I think we can all agree that the above headline exists in a time in which capable leadership and admirable qualities in politicians are at an all time low. When you consider the unstable waters of what will be the shittiest election cycle of all time, there really is no candidate on either side of the proverbial aisle that is worthy of your confidence and trust.
All we’re left with these days are compromises and least worst case scenarios we can live with. Hillary Clinton was the most qualified candidate in the race against Donald Trump. Remember when Barack Obama was a Junior Senator and Republicans over and over again shouted out how “unqualified” Barack Obama was to be President?
What does that mean exactly? When you think of somebody who is qualified, do you think of the son of the former Director of Central Intelligence, avid baseball fan and former Governor of the Great State of Texas? Do you think of the wealthy son of a peanut dynasty who served at every level of government?
I’m sure I would be given an impressive number of definitions for what it means to be qualified for President and most of them will involve having “executive experience”, “foreign policy experience”, and “an ability to form sentences”. But that all went out the window when conservatives across the nation decided to say “fuck it, let’s go back to 1913 and give Woodrow Wilson another chance”.
Now “experience” has become an incredibly nuanced disqualifier when it comes to who gets to be the rich hand over the biggest button in the world. Some pleas for Oprah to be disqualified sound like veiled racist/sexist dismissals. “how about another gormless TV billionaire, but instead of a racist white guy — wait for it — a black woman. Booom! glass ceiling shattered, America fixed.”. Yeah, that was a sentence I read once. I’m sure the fact that they’re both billionaires was the basis of disqualification for that lefty, but the visual of “black woman” being left on the same plane as “a racist white man” left a really bad taste in my mouth.
At the risk of this sounding like a transcription of the debut episode of the “Oprah Winfrey Is Qualified” podcast, I want to c l e a r l y state that I don’t reside in the “Oprah 2020, YAS” camp nor the “This is hellscape” socialist meme commune either. I am doing what every rational American should be doing at this very moment: not giving a shit.
The ridiculous levels of hype Oprah’s remarkable Cecil B. Demille acceptance speech is giving off will rip a new irreparable hole in the ozone layer (unless Trump’s regressionist policies do it first). I don’t even think Oprah has said the words “I want to run for President” in a public forum, yet once again on a day when 200,000 Salvadorian refugees are the latest marginalized group to be told “you’re fired” by the Trump White House, we have allowed ourselves to be consumed byour own mania because we’re obsessed with looking forward.
This is what a hopeless republic looks like.
Now, yes, I too believe that the millionaires and billionaires of the world should not have any influence over public policy, government, social norms or really anything that has to do with further exploiting the working and marginalized classes. However I don’t believe Oprah’s wealth has much to do with the outrage and “disqualification” because if that was the case 268 members of Congress would be out of a job right now as they are all worth over one million dollars. We would have wised up to the fact that our teachers, community activists and those really doing the hard work to shape the future of this country making under $40,000 a year should in fact be the ones to shape our policy. But that’s not the case is it?
How about her lack of executive experience? I probably wouldn’t try to argue that with someone who has over 12,000 employees and is very successful in business. Too Trump like for you? I was actually echoing a lot of the praise given to Mitt Romney. His executive experience beyond being Governor of Massachusetts also extends into the private sector and that was heralded as a strength of his, an asset to our nation. So why is Oprah’s executive experience suddenly less credible?
I’m not going to make you say it, (yeah, it’s because she’s a black woman) but I want you to sit with those feelings.
Now for people who are begging Oprah to put her regal hand over yours as you both put the car in drive and sail over the cliff into oblivion, I want you to stop entertaining this bullshit too. It’s fun to dream in a time where a successful black woman can have it all and guess what, we can still have that reality! We don’t need name brand recognition or vast riches in order to combat the asenine concept of the Donald Trump administration. We have several strong black female progressive candidates out there who are well qualified to hold the highest office in the land.
The problem is, at least in progressive circles, women candidates in general are nitpicked and scrutinized to the most violent extremes and even someone like Kamala Harris who is an amazing political figure, gets openly berated by progressives for not being progressive enough. Eliminating and dismissing candidates is everyday conjecture for picky and depressed leftists just because the ideal is the goal and nothing less than the ideal will suffice.
Bernie Sanders was the ideal for a lot of people in this nation, myself included. Sanders is still the only 2016 Presidential Candidate still acting as an agent for the working and disadvantaged classes in this country and he is a role model. But if some of his male campaign faithful have proven, just like how 2016 and 2017’s top headlines have shown you, we need more women in political power.
We do not need Oprah Winfrey as President of the United States. I’m starting to think actually we don’t need a President of the United States. Maybe this will force the majority of registered voters to think beyond a Presidential ballot and be more involved with state and municipal elections to the point where we have capable and *gasp* not-corrupt politicians.
Regardless, Oprah Winfrey the pop-culture figure isn’t the reason why people are clamoring for her to be President, people just want to hear the words and conviction from a woman in power to represent us in the highest office of our land. That in itself is NOT something you should ridicule and criticize for one second or else you are just as guilty and disgusting as the people who voted for Donald Trump in the first place. Her words are part of the true progressive ideal and should be something that we look for in the next President of the United States.
2018 is here. Democrats and non-democrat alternatives need to turn up, volunteer, donate and be obsessed not with an imaginary campaign, but actual and real campaigns that are underway right this minute. Why are we spending so much useless effort in litigating 2020 when the reality is a good portion of us aren’t making it to 2020 because will either be deported, sent to war or dead. We need to get back to reality and we need to focus on cleansing Congress of any and every person who thought it was a great idea to strip over 20 million Americans of their right to free healthcare. That is the real disqualifier for public leadership.
Zip it up and let’s ride.