Stanning politicians is irresponsible and dangerous

Illustration by Roe Gassett | The Signal

You should not glorify favorite politicians like you would with your favorite celebrities. It is a dangerous practice that ignores the ramifications of what happens when a politician breaks your trust. When they almost inevitably betray you, you will realize that you wasted your time heralding them. 

Of course, this does not describe typical political support such as sporting bumper stickers, placing campaign signs or attending rallies. There’s a culture of people who practically made idolizing politicians their profession, and somehow, those people made their way into politics. 

Stan culture has become a powerhouse in comparison to the other realms of social media cultural movements. It’s difficult to name another section of the internet that is more unified. 

This culture is committed to glorifying celebrities and leaves little to no room to criticize them. This faction comprises multiple fandoms that are divided into the support of musicians, actors and everything in between.

When it comes to the blind and somewhat unconditional support that stems from stan culture, the world of entertainment is the absolute best place for that culture to thrive. Breaching into a world such as politics, where decision-making is sometimes a matter of life and death, is completely misplaced and dangerously mishandles politicians who are expected to be inauthentic. 

An example of this melding of stan culture and politics would be Joe Biden’s running mate. Kamala Harris has her own group of stans called #KHive. Kamala’s potential historical impact of being initiated in the White House is a driving force amongst her most dedicated supporters to vote for Biden. 

However, months ago when her goal was to become the next president, she spoke about and believed that Joe Biden’s sexual assault accusations were true.

Sticking up for the #MeToo movement when it was convenient to her is unforgivable. Politicians will do anything for a victory, no matter how small or petty or vindictive. This will only replace one accused sexual offender with another and be yet another example of how reliability and consistency are far cries in the political landscape.

These ridiculous actions could have already had a snowball effect. Activists who have spawned from social media may see the mindless lionizing and think that they will one day be personally glorified by many for their efforts. No activist should strive to be famous. Their work should always precede themselves. 

Of course, the activists should be at least acknowledged. But developing selfish tendencies within their practices could get them in trouble

The act of overlooking flaws and placing lofty expectations on politicians must cease. We must look at politicians under a critical lens. 

Continuing to stan them may confuse social media users who go to the internet with limited information. They see people saying nothing but the good things and believe “this person deserves my vote.” Obviously, this is the goal of the stans, but people should do their own research and come to their own conclusions instead of mindlessly forming an identity around what is essentially a political fandom.