Mark Wahlberg had a 'funky bunch' of statements recently on the matter of #Celebrities and politics in the United States. Wahlberg, who is quoted in a December 2nd article at Huffington Post, said “A lot of celebrities did, do, and shouldn’t [talk about politics]." The actor elaborated by saying that "it just goes to show you that people aren’t listening...They might buy your CD or watch your movie, but you don’t put food on their table. You don’t pay their bills. A lot of Hollywood is living in a bubble." The comments could be used as a backdrop to discuss a couple political issues.

Isn't Mark Wahlberg a celebrity?

The first one has to do with free speech, of course.

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In stating that "A lot of celebrities" shouldn't talk about politics, what Wahlberg doesn't say is that "All celebrities" shouldn't talk about politics. Accordingly, you have to wonder which ones he thinks should and which ones he thinks shouldn't be exercising their right to free speech. I wouldn't be surprised if that boiled right down to those that align their opinions with him. After all, a contradiction is that Wahlberg is a celebrity talking about politics. There is kind of an invisible premise to what he's saying, where he as a celebrity entering the political forum is acceptable, but other celebrities doing the same thing is not. Arguably, whatever gives him the right to discuss politics as a celebrity gives other celebrities the right to do as well. I think there's an absurdity to what he's saying because of that.

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Can famous people transfer their politics?

On the other hand, his comments do touch on a subject about the extent to which a famous person's political views are transferable to that individual's fan base. When Wahlberg states that people don't listen to celebrities when it comes to politics he might certainly have a valid point. In fact, you could argue that politicians, not just celebrities, have trouble transferring their political support base to another political figure. Barack Obama, for example, made numerous pleas to his supporters to not vote for #Donald Trump, however Obama didn't seem to be able to transfer his support base from himself to Hillary Clinton.

Kanye West is an example of a celebrity that failed in trying to transfer his politics to his fans. In mid-November West stopped a concert and went on a long rant about Donald Trump. In the blow back, West's tour ended up getting cancelled with perhaps his rant in the chain of events leading to that.

People certainly follow celebrity leads when it comes to dressing styles, twerking dance moves, and product purchases.

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The entire endorsement industry is at least partly based on the premise that consumers will purchase what the people they idolize tell them to. However, politics appears to be a bit different with perhaps celebrity endorsements of politicians only having a minimal effect on voter behavior. In fact, there appears to be a reverse effect where celebrities that get political face blow back from fans that think for themselves and don't like the celebrity any longer. #MarkWahlberg