In 2006, when actor-activist Martin Sheen was approached by Democratic officials and encouraged to run for office in his home state of Ohio, he politely demurred. "I'm just not qualified," he said. "You're mistaking celebrity for credibility."
Ten years later, whenever ugly events summon headlines about "our divided nation," our celebrity class thrusts itself headfirst and wholeheartedly into the debate. They conflate celebrity for credibility. They conflate activism with typing (or is it with self-promotion?) And trapped in a rudderless, flopping shipwreck of a summer - seeking guidance from the beautiful people if we can't have it from the ones we elected - we conflate it, too.
Nation, let us turn to LeBron James, who tweeted, "We are all hurting tonight. More violence is not the answer," after the killings of five police officers in Dallas. The well-intentioned, if self-evident, comment was liked or retweeted more than 100,000 times.