Winfrey presidency

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Winfrey presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:21 am UTC

After her speech at the Golden Globe Awards last night, there's lots of talk today about Oprah Winfrey "seriously considering" running for president.

The more I think about it, the more the idea is growing on me.

It still bothers me to have to accept that in today's political climate, being a celebrity/billionaire seems more important in a presidential candidate than relevant experience and qualifications and subject competence. Sigh.

But other than that, about the worst I can say about her is that, despite her appreciation of literature and learning, she has occasionally been uncritical about promoting the claims of pseudoscientists and other charlatans like Suzanne Somers and Eckhart Tolle.

Of course, conservative Christians will be apoplectic because she's living in sin instead of marrying, has done more to normalize the image of LGBT people in society than anyone else, and has said many things about religion/God that are incompatible with their own beliefs. Many pro-business people also didn't like the way she publicly expressed concerns about consuming a profitable product (beef), which negatively impacted profits on that product, although the cattle ranchers who sued her for libel lost their suit against her.

Still, I think she has an excellent shot at winning if she decides to run. The reason we have a President Trump today is that many voters felt that they were not being listened to and validated and having their problems taken seriously. Oprah listens and validates and takes people's problems seriously.

Maybe that's what America really needs after a bad case of Trump Trauma--a really good therapist. Oprah is decency, empathy, and compassion personified.

Others' thoughts?

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby Prefanity » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:34 am UTC

I'm of the opinion that America doesn't need anymore celebrity politicians. Admittedly, I think plenty of Americans would disagree with me here, so I'm also of the opinion that celebrities should stop running for political offices.

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:24 am UTC

Prefanity wrote:I'm of the opinion that America doesn't need anymore celebrity politicians. Admittedly, I think plenty of Americans would disagree with me here, so I'm also of the opinion that celebrities should stop running for political offices.

This. If electing TV celebrities to high office becomes a regular thing, this country deserves everything it's been through in the last year and then some.
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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby elasto » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:27 am UTC

Prefanity wrote:I'm of the opinion that America doesn't need anymore celebrity politicians. Admittedly, I think plenty of Americans would disagree with me here, so I'm also of the opinion that celebrities should stop running for political offices.

Why? The political system is built upon checks and balances. There are hundreds of professional politicians in Congress. What's wrong with having a political outsider within the system to counterbalance that? Assuming said outsider is aware of their limitations and is prepared to seek counsel and delegate, there's no reason it can't work well. It's no different to the principal that a civilian is the head of the military.

Plus, while it's annoying when, for example, a celebrity's opinion on some current affair is given added weight or prominence simply because they are famous, it's equally unfair to expect a celebrity to have no opinion or to have to shut up.

The problem isn't celebrities entering or winning elections, the problem is simply poor candidates (which is mostly equivalent to an uninformed and disengaged electorate). Oprah seems like a better candidate than most, so why not?

Seems to me this is a situation that should be considered on a case-by-case basis rather than some blanket proclamation. Not all celebrities are equally vacuous, and there is merit to politicians having had a life prior to politics.

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby Liri » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:04 pm UTC

I think she only makes sense in the context of Trump. I also think she would be convinced that it's not worth it to go from being universally beloved to having ~half the country hate her.

What's the point of having a president if they have to rely on, not just take heed of, advisors on virtually every issue?

It is ridiculous to lower standards and expectations are this point - it's not like the presidency is becoming a simpler job. We need someone who's been in the game and knows how to undo the previous administration.

Oprah doesn't seem like a better candidate than any of the other potential Democratic nominees.
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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby nicklikesfire » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:40 pm UTC

What does qualify someone to be a good president? What do you want to see on their resume?

I will be unhappy if Oprah gets serious traction. I don't like the idea that the US presidency is being used as a trophy for the rich and famous.

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby eran_rathan » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:42 pm UTC

Liri wrote:Oprah doesn't seem like a better candidate than any of the other potential Democratic nominees.


really? I'd much rather see Kamala Harris, or Cory Booker, or Tammy Duckworth, or Kirsten Gillibrand - people with actual political experience.

Dream team for me would be Duckworth with either Booker or Harris as VP -sadly I don't think she has enough national recognition to make it. But she'd make a damn fine VP I think, and that would place her to run as President later.
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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:55 pm UTC

I think you and Liri are in agreement, eran_rathan.

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby Thesh » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:00 pm UTC

Her willingness to sell pseudoscientific bullshit to people who don't know better makes me very skeptical of her. From a political standpoint, I have no clue what she cares about or would stand up for.
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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby orthogon » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:05 pm UTC

I've often thought that celebrities would make quite good non-executive presidents (of the type seen in Germany or India). If we ever got rid of the monarchy in the UK, I'd want to replace them with "national treasures" like David Attenborough.
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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:06 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:From a political standpoint, I have no clue what she cares about or would stand up for.


Here's a pretty good indicator.

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby Chen » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:08 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Her willingness to sell pseudoscientific bullshit to people who don't know better makes me very skeptical of her. From a political standpoint, I have no clue what she cares about or would stand up for.


100% this. What are people basing this "Oprah is a good candidate" thing on?

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby elasto » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:21 pm UTC

Liri wrote:What's the point of having a president if they have to rely on, not just take heed of, advisors on virtually every issue?

Why would you think she'd be any better or worse than any other president in this regard? You think the average career politician is really an expert on socioeconomics or how best to reform the justice system / patent law / healthcare etc. etc.?

Too many politicians merely pick those advisers who will cherry-pick the evidence to back up their preconceived ideologies and pander to their core vote. If anything, someone who is aware they don't have all the answers and is prepared to listen to expert testimony with an open mind is exactly what the country needs to actually progress.

(Not saying Oprah is that open-minded, just that I disagree wholeheartedly that a leader should arrive with all (or, indeed, any) of the answers fully-formed.

And, again, that's a fault amongst the electorate: It's much easier to vote for the guy that says "I have all the answers, they are all very simple, and I have the strength to force them through!" than the one that says "The real world is incredibly complicated, far too much so for any one person to understand, but I'm wise enough to discern who the real experts are in every field and pay serious attention to what they have to say.")

orthogon wrote:I've often thought that celebrities would make quite good non-executive presidents (of the type seen in Germany or India).

Yes. In an ideal world we'd reform the political structures completely.

If we take the UK as a model (even though it too is flawed), I'd be happier with career politicians in the Commons but the House of Lords be filled with experts and non-political public figures. So the Commons reflects the 'will of the people' (whatever that means) but the Lords tempers that with expertise and 'common sense' (whatever that means...)

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby morriswalters » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:58 pm UTC

Liri wrote:What's the point of having a president if they have to rely on, not just take heed of, advisors on virtually every issue?
Exactly what are you asking? No one person has the breadth of knowledge to do the job. The Presidency is a group mind.

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby Zohar » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:14 pm UTC

If she wants to run for senator - fantastic. After she wins that she runs for president? Awesome. Have some experience in the political arena before you go straight to presidency.
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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby Liri » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:36 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Liri wrote:What's the point of having a president if they have to rely on, not just take heed of, advisors on virtually every issue?
Exactly what are you asking? No one person has the breadth of knowledge to do the job. The Presidency is a group mind.

Essentially what Zohar said. And they don't need to be an expert on specific issues, but they should be aware of the pertinate arguments. They need, however, to have a solid understanding of the political process and expectations of the presidency.
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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby bantler » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:06 pm UTC

Chen wrote:100% this. What are people basing this "Oprah is a good candidate" thing on?


Ratings. Personally, if we have to vote talk show hosts, Ellen would be more fun.

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:37 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:If we ever got rid of the monarchy in the UK, I'd want to replace them with "national treasures" like David Attenborough.

That's just a cop out because they won't let us elect President McPresidentFace!

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby Yablo » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:32 am UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:Of course, conservative Christians will be apoplectic because she's living in sin instead of marrying, has done more to normalize the image of LGBT people in society than anyone else, and has said many things about religion/God that are incompatible with their own beliefs. Many pro-business people also didn't like the way she publicly expressed concerns about consuming a profitable product (beef), which negatively impacted profits on that product, although the cattle ranchers who sued her for libel lost their suit against her.

I'm a conservative Christian. More than that, I'm a Republican, I'm a white male, and I voted for Trump. I don't argue your points about conservative Christians in general, so much, but it should be noted that we're far from being in a consensus. If the arrangement she and Stedman have works for them, they have every right to live that way, and it's nobody else's business. I'm also all for normalizing the image of LGBT people in society. It's not the lifestyle for me, but every single person I've ever met who is LGBT is a good or bad person for completely unrelated reasons. My religious beliefs are mine, and hers are hers. As long as she doesn't tell me I'm wrong for believing what I do, she should be allowed to believe what she does. I'd even be happy to have a civil and open-minded debate with her over it.

Still, I think she has an excellent shot at winning if she decides to run. The reason we have a President Trump today is that many voters felt that they were not being listened to and validated and having their problems taken seriously. Oprah listens and validates and takes people's problems seriously.

I honestly don't believe she'll run, but it definitely doesn't hurt for her to leave the question out there. It can only build her brand, and when she finally announces she's decided against running, her endorsement will carry even more weight than it already does.

Given what I know about her politics and the company she keeps, I really don't believe she'd get my vote, but if she decides to run, I would absolutely listen to every word she said. If she can show me she'd be a better president than Trump (or anyone else in the race), I'll not only vote for her, I'll campaign for her.

I absolutely believe she's a good, caring, and very strong person. I'm just not sure her vision and mine align.
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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:10 pm UTC

Caring? Probably. Strong? Definitely. Woman? That's none of my business. But good? No, she has filled her show with charlatans like Oz and the like, and has done more damage to science and health than Ken Ham.

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby idonno » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:36 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Caring? Probably. Strong? Definitely. Woman? That's none of my business. But good? No, she has filled her show with charlatans like Oz and the like, and has done more damage to science and health than Ken Ham.
How long do you think it would take the Rs to decide that science is actually really important and for the Ds to decide that science really isn't that big of a deal.

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:43 pm UTC

We should maybe remember that celebrities as politicians, even the President, isn't something Trump pioneered.
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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby Zohar » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:53 pm UTC

It was never a good idea, not when Reagan did it nor Al Franken, but at least they had the sense not to jump straight to being president.
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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:31 pm UTC

When the current generations reminisce about Reagan, you know somebody has screwed up.

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby Zohar » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:41 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:When the current generations reminisce about Reagan, you know somebody has screwed up.

In this specific case I wasn't talking about politics, I was talking more about the understanding that this politics thing may be cool but understanding you don't know much about it.
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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:29 pm UTC

I know that celebrities have always been in politics, going back to Davy Crockett if not further. I was just making a wry observation that things are so terrible that you are favorably comparing Reagan to current politicians.

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:58 pm UTC

Things are so terrible, I've seen multiple unfavorable comparisons to Nixon.

And not just in the past year.
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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby natraj » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:12 pm UTC

i am unclear, is there actual evidence that oprah is considering running for president, or did she just give a bomb-ass speech and then random liberals decided she should run for president?
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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:36 pm UTC

We aren't arguing and yelling at each other. This is nice.

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby Zohar » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:47 pm UTC

natraj wrote:i am unclear, is there actual evidence that oprah is considering running for president, or did she just give a bomb-ass speech and then random liberals decided she should run for president?

Yeah, she basically said she's not interested in doing so.
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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:37 pm UTC

Which is all the more evidence that she should! /s

How does that Mark Twain quote go, about clubs wanting him as a member?

(On second thought, turns our Trump didn't actually want to be president either, so maybe that logic doesn't work so well after all).
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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby Mutex » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:41 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:How does that Mark Twain quote go, about clubs wanting him as a member?

Wasn't that Groucho Marx?

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:54 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:How does that Mark Twain quote go, about clubs wanting him as a member?
Not sure about Twain, but it was Marx (Groucho) who said one or more variation upon the theme of "Please accept my resignation. I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member". (Aha, a fellow Marxist doth ninja me!)

Shakespeare had Brutus say (of Caesar) "The abuse of greatness is when it disjoins remorse from power.”

Then there's apparently Plato: "Only those who do not seek power are qualified to hold it." (Except in some dialect of Greek. Probably.) And if he was the original, I'd be surprised.

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby Yablo » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:42 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:(On second thought, turns our Trump didn't actually want to be president either, so maybe that logic doesn't work so well after all).

There's no credible evidence to that effect, and by all accounts from those who should know (the ones who were with him on election night when the results were announced), he did want to be president.

Soupspoon wrote:Then there's apparently Plato: "Only those who do not seek power are qualified to hold it." (Except in some dialect of Greek. Probably.) And if he was the original, I'd be surprised.

I wouldn't be surprised if Plato was the original, but neither would I be surprised to find he lifted it from an earlier philosopher or poet.

And let's not forget Douglas Adams: "... one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

I've always found that quote funny and rather insightful, but then, Donald Trump was the first presidential candidate I've ever voted for who went on to actually win.
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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:44 pm UTC

It was Thog who famously said "Gronk jerk, but Gronk strong jerk. Bad when jerk strong."

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby ThirdParty » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:57 pm UTC

nicklikesfire wrote:What does qualify someone to be a good president? What do you want to see on their resume?
Okay, I'll take a stab at that.

1. I expect the candidate to have experience as a State Governor. Why would any sane electorate put someone in charge of the entire U.S. without first seeing how he did at running a single state?

2. I'd also like to see some foreign policy experience. A candidate who's been sitting on the National Security Council or the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations would be able to hit the ground running a lot faster than someone who's never been outside his home state.

3. A reasonable level of education in a reasonably relevant field. We wouldn't appoint a hospital administrator who knew nothing more about medicine than what he learned in a Bio 101 course he took his freshman year of college and got a "C" in, right? J.D. is the ideal, but even a relatively-pathetic degree such as "M.A. in American History" would be acceptable. Anything that shows that the person is not an idiot and that he has some level of understanding of how the country works.

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby ucim » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:10 am UTC

... all well and good, but how do you apply that to an electorate who still believes the moon landing was a hoax, the earth is flat, and the bible provides an accurate picture of reality?

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby elasto » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:19 am UTC

As an aside, though interesting in terms of the debate on what qualifies a person for political leadership, the BBC is reporting that Chelsea Manning is seeking to become a senator.

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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby Ginger » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:47 am UTC

I saw some of her speaking out against sexual harassment. She said something like, "It's time for these powerful men to realize their time is up." Yes Yes Miss Oprah! It's time these men who sexually harass women in Hollywood get told on all over the places. People with lots of money can use their monies for good or for evil because monies have powers in our society. So I think a woman like Oprah, who chooses to spend at least some of her time speaking up about women's abuses, are using their time and monies to go a little more the good path than the self-indulgent path. Just wanna share that because I saw it while I was something-something and liked what she said and had girly-girly feelings about it. :)
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Re: Winfrey presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:21 am UTC

ucim wrote:... all well and good, but how do you apply that to an electorate who still believes the moon landing was a hoax, the earth is flat, and the bible provides an accurate picture of reality?

Jose


Luckily, those tend to be the same people.

Don't forget to add chemtrails, Illuminati NWO, 911 truthers, and autism-vaccine nutters. Again, same people.


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