It seems the big news this week is whether or not Oprah Winfrey should run for president in 2020 (or if she is setting herself up for a presidential run). I did not watch the Golden Globes, but watched the speech the next morning and my thought was that it was a great speech, and if she decided to seek the Democrats nomination, I would not be shocked. What does shock me is the amount of outrage from some people. I have heard people complain that she is just a dumb celebrity and what would she know about being president. I have heard things along the lines of “oh great, is this what our country has become? Electing the celebrities instead of the most qualified.”
First of all, we already elected a dumb celebrity. I would be more interested to hear what her platform would be and how she would handle different situations. I would want to know what kind of people she would appoint to fill cabinet positions. For years people complained that they were sick of career politicians and that we needed an outsider to come in and shake things up. Well, we got that in 2016. Just because he sucks does not mean that the idea was not actually a good one. Maybe someone like Oprah is the answer. Maybe not. But I think it is worth taking the time to at least find out. Secondly…get real if you do not think running for president has pretty much always been a popularity contest. Look at Franklin Pierce…when he ran, he was nowhere close to being the front-runner for his party, but then he had his good friend, best-selling author Nathaniel Hawthorne, write a book about him, and guess what happened? The people became enamored with the idea of Franklin Pierce. This country has always made the presidency about popularity and celebrity, do not fool yourself into thinking we always elect the best person for the job.
Now once you get all the jokes out of the way about Oprah running for president “cabinet position for you, a cabinet position for you!” Or whatever funny joke you can come up with…then you need to start asking what the primary would be like with her in the field. Oprah is loved by many people, she has ridiculously high favorability ratings. Obviously she may take a little hit as she runs, but would you really want to be one of her opponents and try to dig up some dirt on her? If I was in charge of a campaign and we found something bad about her, I would definitely leak it to another candidate. Also, if I were running against her, I would probably focus on the fact that she has been involved with and promoted so many alternative medicine/fad diets/woo products. If she were smart, she would quickly counter those attacks with something about doing it for ratings, she was not proud of some of those decisions or guests, but that was what the viewing audience wanted at that time. If you are reading this Oprah, I am available for consultation.
Look, I am not saying she should run. I am not saying she would win. I am not saying I would vote for her. I am saying that she should not be dismissed out of hand because she is a celebrity. And at the same time, do not be caught up in voting for her just because she is Oprah. Hear what she has to say, then make an informed decision if she is the best candidate for you.
Moving on to other political news…
There have been some crazy happenings back in my hometown. Two of the townships are having problems with elected officials. I am going to simplify everything (so if you are from the area, do not correct me about “the truth” or how it is “more complicated”). So basically these townships have three person councils. The council leader gets their friend elected, meaning that however the council leader votes, his friend will vote the same way. In both townships, the council leader does something shady (get rid of a qualified person for a road maintenance job, then appoint themselves for the job which pays well, even though they themselves are not qualified) and then everyone in the town goes crazy.
This kind of thing happens all the time in local politics. I swear you type in any town and corruption into Google and you will find a news story about something like this (or worse) happening. This is one of the things I do not understand about people who identify as Republicans. When I say Republican in this context, I mean those people who believe there should be less federal government and that things should be in the hands of state and local governments. A small township cannot even function properly as it is now, and these people want to give them more responsibility and more tax money? What do they think will happen? My guess is more corruption. I am not saying the federal government is any less corrupt, but it seems like the corruption is already baked into the pie, so it does not seem to be as localized and in the end, as horrible. Does that make sense?
If you want me to buy into this idea that the states and local governments could run things better, then you need to prove it to me. Pennsylvania seems to have a budget dispute and lockdown just about every year. I am supposed to believe that those idiots can do a better job with my tax dollars than people in Washington? And this is where some libertarian screams about taxes being theft and that we do not need any government, everything should be privatized.