Yes, the Oprah2020 hashtag is born and a hopeful nation turns its eyes to a former talk show host/actress, who if nothing else, has the gift of empathy and a big pile of money.
It is perhaps the ultimate fate of a nation which allows the cult of personality to supersede all.
In what other nations but the U.S. would idiots such as the Kardashians and those who populate Jersey Shore become celebrities? For doing absolutely nothing. In what other nation would a blowhard, reality TV show host, who at his finest is barely coherent, become president?
And make no mistake about it, Donald Trump is president because he was a celebrity first. His name was known and it gave him a huge jumpstart in his bid for the presidency. The press, to their shame, gave him more free time than any other candidate. They slavishly followed his every move, magnified his every dumb quote. And he rode that free publicity all the way to the White House.
Many of the average Trump voters didn’t know, or care, what Donald Trump’s economic or foreign policy was — it’s a fair statement that Trump didn’t know either, but that’s a story for another time. No, the average Trump voter saw the name, usually gilded, and said to themselves, “Trump. Yeah, the Apprentice. He’ll clean up Washington — you’re fired! He’ll fire them all!”
And thus was born what will likely prove to be the most disastrous presidency in American history.
But is the way to counter Trump to throw Oprah at him?
Oprah is the anti-Trump in a way. She emanates trust, compassion and level-headedness. She speaks very well. In fact #Oprah2020 was born of her speech at the Golden Globes this past Sunday evening, in which she sounded so very reasonable. One might even say “stable”.
Oprah would certainly be more charming than Trump, she’d annoy the allies less, she’d likely be more restrained on Twitter, she’d insult the press less.
But having already embarked on a presidential journey with a political rookie, a man with no government experience at all, and seeing that perhaps a bit of a public service background could be helpful, is it the right move to throw another celebrity at the problem?
I say no.
Oprah is left-leaning, while Trump is right, but that doesn’t make her any more qualified. Oprah does come across as completely sound of mind, which is not something you can say about Trump with any real confidence. But Oprah is still a talk show host, a celebrity. And although she has used her great wealth to do good things, for African school girls for example, she is still someone who once jumped up and down in a TV studio yelling, “You get a car! And you get a car!”
There is going to be much for the next American president to do. Much. Soooooo much.
And instead of relying on instant recognition, celebrity names, the Republican and Democratic parties would do well to search within themselves for talented, hard-working, intelligent people, of which there are many, already doing the work of government. People who know the ins and outs of passing a bill, the value of compromise, the intricacies of the constitution. They are there. On both sides.
Let this brief experiment with the Celebrity President die a well deserved death.
You can’t throw Oprah at every problem.