The Santa Clara
January 25, 2018
In anticipation of her potential 2020 campaign, I am hereby endorsing Oprah Winfrey for President of the United States. Why?
Because nowadays, absolutely nothing matters, nothing makes sense and TV personalities get to rule the free world. A few years ago, putting Oprah on the ticket would have been absolutely unthinkable. Today, it might be our best bet.
Though Winfrey is still yet to announce her intentions to run for president, the buzz surrounding her potential candidacy has been resounding. According to a recent Harvard CAPS/ Harris Poll, Oprah is the third most popular candidate in the Democratic field. She is currently tied for third place with Hillary Clinton, behind Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.
And that popularity is not without cause. Oprah poses a number of advantages relative to a lot of her fellow candidates. At age 63, Oprah is considerably younger than Biden and Sanders—who would be 78 and 79, respectively, by the time either took office.
And she has a broader appeal to women and communities of color greater than many of her fellow Democratic candidates. She is also already a household name with a media empire, so she has a demonstrated ability to lead, build and thrive.
But the main reason I am endorsing Oprah is based on a notion that was officially confirmed by the 2016 Presidential Election.
The Trump campaign was tacet evidence that an interesting personality and a compelling narrative can easily
overcome experience, rationality and any and all convention. The bulk of Oprah’s fellow potential Democratic candidates represent the American political establishment of the new millenium.
They are relics of what many see as an inept, ineffective chapter in the history of American government—politicians too self-involved and disconnected from their constituents to be willing or able to understand voters’ needs or interests. Donald Trump’s election was an explosive repudiation of their brand of politics. Nominating Oprah would be fighting fire with fire, but that might be the best we can hope for at this point.
But here is the thing; I do not actually want Oprah to be president. In fact, this entire endorsement is meant to frame a point made at the beginning of this article. Nowadays, nothing matters. Nothing makes sense and TV personalities get to rule the free world. The fact that this article could be taken seriously is a perfect encapsulation of how we have grown complacent with absurdity.
This is the world we live in. The Trump presidency has officially turned reality into reality TV. In this day and age, a presidential candidate can deflect from allegations of misogyny by claiming he is only sexist toward Rosie O’Donnell during the Republican primary and the crowd will erupt in cheers. News can break about the President of the United States paying hush money to a pornstar he cheated on his wife with, and all that will come of it are some jokes on late night television.
We have a real estate tycoon who once shaved the CEO of the WWE’s head at Wrestlemania with the nuclear codes at his disposal.
That is life as we now know it. That is the new normal. The notion of two billionaire media moguls with hit TV shows running against one another is pedestrian at this point.
Rationality needs to reclaim reality, and that starts with us. There is plenty we can do to help that process. We can participate in organized demonstrations like the women’s marches. We can stay engaged and informed in order to contribute a rational public discourse on issues we care about.
And come Nov. 18, we can do our civic duty and vote in our midterm elections; because if we do not make these strides, it might only be a matter of time before Pauly D is chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Jay Fuchs is a senior communication major.