No matter which side of the political spectrum you’re on, it’s easy to see the unrest in the U.S. when it comes to the candidates who are currently in power. Whether you’re a supporter of Republicans, Democrats, or one of the more minor parties, it’s unlikely you’ll be completely happy with every candidate in office. But the only way to change that and make your voice heard is by voting – and that’s a message celebrities like Charlamagne Tha God are sharing with their audiences.
Charlamagne has his eye on the general elections that will happen on November 6. Using his heavily-followed Instagram account, Charlemagne wrote a message encouraging people to register to vote. October 9thwas the last day in which voters could register in 15 states to be eligible to vote in the general elections. That message reminded voters in Texas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Mexico, Mississippi, Michigan, Louisiana, Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, and Arizona that if they wanted to be able to cast a ballot, they had to drop what they were doing that day and register.
He also included a video segment from his popular show, The Breakfast Club. In that segment, Charlamagne voiced his opinion that voters should turn up in record numbers to make their voices heard in this fall’s election and the subsequent ones. He specifically referenced the outrage some U.S. citizens felt over Brett Kavanaugh being named as Supreme Court Justice even though he has been accused of alleged sexual misconduct during his high school years.
Charlemagne didn’t voice his opinion about the Kavanaugh matter – he just reminded his followers that posting hashtags on social media and showing up at protests is fine, but the real power comes from showing up at the polls and casting a vote.
This isn’t the first time Charlamagne has championed the cause of getting voters to register and make their voices heard. In 2016, he was named as the spokesperson for The Hip Hop Caucus campaign called “Respect My Vote!” That campaign encouraged the younger generation to unlock their power by registering to vote.
Charlamagne takes voting seriously because he understands the tremendous power it has to shape the country and the future. He has been upfront about his history as an ex-offender and that without programs in place like “Respect My Vote!” he and others wouldn’t understand the process or the steps they would have to take to access their rights.
Voter Turnout in Recent Elections
Despite being one of the most talked about presidential elections in recent times throughout the world, not just in the United States, the 2016 showdown between President Donald Trump and his opponent, Hillary Clinton, had a relatively low voter turnout. Only 56 percent of eligible voters cast their vote in that election.
Had more voters cast a ballot, it could have easily influenced the outcome of the election and shaped the course of the world’s history.
And, still, in 2016, millennials had the lowest turnout of all voters in any age group. It’s hard to pinpoint one single reason for that, but experts chalk it up to millennials moving around more than other age categories. Millennials also typically delay starting families for longer than prior generations have, and having marriages and children can prompt more political involvement.
The trick to getting more people, especially underserved populations and younger generations, to register to vote might be making the registration process easier and reminding them why it’s important to vote. That’s where celebrities and other role models can come into the equation.
Other Celebrities Issuing the Call – And How Their Influence Pays Off
Charlamagne isn’t the only celebrity who has been encouraging people to vote. While some people think celebrities shouldn’t interfere with politics, there’s no arguing about its effectiveness or its possible influence.
Singer Taylor Swift, who is usually quiet about her political preferences, recently threw her support behind Democrat Phil Bredesen, who is seeking a seat in the Tennessee Senate. That prompted a rebuke from Governor Mike Huckabee who tweeted that her opinion won’t matter in the race unless 13-year-old girls were allowed to vote.
Any mention of politics or voting from Swift is bound to have some impact – she has 84 million Twitter followers, and anything she or other popular celebrities like Charlamagne tweet will get attention. Whether that attention is positive or negative – it gets people talking. Since Swift made her announcement, voter registration has spiked throughout the country, especially with younger voters. That helps prove the influence of celebrities when it comes to encouraging the people who look up to them to register or throw support behind a certain candidate.
More About Charlamagne
Charlamagne is a radio personality who co-hosts a nationally-syndicated radio show called The Breakfast Club with DJ Envy and Angela Yee. Plus, he hosts Uncommon Sense with Charlamagne on MTV2. That show gives him another opportunity to take on politics and other big issues of the world as he discusses them with his guests.
Born as Lenard Larry McKelvey, Charlamagne is affiliated with the radio station, Power 105.1. Despite getting into some scrapes with authorities during his teen years, including doing jail time, Charlamagne was able to transform his life. After his last brush with the law, he started going to night school and landed a radio internship. He began working with radio host Wendy Williams.
Since then, his career has continued to soar, and he has worked several high-profile jobs, including as a featured member of Guy Code, a show that aired for several years on MTV2. He’s been a co-host for MTV’s New Year’s live show that is filmed at Times Square as well as served as a correspondent or host for other shows.
Charlamagne has shared his unique insight and perspective in book form as well. His 2017 book, “Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It,” made it onto the New York Times bestsellers list. His newest book, “Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me,” is being released this fall. This book is a look at Charlamagne’s personal history of anxiety and how it has shaped his life. By pushing through those hidden handicaps, like anxiety, worry, and fear, Charlamagne has been able to reach all his goals.
By championing current and relevant causes such as the importance of addressing mental health, the good therapy can do, and encouraging people to vote, Charlamagne continues to use his voice to be a force of good in the world. He works to help people unlock their inner strength and find their voice, just like he did.