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Buried in the non-stop avalanche of news with which we all live these days was the...not "non-story", but more "anti-story" that Kid Rock says he really isn't running for the United States Senate. That's despite eager speculation, early polling, and even a website (KidRockforSenate.com).
Should celebrities have political opinions? Absolutely. So should we all. The part-time job of any citizen is to take an interest in politics.
Dwight Eisenhower said:
For politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage. Politics must be the concern of every citizen who wants to see our national well-being increased and our international leadership strengthened. In that combined sense, politics is the noblest of professions. In the ranks of that kind of politics, every American should be enrolled.
But the weight of a celebrity opinion should be equal to that of any plumber, farmer, insurance agent, or college professor. If we're disengaged, it's our own fault. If we're uninformed, it's our own fault. If we think the government is underperforming, it's our own fault.
Kid Rock isn't running for Senate, but should he be capable of doing the job? Certainly.
A legislature selected at random should be inferior to one composed of people experienced in and dedicated to the practice -- but it shouldn't be very inferior. If you think it would be, then you have a fundamental problem of self-government. In a democratic republic, we want the average politician to be better at making political decisions than the average person, but we won't succeed if the average person couldn't do a half-decent job.
Nothing in life comes without an overhead cost. You buy a house, you have to pay property taxes and utilities, insurance and upkeep -- even beyond a mortgage payment. You get a car, and you have to get gas and rotate tires and have the oil changed. There's always an overhead cost.
In business, the baseline figure for these things is often known as "SGA" -- selling, general, and administrative expenses. It's not unusual for SGA expenses to represent 10% to 20% of a company's sales revenues -- and in some sectors, it's often much more.
That 10% to 20% benchmark might be a little high for the "SGA expenses" on living in a decent, advanced, functional republican democracy. But, at the very least, in addition to whatever we're assessed in taxes, we also need to devote at least some time to becoming at least moderately informed about the issues of the day and how to address them. It's an unavoidable expense, though it's measured mostly in time.
The task is to approach the time we spend on politics, policy, and issues just like we might expect government itself to approach the actual doing of those things we ask of it: To be efficient, mostly by cutting out any waste discovered along the way.
But we all have to do it. It's not someone else's job -- it's everyone's job. Just like Eisenhower said, it "ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen". And that includes Kid Rock, just like it includes you and me.