Please Stop Smelling What The Rock Is Cookin’
Relax, I get it. You're desperate, and looking for anyone -- anyone -- to save us from our current and goutiest president, Donald Trump. And for some reason, at the top of the heap is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Yet again.
Fuck it. What's the harm in electing a well-liked celebrity like The Rock? Hell, the Republicans have already sent an actor and a reality TV star to the White House, why shouldn't the Democrats try the same tactic? After all, The Rock is good-looking, lovable, well-spoken, and good-looking. Everybody loves him! And for what it's worth, we're not kidding around here; he appears to be fairly serious about going for the job. So how about we get behind the unbeatable ticket of Johnson/Johnson's Massive Pectorals 2020?
Ha, no. We need to shut this shit down right now. The Rock should not be president. Let me explain.
His Politics Are All Over The Place
True, The Rock is universally loved, but that's because there's currently no reason not to like him. I mean, we pay him more than anyone else to star in movies, and all it took was years of asking us if we felt what he was cookin'. He was even willing to dress up like the tooth fairy strictly for America's amusement. Clearly he is a beloved entertainer. But when it comes to politics, he doesn't seem to have any actual positions. Well, he was the subject of a major political magazine's cover story, which featured this glowing endorsement from the author:
The Rock is one of the few culturally unifying figures in American life, and he's a culturally unifying figure with a message of gratitude and hard work that also happens to be culturally edifying.
Damn, that sounds like Person of the Year material! What magazine is that, anyway? Wait ... National Review? The ultra-conservative magazine? Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson graced the same cover that once hosted Ayn Rand?
"Also in this issue: Parasites Caught On Camera Benefiting From The Social Contracts Of The State! (OMG!)"
Hold on, then why the hell is Michael Moore endorsing him? Why are liberals on Facebook and Twitter clamoring for him to run? This might shock some of you, but as recently as 2016, Johnson considered himself a Republican.
The liberal endorsements probably have to do with him denouncing some Trumpian comments from the CEO of Under Armour (one of his sponsors) and his refusal to support a travel ban. But that seems like the bare minimum effort from a person who's planning to run against Trump (on either side of the aisle). Shit, Ivanka Trump has been tougher on Trump than that, and she makes her living monetizing his farts.
The Rock's actual record is even more obtuse. Supposedly, he is now a registered Independent, and he refused to endorse either candidate or even reveal who he voted for in 2016. One time he appeared at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in the same year. Flying right down the middle is great if you're a professional bowler, but you can't answer every debate question by smiling and saying, "I love America." Or maybe you can, but ... well ... you really shouldn't.
Sigh ... people would probably vote him in for it.
Even with social issues, he walks a fine line. When the Hulk Hogan tape came out (the racist one, not his butt one), The Rock expressed that he was very disappointed in Hulk "Mr. America" Hogan, but added "it's funny, it's one of those things where, and not justifying what he said, but we've all talked trash, especially in private." Damn, he won't even denounce the N-word!? Dropping that bomb is just locker room talk now?
This hardcore devotion to staying exactly in the middle of every issue is a winning strategy for an entertainer who wants all of America to love him, but not for someone who needs to make decisions once in office. He'll have to take positions on healthcare, immigration, etc. And one side of the spectrum will be very disappointed, unless he makes his announcements mid-song in a Moana sequel.
Celebrity Politicians Only Make Things Worse
Now, it's likely The Rock knew that coming out for one candidate or another in 2016 was antithetical to being The People's Champ, and may not actually be that helpful to the candidate he favored. Smart people have studied the effects of celebrity endorsements. It turns out that they may actually do more harm than good. In politics, that is. I still want to check out apartments.com strictly to see if Jeff Goldblum comes with a local two-bedroom. A 2015 Bowling Green University (the site of that horrific massacre) study of likely voters in Ohio at found that a celebrity endorsement for a candidate created more negative feelings than positive ones in the general electorate, while also generating strong positive feelings for those who were already going to vote for that candidate anyway.
In other words, Hillary Clinton bringing Beyonce on stage played great with her urban/suburban female base, but probably pissed off everyone else. Same with Ted Nugent endorsing Donald Trump. This makes sense. What the hell does Katy Perry's opinion mean to you if you make negative minimum wage at a Walmart in rural South Dakota? Maybe her music is popular, but as a person, who is Katy Perry? She's privilege, she's elitism, she looks like a citizen of the Capitol from The Hunger Games. As the author of the study explained, a voter in blue-collar New Jersey might "listen" to Bruce Springsteen, but probably wouldn't listen to him.
Explain what's happening here to someone who builds air conditioners by hand. This woman is an alien.
We can even extrapolate this to endorsement of positions, too. The aforementioned study also found that when people heard about Kim Kardashian criticizing Obama for not recognizing the Armenian Genocide, they denied the genocide even harder. Again, this makes a kind of perverse sense. If Gary Busey woke up tomorrow and decided that climate change was his new pet project, wouldn't you suddenly have the urge to deny the science? Preconceived notions of celebrities are amplified tenfold once they open their mouths about a major issue, and The Rock will be no different once he picks a side. Just another celebrity who happens to have 2 percent body fat.
Hell, The Rock wouldn't even be the first wrestler to make it in politics (not including Our Boy Wonder Trump). We tried this before with Jesse Ventura, who somehow turned Minnesota's $4 billion surplus into a $4.5 billion deficit. Turns out "How To Give Suplexes Without Accidentally Getting A Boner In Those Tiny Shorts" isn't an elective choice when studying for an econ degree.
He's Surprisingly Petty On Social Media
But maybe The Rock is a legit centrist. He just makes fun movies and has a good time, not worrying what other people think. Maybe we need someone who's professional yet real when the time calls for it. His Twitter feed might have something to say about that. Here's what he tweeted when the most unnecessary remake in history hit theaters:
Remember that in Hollywood terms, a budget of $69 million actually is pretty lil'.
Let's follow along as Dwayne Johnson reacts to less-than-stellar reviews and tepid box office numbers in almost in the exact manner that President Orange Julius would if he had been the star of the movie. First, we have the overuse of superlatives and the claim of a "huge" disconnect between the media and the people:
"Hey Dwayne, ya, hi. PR manager here. Maybe don't tweet out a link to your new film's 20 percent rotten score as a brag."
Next we move into the personal attack territory, in which DJ calls out a critic by revealing some kind of "gotcha" detail that can't possibly be true:
"I was right behind you the whole time, you idiot!"
And finally, of course, the bold "some people are saying" claim which completely erodes once you think about it for two extra seconds:
This is his "I saw Muslims cheering on 9/11."
Gee, sounds familiar, doesn't it? What's this guy gonna do when he sees his inauguration crowd pics? The Boulder actually has a history of this kind of passive-aggressive posturing on social media. While filming the latest Fast & The Furiously Masturbating To Car Porn movie, Dwayne brought a personal problem he had with some of the cast out into the open, calling some of his male co-stars "candy asses" in an Instagram post. He didn't name names, but everyone figured out it was Vin Diesel, like, right away. (The Rock left him out of his thank you list.)
"Some of you who watch this next April are gonna notice that I'm so good at acting that I appear not be acting at all, and you're right."
This is the emo kid posting a sad face on Facebook just so somebody will ask what's wrong. President "The Rock" Johnson would be constantly checking in to make sure America knows that "certain Presidents of certain large, cold countries in Asia" are really getting under his skin, but not to worry, because what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. #PutinGettinABootin.
The Rock Can't Ever Turn Himself Off
But that's just how he acts behind a screen on the internet. In real life, The Rock is about as fun-loving as you can get. The dude gets excited about working out for hours on end at 3 a.m. I'm lucky if my REM has started by then.
Politics is serious business, though. Not that there are no time for jokes -- after all, Obama made memes about himself and Jeb Bush ran for president. But "sense of humor" is one of the last traits I would associate with the likes of Clinton or Mitt Romney. Even Obama knew how to put on a serious face. And then there's Trump, who somehow fucks up an otherwise-competent joke about pardoning Hillary by delivering it with the grace of a drunk cousin telling a "you had to be there" story.
Now contrast that with this interview, in which The Mineral quips that the last time he felt really happy was the last time he looked in the mirror:
"Hahaha, anyway what was the question? Something about military torture?"
The Rock simply can't help but be charming all the time. Every picture of him is goofy. That's a great asset to have, generally. But over time, in a political context? That shit would be grating.
The media wouldn't even let him be funny all the time. For what it's worth, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer is actually a pretty humorous guy. But god help him if he makes a joke about Russian dressing at the press podium, lest CNN write a whole thinkpiece on how Russian dressing is actually from New Hampshire. Hot take, guys. You got him. That'll make him rethink his stance on taking away healthcare from the elderly. You think this media is ever going to make the mistake of not taking a candidate seriously again?
God, you can almost hear the "Um ... actually ..."
Point is, there is no situation in which Dwayne's charm wouldn't be misconstrued as flippant. The Rock seems like a really nice, really strong person who could definitely, definitely beat me up if he wanted (I self-identify as a candy-ass), but that doesn't change the fact that he straight-up shouldn't be president. I'm truly sorry.
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