotion of Smith’s new Netflix special “Amend: The Fight for America.” The docuseries discusses the 14th Amendment and its effects on the past and present. Through the six episodes, viewers see how the amendment has changed everything from abortion to African American rights.

Despite his confidence in running, Smith has no background or experience in politics. He also has no college education as he decided to begin his career in rap music instead of attending Mass. Institute of Technology. He would not be the first to break the status quo of being a politician, however. People such as Donald Trump, Al Franken, and Jerry Springer had successful campaigns with no prior experience. Should actors and other inexperienced people be allowed in politics? As a Democracy, America has set the precedent that no one should be kept out of politics, but maybe there should be some education or experience requirements added. To run for president, a person must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, a resident of the country for fourteen years, and at least 35 years old. As for senators, the candidate must be at least 30 years old, a citizen for nine years, and a resident of the state they are running for. The last office is for the House of Representatives which says a person must be at least 25 years old, a citizen for seven years, and live in the state they represent.

There are no education requirements listed in the Constitution as many of the Founders were not educated themselves. In a nation that has so many opportunities, I think that this should become a new criterion for running for office. This is not to say that people who did not go to college are incapable of being in office, but it seems like a bachelor’s degree could set candidates apart. This would also start the process of having candidates chosen based on capability and not just likeability. While charisma is a good trait to have, it does not show how a person would respond in times of war or chaos.
With the increase in actors and celebrities entering politics, a conversation must be around the corner. It will be interesting to see what the public decides as American citizens are the deciding factor in our politics.