We don’t know whether the idea of Oprah Winfrey for president, inspired by Winfrey’s eloquent speech Sunday at the Golden Globe Awards, will prove an ephemeral excitation or a movement with staying power. But we find it depressing.
We mean no disrespect to Winfrey, who strikes us as much better informed and more curious and presumably less reckless or dishonest than the incumbent president. But it’s bizarre that Americans who are appalled by Trump’s oafish and ignorant conduct in the nation’s highest office would gravitate to another television star untested in politics.
Again, this may just be a passing, Golden-Globes-inspired moment of Twitter hype. But it is also a reminder that when the last out-of-the-blue celebrity candidate entered a presidential race, the media shrugged him off as a joke.
It’s a measure of the trauma inflicted on the country by Donald Trump’s election that some people honestly believe that the way to unseat a celebrity president is to nominate another celebrity.
The United States doesn’t need another TV star running the country. What it needs is someone who has prepared for the job, who has made tough decisions, who is familiar with the issues, who has a history of public service. Not all senators or governors make good presidents, to be sure, but they’re a better bet, by and large, than the typical movie star or businessman. Here’s the kind of résumé that more closely approximates what we tend to look for in a candidate (and forgive us if it sounds familiar): former U.S. senator, former secretary of state.
It would be better for the party, and country, if voters thought they could put their trust in potential presidents who shared their views and their passions, but also had experience in government. We still cling to the hope that elections for the president haven’t been permanently transformed into an episode of Celebrity Apprentice.