I may be mangling that expression since I don’t use it often, but before you get all bent out of shape, erroneously thinking “Leslie doesn’t want Oprah to rule the world!”, let me elaborate a bit.
First, if you have not seen Oprah’s speech from the Golden Globes, you need to. We all need to. If you saw it, rewatch it. It was fire. Take a look:
That speech inspired the internet to beg Oprah to run for president. I get it, I really do. We’ve thirsted to be inspired again, to hear vision and intelligence on a grand stage again and know it is associated with this country. Longed to see ourselves represented.
Second, do not misunderstand me — if Oprah is on the ticket, I am going to back her. “President Oprah” would have my full support. However… (you knew it was coming)
We have a self-made woman with a world stage. Someone able to reach and inspire more people than any other U.S. celebrity I can think of. A good listener, a woman who leads with empathy. Someone excellent at building empires, overcoming obstacles and hardships, at launching careers. A great public speaker. Truly an inspiration.
To be President, she would have to give all of that up. Sure, I know Trump hasn’t given any of his “businesses” up, but I’m guessing the pendulum will swing heavily back the other way regarding the public expectation that a President should not use the office to line their own pockets in 2020 — especially if the pendulum swings Democrat. We already know that the GOP operates on a full double standard, and it’s high time we planned accordingly.
If I’m reading this wrong, by all means, weigh in, but it seems to me that having Oprah run for President would end up doing more to silence a voice that is very much needed than anything else. It would be grueling, made more so by the white rage so recently enabled globally, but especially here in the States. Sure, Oprah is a strong woman and capable of handling it, but… who would wish that upon her?
Maybe I’m over reacting because, as a white woman, I see black women having to carry progress over the finish line for us time and time again. It bothers me to see us looking to one more black woman with this savior-level of fervor. If Oprah runs, are we going to back her? To protect her? To champion her? Or are we doing to do to Oprah what so many white women did to Hillary and hide in private groups online, more concerned with decorum than with championing a strong woman? Or, worse, what ~53% of white women did and vote for someone horrible and dangerous again because some white women are more invested in the status quo than in lifting society up.
What do you think about the idea of Oprah as President?