I may not be a fan of her latest album, Stronger, but I definitely appreciate the guts it took Kelly Clarkson to come out and support a conservative candidate for the US Republican ticket – and ultimately, the presidency.
Like Ron Paul or not, like Kelly Clarkson or not, everyone is entitled to an opinion and ridiculing them because of their opinion is not really the way people should behave in the 21st century where your opinion has become more public than anyone thinks. A tweet, deleted a few seconds later, can have its screenshot taken and forever be present in the digital age.
But no matter, back to the Kelly Clarkson issue. The pop singer tweeted the following a few hours ago:
The rest of the tweet goes as follows: “I love Ron Paul. I liked him a lot during the last republican nomination and no one gave him a chance. If he wins the nomination for the Republican party in 2012 he’s got my vote. Too bad he probably won’t.”
Immediately after, Clarkson started receiving hate tweets because of her views, some of which are too indecent to be posted, well, anywhere. So Clarkson tweeted again:
“I am really sorry if I have offended anyone. Obviously that was not my intent. I do not support racism. I support gay rights, straight rights, women’s rights, men’s rights, white/black/purple/orange rights. I like Ron Paul because he believes in less government and letting the people (all of us) make the decisions and mold our country. That is all. Out of all of the Republican nominees, he’s my favorite.”
And then subsequently, when people who were bashing her did not relax:
”Man my eyes have been opened to so much hate tonight. If y’all ever disagree with something I say please don’t feel the need to attack me. I will listen to what you say and any articles or viewpoints you have when you say it with respect. Being hateful is not a healthy way to get people to see or hear you. I was raised to respect people and their decisions and beliefs and I hope you will grant me the same decency. If you don’t agree with me simply unfollow me. It’s really that easy. I hope you don’t because I would love the chance to hear what you have to say but if you’re so blinded by hate you can’t seek peace and progress then that is your unfortunate prerogative.”
But enough with the introduction. The whole point of this post is not to be pro-Ron Paul or against Ron Paul. It’s simply a defense of free speech, one that I frankly expected people of the country that calls for this type of freedom the most to at least know what it means.
Freedom of speech does not entitle you to bash or harass another person just because they have an opinion that differs from yours. Freedom of speech allows you to respectfully disagree and voice your concern or idea to that person in a respectful debate.
And the ironic thing is, I’m a Lebanese preaching this.
The other point behind this post is to say that Kelly Clarkson, though admittedly republican, voted for Obama in the last elections. And yet, this particular point doesn’t seem to be addressed by many. I wonder why is that so? Is it maybe because being a Republican artist in the US is frowned upon as uncool while being a Democrat is revered? There is definitely a double standard here. If Clarkson had endorsed Obama, I’m more than certain this whole debacle and this subsequent post that I’m writing wouldn’t have existed in the first place.
Third, many reply tweets to Kelly Clarkson mentioned that Ron Paul was anti-gay and a racist person, mostly basing their ideas on the following “quotes” attributed to Paul:
“The rate of AIDS infection is on the increase again. From the gay point of view, the reasons seem quite sensible. First, these men don’t really see a reason to live past their fifties. They are not married, they have no children, and their lives are centered on new sexual partners… because sex is the center of their lives, they want it to be as pleasurable as possible, which means unprotected sex. Third, they enjoy the attention & pity that comes with being sick.”"If you live in a major city, you’ve probably already heard about the newest threat to your life and limb, and your family: carjacking. It is the hip-hop thing to do among the urban youth who play unsuspecting whites like pianos.”
These quotes are misleading because 1. They were never written by Ron Paul and 2. They are part of an infamous newsletter that he absolutely denies writing.
Ron Paul is obviously anti-gay, as are many US politicians, but there are definitely more important issues, such as the economy, that are in the forefront for many Americans, including many homosexual men and women. Call me old-fashioned or conservative but I think having a home to raise your family and a job to sustain them, as well as a secure environment for their proper upbringing, are more important than which gender gets to marry which other gender. I’m not advocating for or against gay marriage. I’m simply saying there are more important things that a person can base a vote upon.
Finally, kudos to Kelly Clarkson for speaking her mind and stating her opinion. Back in 2008, when people were “baracking” the vote, somehow when all celebrities endorsed Obama, no one was taken aback. But when you stray away from the “media-approved” political path, you get bashed.
At the end of the day, celebrities all have an opinion and a right to state it. Whether you like their opinion or not, whether you approve of them voicing it or not is a different matter altogether.