March 22nd, 2018

Oprah is not the answer

By Medicine Hat News Opinon on January 10, 2018.

Whether Oprah Winfrey runs for president in 2020 or not, it will not miraculously change what is wrong with America. In fact, it might even be detrimental to American society as a whole if she does run. The last thing the United States needs is another over-exposed celebrity setting its political agenda, cloistered in notions of privilege and idealized ideas of the United States.

Oprah is an incredibly sympathetic person and a passionate speaker, but she is also someone who has been a billionaire and in the public spotlight for so long it might be fair to suggest she has an unrealistic view of how society works for your average, everyday, paycheque Americans.

Donald Trump she is not, but Oprah, like The Donald, is a celebrity with no governance experience, and not someone who has been raised in the political classes where every meeting and every speech is a weapon to be wielded against your political opponents.

Trump has been flailing in his agenda and message, in part, because he is getting on-the-job training in governance and political combat, and he did not bring in enough experienced political people to shepherd his agenda through the Washington D.C. establishment. Basically, Trump is a talented rookie in sports parlance, who is getting a rough welcome from the veterans not yet convinced he should even be in the league.

What America needs is not a president so green he can’t even swing a senate race in ultra-conservative Alabama for the Republicans. Whoever comes after Trump should have enough political experience and savvy to re-right the ship, not overturn the apple cart again.

Oprah would be a dynamic candidate, but she would have to demean herself to enter into the dark and dirty waters of Washington to get her agenda across. She is better than that. If she does run for president, Donald Trump would be hard-pressed to brand her like he did his previous opponents because America knows her too well. That is an excellent attribute to have. She is also an inspiring celebrity with a huge platform for an incredibly positive message and example. And she has the deep pockets to make a real difference in the lives of those she helps. As an elected leader, she would have to put much of that aside and shackle herself to the political mode; thus arguably diminishing her effectiveness as a public personality.

Oprah would be better off in doing what she did for Barack Obama: Find a politically savvy and appealing candidate who encompasses her values, financially support him or her and actively campaign to get that person elected.

(Tim Kalinowski is a News reporter. To comment on this and other editorials, go to

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