Cherilyn Sarkisian (Cher) was born in El Centro, California on May 20, 1946. She first rose to fame in 1965 when she and her husband, Sonny Bono, formed the popular singing duo Sonny and Cher.
Professing an aversion to politics “because I believe in truth so much,” Cher, who says she is not a registered Democrat, has a long track record of political activism on behalf of Democratic candidates and leftist causes. In the 1970s she was an avid supporter of President Jimmy Carter, whom she has described as “a saint.” Cher also cites Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, and the late Malcolm X as some of her heroes.
In the 1980s, Cher befriended the homeless-rights activist Mitch Snyder and became involved in anti-homelessness crusades depicting the Reagan administration as insensitive to the needs of the poor. On Election Day 1988, Cher and Snyder were among approximately 2,000 demonstrators who staged a march to the Capitol, where they demanded that more taxpayer funds be devoted to the construction of “affordable housing.” “I know it’s a novel idea,” said Cher, “but I think that the government should have some sort of leadership about making a place for people to eat and sleep comfortably in this country.”
At the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, Cher participated in a star-studded salute to outgoing President Bill Clinton and announced that she would be supporting Clinton’s then-vice president, Al Gore, in the upcoming presidential election that November. She also disparaged Texas, where Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush had been governor since 1995, as a state where “more women are starving” and “more children are going to bed hungry” than anywhere else in America.
Campaigning against the “stupid” and “lazy” Bush, Cher in 2000 made a disparaging reference to the “Reagan-[George H.W.] Bush years when people had no money and no jobs.” Moreover, she portrayed Republicans as racists, sexists, and reckless polluters:
Denouncing Bush’s proposed tax cuts for people in all income brackets, Cher said: “I don’t need money…. I don’t want money on the backs of people who are not gonna get good schools…. if he’s not going to care about the people who need to be helped … if we’re not going to get higher education … Let them [the federal government] take that money and do what’s good with it.”
Cher worked on several Democratic fundraisers in 2000, including a New Jersey gala that raised $1 million for Al Gore, and two events for First Lady Hillary Clinton’s U.S. Senate run in New York.
When George W. Bush ran for re-election in 2004, Cher (whose daughter, Chastity, was a lesbian activist) warned the gay community that “the people, like, in the very right wing of this [Republican] party … if they get any more power, you guys are going to be living in some state by yourselves…. [I]f Bush gets elected, he will put in new Superior [sic] Court judges, and these guys are not going to want to see Gay Pride Week.”
In October 2004, Cher appeared at a Hollywood event sponsored by Peace Action to protest the war in Iraq and condemn the Bush administration for supposedly suppressing dissent on the home front: “They wrap themselves in the flag and if you dare to disagree with them in public, you’re called a traitor.” Claiming also that “everyone” in Europe “hates us,” Cher lamented: “They are more afraid of the U.S. than they are of terrorism.”
Stating that eight years of Republican control of the White House had “almost killed me,” Cher in February 2009 lauded the new U.S. president, Barack Obama, as a man who “will be able to do as much if not more than anyone could possibly do” because “[his] intelligence is so great and his spirit is so great.… I just think he’s totally the right person at this time in our history.” “I just don’t understand how anyone would want to be a Republican,” Cher added. “… If you’re poor, if you’re any kind of minority — gay, black, Latino, anything…. If you’re not a rich born-again-Christian, I don’t get it.”
In 2012 Cher and comedienne Kathy Griffin filmed a political spot titled “Don’t Let Mitt Turn Back Time on Women’s Rights,” designed to discredit Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as an opponent of such rights. Describing Republican attitudes toward women as “sick stuff,” Cher said: “There’s a lot at stake for women and people who like and respect women.”
Throughout the 2012 presidential campaign and afterward, Cher made frequent use of her Twitter account to depict Romney and Republicans as racists, misogynysts, and elitists. Moreover, she routinely smeared members of the conservative Tea Party movement as “Tea Baggers” — a slur connoting a male homosexual act.
In a pair of November 2013 tweets, Cher — citing what she characterized as America’s historical genocide against the continent’s original Indian inhabitants — indicated that she does not celebrate Thanksgiving because she prefers “Not 2 celebrate the beginning of a GREAT Crime” — i.e., “Stealing Land,from a ppl,Who believed,Owning LAND Was LIke Owning SKY! We gave them Blankets laced w/Smallpox.”
According to a September 2014 report by Breitbart.com: “Black choreographer Kevin Wilson claimed in the statement that during auditions for the [Cher’s] ‘Dressed to Kill’ tour, he [had] expressed interest in a particular minority female dancer to Cher, to which she responded, ‘We have too much color on stage.’ Wilson wrote that he was instructed to wrangle a ‘white, blonde dancer’ instead, and that Cher advised him to shy away from casting ‘dark skinned black dancers’ for the remainder of the tour.”
In a related story, CBS News reported that same month: “Wilson and dancer Suzanne Easter, who are both African-American, are suing Cher along with former colleague Jacquelyn Dowsett Ballinger claiming they were wrongfully fired after complaining to managers that another dancer assaulted an unidentified woman in a hotel room while on tour. Wilson and Easter say race was a motivating factor in their dismissal, while Ballinger, 42, is alleging age discrimination.”
In November 2014, Cher was outraged by a Ferguson, Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict the white policeman who, in an act of self-defense, had shot and killed an 18-year-old black criminal named Michael Brown in a highly publicized incident four months earlier. “Something must b done 2 protect innocent young blk men,” she tweeted.
When Islamic jihadists (seeking to “die as martyrs” for their cause) killed 12 people in a January 2015 attack on the Paris offices of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, Cher tweeted: “I know nothing about fighting terrorism,but if their objective is 2Die, can’t police throw tear gas then shoot them with Dart’s. No Martyrs.”
In June 2016, Cher endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for U.S. president. In August, she attended a big-money fundraiser for Mrs. Clinton in Cape Cod, where she compared Republican nominee Donald Trump to Stalin and Hitler and said: “Do you remember Fun With Dick and Jane? It’s like racist Fun With Dick and Jane! ‘We’re going to build walls!’ He [Trump] doesn’t mean: ‘We’re going to make America great again.’ He means: ‘We’re going to make America straight and white.'”
Cher also hosted a November 3, 2016 New York City fundraiser for Mrs. Clinton. The event was titled “Love Trumps Hate: An Evening with Cher,” and tickets sold for as much as $5,000 apiece.
In 2016 as well, Cher participated in the making of a new documentary film titled In This Climate, about the perils of climate change. In a video trailer for the film, she asked: “Where’s your brain? How can our brains be so different? How can you not notice all the things that are changing?”
At an event for International Women’s Day in March 2019, Cher praised Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for fighting President Donald Trump and his agendas. “Since the day our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, our country has been run almost exclusively by old white men,” said Cher. “Thankfully because of Nancy and other strong women, this is changing. Nancy is a fighter. She won’t back down. She muscled through the Affordable Care Act and she isn’t afraid to go to-to-toe with a bully and beat him at his own game.”
In May 2019, Cher tweeted: “I Would *love* [to] See Trump Impeached, Brought [to] Trial, *locked* Up In *prison* [and] Toy Boy Big Bubba!!”
In June 2019, Cher tweeted a message to the LGBT community: “IF trump WINS 2020,HE’LL BE 1ST 2 STRIP U OF’ALL’PROTECTIONS,& PUT U IN INTERNMENT CAMPS‼️HE’LL PUT HIS✋ON UR SHOULDER & STICK HISIN UR BACK.WAKE UP & SMELL PAIN,HIS BASE WANTS U GONE.”
In August 2019, Cher tweeted yet another expression of her contempt for President Trump: “I Believe trump is more than a racist,more than a White supremacist,More Than a white nationalist. As I see his actions,& hear his rhetoric,I hear the drum beat of Ethno Nationalism. HOW CAN trump BE PRESIDENT OF AMERICA…HE HATES SO MANY ”AMERICANS.’”
That same month, Cher tweeted a false report that the Trump administration had decided to revoke the citizenship of children born overseas to U.S. soldiers: “Some children of US troops born overseas will no longer get automatic American citizenship, Trump says. WILL HIS REIGN OF TERROR EVER END?HOW MUCH ANGUISH IS HE CAPABLE OF INFLICTING ON? WISH HE’D VANISH IN PUFF OF,OR PUT IN 1 OF HIS INTERNMENT CAMPS.”
In an October 2019 tweet, Cher accused congressional Republicans of being accessories to President Trump’s “genocide”: “Spinless GOP Senate & Congress are now accessories 2 Trump’s Genocide!! Moscow Mitch, Leningrad Lindsey & rest of emasculated GOP, sold their souls 2 help Russia, Turks, Syria, Iran, Saudi’s, Kill [bomb and casket emoji] Kurds. They’ll go 2 [fire emoji, likely meaning ‘hell’].”
In a November 2019 tweet, Cher called on American women to vote President Trump out of office for possibly misrepresenting the sex of Conan, the combat dog who had recently helped U.S. special forces track down and kill Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-
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