So Oprah Winfrey gave an inspirational speech at the 2018 Golden Globe awards. And the crowd went wild. Speculation and encouragement arose to get her to run for president in 2020. Nothing demonstrates how politics works than watching fans of Oprah encourage this to happen. Because what it demonstrates is that if people like you, they will vote for you. It does not matter what your opinions are on the many issues the job would entail. If you’re a friend, you’re in.
Oprah has been with us for decades. She sat in everyone’s living room at 4:00PM EST from 1986 to 2011, a whopping twenty-five seasons. She stressed personal stories and compassion in her takes on subjects. She talked to the audience as if friends in her own home. She’s loved by millions and very influential. When I worked at Barnes and Noble, we could always tell when Oprah had a guest on who wrote a book. Because by about 4:20PM EST, the phones would start ringing with viewers wanting a copy of the book.
Oprah launched the careers of numerous people, including Dr. Phil and Mehmet (Dr.) Oz. She’ been very generous in giving gifts to her fans; in fact, the season opener in 2004 saw her giving away a car to every member in the audience. And her adventures don’t apply just to her American fan club. She’s involved herself in an amazing array of philanthropic activities, including the opening of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. She started Oprah’s Angel Network, which encourages women and children to better themselves with everything available to them. Among other accomplishments, it’s built fifty-five schools in twelve different countries.
According to LookToTheStars.com, her supported causes include: Abuse, Adoption, Fostering, Orphans, AIDS & HIV, ALS, Animals, Cancer, Children, Civil Rights, Creative Arts, Disaster Relief, Economic/Business Support, Education, Environment, Family/Parent Support, Health, Human Rights, Hunger, LGBT Support, Literacy, Miscellaneous, Peace, Physical Challenges, Poverty, Rape/Sexual Abuse, Slavery & Human Trafficking, Veteran/Service Member Support, Women.
And although she’s used her fame and fortune mostly for good, she’s been on the wrong side of woo-woo for most of her career as well.
Oprah has promoted nonsense like Betty J. Eadie’s Embraced by the Light, faith healing like that of John of God, the ridiculousness of Deepak Chopra and James Van Praagh. She’s not very scientifically literate and seems to embrace anything “spiritual”, showing heavy reliance on anecdotal testimony rather than hard evidence. I mentioned Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz above. They’ve had their share of quackery criticism too.
But overall, Oprah has helped millions, financially and just by being somewhat reachable with her daily television show that spent time on topics applicable to everyone. She even has a book club. Encouraging people to read is a personal goal of my own.
Her career is impressive. And she’s worth, according to the Wikipedia article regarding her, three-billion-dollars. Why anyone like her would decide to ruin it all and become President of the United States is beyond me.
When you’re the President of the United States, you’re supposed to give up your business ventures in the meantime so that there’s no conflict of interest. Currently, President Trump is changing that as he’s yet to separate himself at all from his own. So if Oprah did become president, she could probably continue with her business as usual. But even if she gave nothing up about her old life, the fact that she’d now be president would surely impact everything she’s currently involved in by taking up her time. And I think it would be for the worse.
Oprah is able to accomplish all that she has by surrounding herself with like-minded people, investing the time and energy to make it all happen. She put in the hours and created a business formula that worked. Imagine if Oprah tried to now get her goals completed through government. It would no longer involve voluntary cooperation with like-minded people. It would run the gamut of government bureaucracy.
What if President Oprah Winfrey wanted to open another school in a far-away country? Going through government, she couldn’t seek out like-minded people. She’d have to propose the goal to the people already there: Congress and Senate. She’d have to get enough Congressmen, Congresswomen and Senators to sign off on it. She’d have to except compromises and in return for their support, give a few in Congress their own special interest programming (pork). She’d have to deal with the American public (justifiably) complaining their tax dollars were going overseas when they’d be better spent on United States education. It would then be overseen by disinterested government bureaucrats, all with their own agendas. Oprah wouldn’t have a controlling entity in it. It would be another government program surely to turn out nothing like she imagined. Failure.
Oprah won’t run for president because she knows this. I find it hard to believe she doesn’t.
It should be pointed out that Thomas Jefferson designed his own tombstone. And on it he only listed three things: Author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom and Father of the University of Virginia. Nothing at all indicating he was President of the United States. The tombstone continues: because by these, as testimonials that I have lived, I wish most to be remembered.
I suspect Oprah will wish to be remembered by her charitable works and other notable contributions as well. And it’s why she won’t run. It’s why no one like Bill Gates or Elon Musk or anyone else who can make a difference without the seizure of a powerful position will want to be President of the United States. For people like them, becoming President is a step down.
It’s been said only power-seeking people will seek out powerful positions. Oprah is already a power player. She already has a position of great influence, all to her liking and entirely under her control. But it’s not a position forcing her agenda on others. No one is forced to be part of it which is why it’s successful. Her network is made up only of people who also care about her network. She’s going to want to keep it that way.
So Oprah, if for some reason you are entertaining the idea of running, don’t. Don’t mess up a good thing. Keep doing what you want with the people who want to assist you. Becoming President of the United States is beneath you. Now if you could just be a little more responsible with the woo-woo. Call me.