Opinions: Hindsight is 2020

Oprah as president would be a bad joke for the USA

ALEXANDER DERBAS // CONTRIBUTOR

For the upcoming 2020 US presidential elections, it has been debated whether or not global icon, Oprah Winfrey, will run. Both on and off air, Oprah has hinted at her intentions to proceed with her path to the US 2020 Presidential Elections. Ever since her Golden Globes speech on Jan. 7, Oprah has made headlines of her potential run. In her speech, she described her life, philosophy, career, certain political stances, and the direction she viewed the United States is taking.

But Oprah isn’t fit to run for the 2020 election. As a celebrity who specializes in and has a career oriented towards the media, talk show hosting, and philanthropy, she has little to no government, economic, or military experience. Suggesting that Oprah should run for president only encourages continued mockery and stupefaction of the United States government and its international reputation. One celebrity is enough for the White House – another celebrity won’t solve the US’ leadership problem. According to a poll taken earlier this month by PBS NewsHour, the majority of Americans are clearly against the idea of Oprah running for President as well, with 54 per cent of them not in favour of her running.

If we select doctors based on their merit, qualifications, and work ethic to save lives and help their patients, why don’t we do the same with those who want to run the country? In a perfect world, only candidates with the relevant political, economic, and government experience should qualify to run for leader of the free world. As author and political writer, Sophia Nelson, explained to Politico, “I love Oprah — love her! — but she is not ready or qualified to be the leader of the free world.”

Illustration by Laura Pummell

Some Democrats and long-time supporters of Oprah still see potential in her to challenge Donald Trump’s presidency in 2020 and to reverse the current path the US is heading towards. Many of her supporters, such as Emily Stewart of Vox, cite reasons for her to run such as her ability to “inspire, lead, create, and change.” Being the well-known television host of her hit show The Oprah Winfrey Show, she has gone from rags to riches in the classic American Dream success story.

The polarity between Trump and Oprah in political views and background are major factors contributing to Oprah’s ability to potentially secure the Democratic nomination, not to mention the buzz created around the possibility of a first female President. Democratic strategist, Jesse Ferguson, explained on Politico that, “People will take her seriously not because she is a celebrity but because of who she is — because she’s genuinely a self-made success story and because she’s made a career out of helping other people.”

Oprah may have the charisma, motivation, desire and leadership skills required to lead the USA and to rival Trump in the 2020 Presidential elections; however, she does not have the experience and essential knowledge to be in public office. She should start small, for example, as a state governor, and work up to the federal level if she desires to go towards the path of public office. Being the president is no joke, and Oprah becoming one would only further ruin the integrity of that title and what it means to the history of the US and its people.

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