Monday, January 08, 2018

A Hard No on Oprah

After she gave a fairly anodyne (albeit stirring) 9-minute speech to a room full of Hollywood elites, news orgs are now batting around the idea that Oprah should be president. *This* is the legacy of Trump’s election. Instead of considering whether a candidate is qualified to be president, Americans will now ask whether the candidate is more qualified than a deranged megalomaniac. (And the answer will always be yes.)

I have nothing against Oprah—though I’m mystified by her enduring popularity and find her fans cultish—but let’s be clear: she’s wildly unfit to be president of the United States. To her credit, she runs a powerful media empire (and, contra Trump, without criminality and periodic bankruptcy). To her detriment, that experience isn’t remotely relevant. She has no experience in: foreign policy, public policy, government, elections, elective politics, working with a legislature, passing laws, the judiciary, law, overseeing bureaucracies of any size, war, defense, macroeconomics, emergency planning and organization, health care, responding to an electorate, winning elections ... I could go on and on.

That Oprah Winfrey, one year into the constitutional crisis of the Trump presidency, would be considered a credible candidate for president is evidence of serious rot at the heart of the body politic. Americans no longer seem to have any idea what a democracy is or how to sustain it. Voters and reporters whine that dysfunction wracks DC, and then approvingly consider solutions like Trump and Winfrey. Uggh.

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