As you’ve no doubt been informed via your friends’ panicky Facebook posts, discounted gas station novelty T-shirt Donald Trump has surged over Hillary Clinton in recent polls, placing him within incoherent shouting distance of the White House. Still, even with his reported two-point—or one-point, or four-point, or five-point—lead, calling the race for Trump this early wouldn’t be prudent anywhere outside of a blog post intended to gin up clicks by doing exactly that. For one thing, it’s only July, and all presidential candidates experience a bounce in the wake of their respective conventions. For another, Trump has just been dealt the ruinous blow of a petition—and what’s more, a petition signed by celebrities. So no need to pen a game-changing screed outlining the reasons why Trump would be a disaster for the benefit of your own echo chamber; Hollywood will take it from here.
In a letter posted to Mic, more than 100 famous people have issued a collective pledge to “use the power of our voice and the power of our vote to defeat Donald Trump and the hateful ideology he represents,” explaining that “when dangerous and divisive leaders have come to power in the past, it has been in part because those of goodwill failed to speak out for themselves or their fellow citizens.” These celebrities of good faith, who are all part of MoveOn.org’s United Against Hate campaign, include names such as Mark Ruffalo, Julianne Moore, Samuel L. Jackson, Shonda Rhimes, Rashida Jones, Neil Patrick Harris, Ryan Murphy, Olivia Wilde, Patricia Arquette, Bryan Cranston, Woody Harrelson, Lizzy Caplan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Stipe, Michael Moore, Chloe Grace Moretz, Taylor Schilling, Kerry Washington, Lena Dunham, and Moby. If you had to draft a list of celebrities who dislike Donald Trump just from your own gut feeling, it would probably look a lot like this.
Still, while even Mic admits that “Trump may welcome the hatred of a group emblematic of the Hollywood elite regularly pilloried by Republicans”—and their petition seems as likely to sway his supporters as the power of acappella song—the effort feels as nobly quixotic as any other protest in this bizarre and feckless time, when the GOP candidate is openly inviting Russia to hack American intelligence and praising Vladimir Putin, and his supporters are still like, “YEAH, GO GET ‘EM! ” Sure, why not also firmly establish—in writing—that Trump has also lost the Moby vote? What the fuck else can we do at this point? We are but a sea of praying Mobys, desperately petitioning the universe.
And at the very least, perhaps seeing so many famous names publicly condemning him will inflict the slightest, most fleeting of bruises to the ego of a man who proudly presided over a celebrity-themed reality show and clearly counts himself among their number. After seeing the parade of famous faces at the Democratic National Convention and now this, surely there must be some dark night of the soul moment when Trump realizes he’s left solely with the cold comfort of Scott Baio. Right? All that collective hatred from the celebrity clique he’s longed to be a part of has to sting for a microsecond, before his body converts it into fuel.