Tyler Oakley wanted Hillary Clinton to be President. This is no secret – this is a fact that Tyler proudly proclaimed and defended throughout the election season. It was the focus of countless tweets, posts and videos, including one with the candidate herself.
However you may feel about the outcome of this vote, it is undeniable that Tyler has used his platform and his position as someone with an elevated voice in a way that has actively encouraged involvement in the democratic processs – and that should be applauded. Even if you loathe Hillary, there is something admirable in someone taking a firm stance and not backing down on their beliefs. Surely there is so much more to be admired in someone who rooted hard for a losing candidate, than someone who was indifferent to the process entirely?
It’s not just principles, there are practical reasons too why we ought praise people like Tyler. Low turnout only encourages feelings of disconnection between voters and their leaders – and leaves many with the possibility of spending four years with a President they didn’t want. Sure, it is just as much the right of a citizen to not vote as to vote – but not voting simply because you were uninformed about the candidates or their policies is a situation that we should always aim to avoid.
When celebrities engage in politics, or really anything that isn’t entertainment, there are always snarky replies from people telling them to ‘stick to what they know’ or to ‘not get political’. Many celebrities seem to take this advice to heart, but it’s wrong. Active engagement in the democratic process is the only thing that separates nations like the USA from nations like North Korea. The quicker people are to voluntarily silence their own voice, the quicker they will find that that voice has been taken away.
Tyler Oakley never lowered his voice. He kept telling all who would listen what he felt about this election because he could – and more importantly because he cared. No matter how he may feel about the result, Tyler has earned the right to hold his head high today.