NASCAR Star Danica Patrick is Right to Keep Politics Off of Twitter, and Other Celebrities Should Follow Suit

No political Twitter hashtags for Danica Patrick. The NASCAR driver is back in the spotlight for crashing her car during a qualifying race for Sunday’s Daytona 500 and keeps her almost 500,000 followers updated on her speedy recovery through Twitter

However, while Patrick claims followers can find more about her “away from the track,” her tweets share nothing more than press conference dates, race practices, and the occasional promotion of GoDaddy.com. Perhaps celebrities should follow Patrick, keeping their political views off not just social media sites but also television broadcasts. These venues are meant to solely promote their achievements and future work plans, not their political views.

Early this week, Patrick told The Daily Caller her thoughts on Obama’s contraception mandate.

“I leave it up to the government to make good decisions for Americans,” she said.

After the possible implication that her broad comment would cause her NASCAR supporters, a conservative bunch, to think she was steering into the liberal lane, Patrick did not recant her statement, but told USA Today that she stays clear of politics on her social media sites.   

Celebrities thrown into the spotlight sometimes feel obliged to share their political endorsements as if doing so will cause viewers to jump on the political train with them. Justin Bieber, who also uses Twitter heavily, received criticism for publicizing his views on abortion during a Rolling Stone interview last year, while Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt always insist on discussing world peace and America bettering its foreign policies. Matthew Broderick starred in video endorsements for Obama in 2008, while NFL quarterback Brady Quinn showed up to schools promoting John McCain.

Since when is it fair to critique a tween king or a Hollywood power couple for their political views and not their performances in music and film? Why should Ferris Bueller or a professional football player take a day off to promote political agendas? Such acts might give viewers a little insight on their personalities, but viewers keep buying tickets to see their work, not to hear what they think about completely unrelated fields.

If celebrities followed Patrick, their personalities would actually be worth praising. It would show they actually are athletes and artists, not just someone in the spotlight with a lot of money on a political agenda.

Last November, NASCAR fans booed First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden during the season finale at the Homestead-Miami. Perhaps Patrick, who already receives enough attention for being a female NASCAR driver, stays away from all things political in fear of getting booed. 

Photo Credit: Flickr

    

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Andrea Ordonez

Andrea is a journalism major and political science minor at Hofstra University. A Texas native, she works as the managing editor of The Hofstra Chronicle, and as music producer of Gone Country on WRHU FM New York. Any time left away from the station or newsroom is spent watching old episodes of The Big Bang Theory or Sunday Night Football.

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