Why Oprah shouldn’t run

I’ve got nothing against Oprah. I just think we deserve the best Oprah possible.

There are people who worship at the altar of Oprah. I’m not one of them. But I do admire Oprah immensely. My admiration, however, does not mean I want her to be President of the United States.

I think we deserve better than that. She definitely does.

Would she be a great president? I think yes. That she would be better than the mentally infirm, ill-informed, toxically corrupt, toddler-child currently inhabiting the office (and hard at work from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. everyday, whether the country needs him or not) is an easy given. The bar has never been set lower. And that’s why it’s dangerous for Oprah. She’s tempted to run. Trump did it. Donald Fucking Trump became president.

It’s also true that this nation needs and deserves a woman at the helm sooner rather than later — not because a woman is inherently better, but purely for equality, perspective and symbolism — history, in other words. Presidents are historical mileposts. Our history is far too one-sided in a greatly embarrassing old, white male way.

How bad is Trump? I think he’s a piece of shit on many levels, but even I’m starting to wonder at what point we should feel sorry for him. His limited mental capacity shrinks in front of us: Twitter rants; repeating stories to insiders within minutes of having just told said story; easily influenced by shiny objects / spoon-fed television programming; the need for ridiculous, insincere flattery; the limited vocabulary — I’ve seen it before in relatives that suffered dementias and in a former colleague who is a known psychopath.

Because he’s a psychopath with a long history of self-aggrandizing fuckery, it’s hard to feel sorry for Donald Trump. But at some point, the illness will supersede his pathology. Assuming the country has not been destroyed by then.

May the best ‘man’ win

The Oprah that will emerge from a presidential run will not be the same Oprah we have now. Win or lose. Are you willing to give that away?

Recall how tarnished Hillary Clinton became. Sure, she had legions of haters beforehand, but at least she was white. Now consider Oprah. Beloved by many, she’s still a black woman in America. Not only did we prove that we’re not post-racial in the post-Obama America, we’re obviously still not post-sexist. You want to get a black woman into the Oval Office? It will have to be an Oprah, I’ll give you that.

But there’s only one Oprah and I’m telling you you can’t have her. Even though we might need her. Yes, we do need her. Seth Meyers touched on that in his Golden Globes opening monologue “jab” at Oprah receiving the Cecil B. DeMille award.

Oprah Winfrey is receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award tonight. What a tremendous honor … for Cecil B. DeMille. — Seth Meyers at 2018 Golden Globes

Oprah’s rousing, moving, right-on speech at the January 2018 Golden Globes set off a firestorm as only she can. Political operatives are drooling at the prospect of candidate Oprah. Don’t let them take her away.

How much should one speech matter? It was a great speech. And unlike Donald Trump, I believe her to be sincere when she speaks. That counts for a lot. Or at least, it used to.

But it was just a speech. What follows afterward will determine if it becomes more than a speech. The real question is (or should be — don’t forget this is idiot America) how well can she govern?

Qualifications are now no longer by the book in the post-Trump presidency world. “Qualified” is now a relative term. Is she as qualified as Donald Trump? Easily. Laughably better. Know who else was easily better qualified than Donald Trump to be president? Literally everyone else that ran in 2016. Didn’t matter to Idiot America.

The best, most experienced candidate in recent U.S. History, former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and First Lady, Hillary Clinton, did not stand a chance against Trump’s Idiot America.

Idiot America, in case you’re wondering, hasn’t receded into the past just yet. It’s standard-bearer is still roaming the halls of the White House, toadies in tow, defending their own self-interests in the name of blatantly dishonest policy and patriotism.

It gets worse

Here’s another scary thought to consider: What, if as the right wingers claim, Trump is just fine?

  • He’s not dim-witted.
  • He’s not mentally unstable.
  • He’s not suffering from dementia.
  • He’s not temperamentally unfit.
  • He’s not hair-triggered and easily played.
  • He’s not overwhelmed by the enormity of the job.
  • He’s not suffering from delusions of grandiosity.
  • He finds the blatant sucking up to him by his closest confidants and colleagues as absurd as the rest of us.

If the right wingers are right about their man Trump, then the rest of the world has been fooled. And worse, we’ve been led to disbelieve, discount and demean a duly elected President of the United States.

What we know about Trump is what we’re presented with. What we see on Twitter, on TV and via his poisoned water-carrying spokespeople. These slices of Trump are not really, actually what a president is. Just like one speech doesn’t make the perfect presidential candidate.

Run away

What do we think is going to happen to the next guy/Oprah? Partisanship is at an all-time fever pitch. With Trump appearing so far beyond the pale in terms of fitness for the office, yet the Republican establishment is still so intent on using him for their aims: Dismantling the current health care system, crafting a tax plan that satisfies their uber rich donors and thus keeps their monetary support coming in — how can we expect anything short of a two-year bloodbath for the next Democratic nominee?

Do you want that for Oprah? Because the facts desert us here on this point. Doesn’t matter if we’re right about Trump: His acolytes are convinced he’s been railroaded. We think they’ve been sold out. They think we’re sullying their hero. And no number of facts and repeated Trump lies as he deserts his pledges and disavows his campaign claims can convince them they’ve been played.

That’s just the base. They’re still behind their man. What’s worse is that the Republican establishment is furthering the insanity in the White House to get what they want. Trump is their man too.

We, the cognitively functioning / liberal elite / libtards / lefties will watch the next nominee get slaughtered in novel, visceral relief. It will be worse for Oprah than it was for Hillary. You really want to do that, O?

Win with Winfrey?

So Oprah’s thinking about running, because, Trump showed the way. She can run and she can win. The old rules no longer apply. Selfishly, I don’t want to lessen her gifts, so I don’t want her to run.

Understand that Oprah, like Trump, can have pretty much any damn thing she wants in this world. Right now. Large or small. Short-term or long-term. Why give that up for the presidency? It’s a pay cut, by the way. And not a small one.

But the actual perils of the job are far worse than one’s reversal of fortune.

What if, like Trump, the job — with all its negotiations, political machinations, necessary compromise, human toxicity, domestic & foreign crises — drives her mad, as it clearly has with Trump? What then? We took the best and brightest remaining shining star and trashed it … to what end?

Wouldn’t we all be better off with Oprah still being Oprah in this world, working in tandem with an effective president?

But if she’s president, it won’t overwhelm her as easily as it has Trump. Oprah is coming from a far healthier starting point. She’s the real deal: A true American success story, built from the bottom to the top, as opposed to Trump’s born-on-third-base-but-thinks-he-hit-a-home-run upbringing. But still. Why put herself through that? Oprah’s foundation(s) can go and do whatever they want, today. Try that from the Oval Office and see how much less latitude Oprah would have with the same goals.

Why trade the Oprah machine in for a sputtering, corrupt, lurching, ineffective, political office? Sure, it’s historically a sexy, commanding, impressive title. But there’s an even better title to be had: Oprah.