Can We Please Stop Making Television Stars Presidents

Oprah receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama. (Photo: Courtesy of Lawrence Jackson, via ObamaWhiteHouse.com)

by Jonathan Tate


I can’t believe that this is an actual discussion people are having in this country, but please don’t back the notion of having Oprah Winfrey as President. While I’m on board for anyone other than Trump, there are limitations and this is one of them.

To be fair, Oprah is a wonderful woman, truly an inspiring human being, but her place should remain in the public eye and not the White House. Why? Because she doesn’t have experience, and just because Trump found himself in the White House shouldn’t qualify anyone who has ever had there own television show to hold any public office.

What we need in government now, more than ever, are experienced and dedicated public servants. Not a friendly face or familiar voice to assure us that everything will be alright, but someone who is willing to work to make things right.

When Trump was on the campaign trail, it was his familiarity that got him so far, because who in the world hasn’t heard the name Trump once before? He said a great deal of things that swept the nation, either for or against him, but we were swept up all the same. It was impossible to not be caught up in his campaign, given the spotlight he received from the media.

Should Oprah consider running for office, media outlets will no doubt be following her every move, right on down to the most minuscule details of her outfits or while viable presidential runners have to fight tooth and nail for a single shot on air.

Actual potential candidates like New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris a Senator from California, or hell, Bernie Sanders if he takes another crack at it. What can I say, I love the old Democratic Socialist, he’s the grandfather I never had–but I digress.

Putting anyone on the DNC stage other than a proven elected official spells nothing but trouble for this country, proving nothing but hypocrisy on the left, as well as negligence on the issues at hand. Because how could someone in Oprah’s position speak to the American people on issues like affordable housing and healthcare, or employment issues in this country.

Could Oprah actually beat Trump? Potentially. She is no stranger to the media, if anything she is a master of it, likeable and self-made, but is it worth the risk to chance it? While the more liberal communities might be onboard with the idea of Oprah running the country, it isn’t California, New York, or Massachusetts she has to convince, but the deep red states. States like Alabama, where the new Democratic Senator Doug Jones won by the skin of his teeth.

As we saw with Clinton’s defeat, this isn’t a sheer numbers game, but a strategic one. We need someone who can connect with all people, not just the hollywood elite, hipster millennials or the average suburban family, but the coal miners of West Virginia, farmers from Kansas, and the steelworkers of Wisconsin. Bringing in Oprah, a woman who yes, worked for what she has, but has more wealth and power than one could ever hope to dream, isn’t going to be the person who brings us together.

It’s still early on in the political season, and seeing how the 2018 elections may start to shape the potential presidential candidates there are just too many likelys and not enough definites on the table at this moment.

But please, for the sake of Democracy, as well as my own personal sanity, don’t tout the names of Oprah, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, or Kanye West as actual presidential leaders.

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