No, Poppets, Oprah Can't Be President
The 75th Golden Globes were Sunday night, and it was, in my professional writer’s opinion, the perfect mix of transcendent and hot mess. The presenters and recipients were on-effing-point, but the show gave up on itself at about the quarter-mile mark. Maybe it was for the best. I’m not sure that the writers of the show could have come up with anything better than what the booze-filled celebrities brought to the table (David Harbour, I’m looking in your general direction. You’re a peach).
None of which applies to Oprah because that’s what happens when you’re Oprah. Her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille award was so Oprah, in fact, it’s made her a front-runner for the 2020 presidential election. Seriously.
So on the one hand, sure, Hashtag Oprah For President. And on the other, much larger hand, no, guys, Oprah can’t be president. I mean, probably she totally could because she’s Oprah, and she seems to have a preternatural ability to just get shit done. But we really shouldn’t let it happen.
Not because Oprah isn’t qualified to be president, but because basically no celebrity is qualified to be president. Even the wildly successful, inspiring ones. See, with the emphasis on the presidential election and polls, we’ve maybe forgotten that the president has this whole job outside of being the most famous person in the world. And that job is “enforcing the Constitution and managing the largest arm of the government.” Not exactly the hobby of choice for the semi-retired. Even when the semi-retired are still running their own media empire replete with a full humanitarian arm.
Because being president is really hard even when you aren’t a doddering, old racist with no real work experience. Trump is a bad president in part because he’s a horrible human being, but also because he’s wildly unequipped for the job. (And also not interested in learning the job. Let’s not sell the guy short.) Bush Jr. had some experience in the executive branch, and he was also painfully out of his element. Obama managed overall to be a good president in part because he is compassionate and inspiring, but maybe a little because he went to Harvard law school, and was a constitutional law professor. Whatever Oprah’s talents, I’m pretty sure they don’t include “literally taught the class in this shit.”
So let’s not. People can be leaders and role models without being voted into the most prestigious office in the country. Oprah can influence people without being in the Oval Office. We shouldn’t encourage the idea that the goddamn Presidency is a popularity contest to be won by the best celebrity. Seriously, Trump thinks Oprah should run for President. You know it’s terrible.