Politics is one of those paradoxical things that necessitates promotion and endorsement but when actually done, results in alienation. Filmmaker and YouTube star Casey Neistat is a daily vlogger who recently created a video titled “who i’m voting for president.” The clip — much shorter and more serious than his usual, action-packed vlog entries — is essentially a public endorsement of Hillary Clinton.
He prefaces everything by saying, “I can have my own opinion and there will always be an opposing one. That is the nature of a healthy democracy.” With over 5.5 million subscribers, Neistat wields an unimaginable influence that, in some ways, translates into power. Doing what he does (“filmmaking,” as he stylistically calls it), it would be a lie to say that Neistat doesn’t face pressure to give editorial comments on issues from social injustice to the current political climate.
This particular video resulted in over 4.6 million views — impressive but not atypical for a Casey Neistat video. However, his “like” bar tells a much different story. The “thumbs down” count in a typical Casey Neistat vlog is around 1.3 percent. That means 98.7 percent of the viewers like his content enough to press the “thumbs up” icon. In “who i’m voting for president,” over 41 percent disliked the video. While the sample size is much smaller, this video represents a microcosm of the current political division. Needless to say, the comment section became an open forum for thinly-veiled attacks on Neistat with people verbally crucifying him for even mentioning anything about the presidential election.
Vogue Magazine has done something similar recently: the magazine giant endorsed Hillary Clinton for president of the United States. What’s the significance of this? Vogue has never politically endorsed anyone or any party before. Editors-in-chief have expressed their own opinions but the magazine itself has never taken privy to politically committing itself so publicly.
In an unsigned letter posted to Vogue’s website and published in the November edition, the editors explained: “Given the profound stakes of this one, and the history that stands to be made, we feel that should change.” This may not come as a complete surprise, as Vogue has profiled Clinton a total of six times, covering major moments in the presidential hopeful’s career.
It seems apt given the readership demographic of Vogue, a magazine read by educated and affluent women of various industries. Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, has been a generous supporter of Hillary Clinton. On Nov. 3, she’s teaming up with designer Diane von Furstenberg and Clinton aide Huma Abedin, more women in and of power, to host a fundraiser for Clinton.
This presidential election is huge. There’s no other way to put it, and no need to put it any other way. With so much political rhetoric being thrown around, it’s easy to get lost in the less than savory aspects of the race. I think Vogue’s move to formally endorse a candidate is warranted and even necessary. Like Neistat (but on a much larger scale), Vogue has a massive wealth of impact. From the occasional pursuer of editorial shots to the faithful subscriber, Vogue has the power to exact cause and action. As The Washington Post mentioned: “It is a spectacle of historic proportion … perhaps the magazine’s endorsement will serve as a reminder to its faithful to go out and do what they know is right.” Essentially, go out and vote!