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Oprah for president? The good and the bad of it.

by Greg Krehbiel on 10 January 2018

If we’ve entered an era where TV celebrities become president, what does that imply about who’s really running the country?

Think back on some stories you’ve read, or movies you’ve watched, where something like that happened. When you have a celebrity as the head of state, doesn’t that usually imply that some secret power really runs things, and the celebrity is just a figurehead? (Zaphod Beeblebrox comes to mind.)

I don’t mean to say that sci-fi stories and such are the best guide to what actually happens in the world, but … it does make you stop and think.

And I don’t think Trump is a figurehead president. I think he ran on a winning platform, and he is (well or poorly, you decide) mostly running the executive branch. (I do believe there is a “deep state” that neither he nor any president controls very well.)

Trump’s victory is a shocking thing. Here’s a man who never held public office, who has a very questionable past, who doesn’t appear to have a clear political core, who …. Oh, you know the rap sheet here. He’s not the type of man who becomes president.

What happened to the idea of competence, experience and qualification?

But now that the mold has been broken, why not a President Oprah? True, all the people who complained about Trump’s lack of experience would have to eat their words, but that’s nothing new. Consistency is for hobgoblins, or … something like that.

Besides, all the “competent,” “experienced” and “qualified” people haven’t been doing a very good job of things, in my opinion. A case can be made that it’s time to toss our expectations and bring in some new blood and new ideas. Oprah is clearly a very talented, capable person.

(Believe me, I’m not endorsing her.)

Generally speaking, I like the idea of shaking things up a bit from time to time, and I really like the idea of shaking things up before we get to the Jeffersonian crisis. (“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”) IOW, the tree of liberty is best “refreshed” with some new ideas and new people, rather than breaking things and killing people.

Along those lines, here are some ideas. I’d like to see some SCOTUS justices from non-Ivy League law schools. We should even have a couple non-lawyers on the court. There are plenty of disciplines that require serious scholarship, and it would be nice to get their take on the law.

I’d like to see more pastors and doctors and accountants and tradesmen in Congress. Why do we have to have so many lawyers and businessmen?

So, the idea of an Oprah presidency scares me — because of what I think she would do — but not because she has no political experience. That might be a good thing.

2018-01-10  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 7

  1. Scott Wicker
    10 January 2018 @ 1:19 pm

    I would like to suggest the following “ticket”:

    President: Oprah
    Vice President: Roseanne
    Speaker of the House: Whoopi Goldberg

  2. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    10 January 2018 @ 2:10 pm

    Ha ha. Reminds me of this clip from Back to the Future.

  3. William
    10 January 2018 @ 2:14 pm

    QUOTE: If we’ve entered an era where TV celebrities become president, what does that imply about who’s really running the country?

    ISTM, it implies enough people feel a TV celebrity has the wherewithal to run the country effectively (or at least they did in 2016). Yet, presidential approval ratings over the past year might call that into question.

    That said, Rasmussen conducted a mock match up between Oprah and Trump. Interestingly enough, Oprah came out ahead by double digits. Who knew?
    https://www.newsmax.com/politics/oprah-poll-rasmussen-trump/2018/01/10/id/836277/

  4. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    10 January 2018 @ 2:48 pm

    When I was at the University of Maryland, “King Tom” from the Maryland Medieval Mercenary Militia was elected president of the student government. He ran on a campaign of, among other things, digging a moat around the campus.

    I voted for him, because I think student government is a bad joke. I’m not sure why other people voted for him. Probably most people thought it wasn’t serious.

    I suspect few people who took the Rasmussen poll took it very seriously.

  5. William
    10 January 2018 @ 3:06 pm

    QUOTE: I suspect few people who took the Rasmussen poll took it very seriously.

    How do you know? A number of people didn’t initially take our current President’s campaign seriously. Nevertheless, enough did and he’s about to celebrate his first year in office.

  6. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    11 January 2018 @ 8:57 am

    I don’t know. I suspect.

    Polling is unreliable, especially this far out from an election, and especially when there’s a good reason to believe it’s not serious.

  7. William
    11 January 2018 @ 1:59 pm

    My point is that there is no good reason to suspect people who participated in the poll didn’t take it seriously. Of course, no one knows the outcome. Yet, just because it may seem ridiculous doesn’t mean it’s not feasible. The 2016 election surely confirmed that.

    That said, Rasmussen would likely disagree with your assessment of their poll. They still proudly tout they came in second out of 11 top pollsters in the 2016 election results.

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