So, on my feed on the Book of Faces there was a link to this article. In the article (which was two years old, but that I hadn’t seen before, the country music couple of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill called for more gun control, saying “it’s not about the 2nd Amendment” (as if it can be about anything else).
Look, when I was a small child, my grandmother had this box. When you opened the lid a little ballerina figurine would spring up. Inside there was a clockwork mechanism that would cause the ballerina to turn round and round while a small metal cylinder inside would rotate causing bumps on the cylinder to pluck at tuned strips of metal producing musical notes. The spacing of the bumps would, in this way, pluck out a simple tune.
I didn’t go to that box for political opinions either.
People seem to have this strange idea that celebrities are people of importance who should be given credence in matters of politics, economics, and, yes, gun control simply because they are celebrities.
Actors? They play pretend for a living. That’s hardly an endorsement for deep thought in politics.
Athletes? The ability to run fast, jump high, or more a ball around a field in prescribed ways doesn’t make them experts in world affairs.
Models? Human clothes racks by profession. And, once again, no endorsement of deep understanding of economics. (Note even “able to manage a business successfully”, which many models do–their own personal business–is not the same thing as understanding economics.)
Writers? (And I am one.) Telling lies for a living, even entertaining lies that no one is expected to believe is real, does not gift them with particular insight into law enforcement.
And musicians? Being able to carry a tune or pluck on a guitar does not make one an expert on the crime, violence, and gun control. It just doesn’t.
This is not to say that some celebrities might not have valid arguments on any of those positions or any of many more. They can, just like anyone else. But it’s not their celebrity status that would make those positions “valid”. It’s the arguments themselves, and the facts and logic behind them. But that’s not how celebrity positions are presented. They’re simply stated and we’re supposed to accept them because of who said them. The truth is that in most cases they don’t even understand their own positions. They don’t recognize the existence of, let alone are able to understand, counterarguments to their position. They rely purely on their fame to lend weight to their position.
This is the very essence of the argument ad hominem writ large: trying to claim truth or falsity of a proposition based on who said it rather than its own content and correspondence with reality. The term is usually used when people belittle an argument because the one making it is “bad” in some way but its equally fallacious when one tries to shore up an argument because of the supposed virtue of whoever made it.
And it’s utterly and completely ridiculous to make that support because of not even virtue, but simple fame.