Oprah Winfrey has been one of the most recognizable names in popular culture for a long time.
She has appeared on and has hosted critically-acclaimed talk shows, founded her own television network and has achieved many other accomplishments in her career. However, one specific credential is absent from her resumé of work. That missing credential is political experience. Why is this missing credential being brought up recently?
After her speech at the recent 2018 Golden Globes Awards, she delivered a riveting speech about black representation in receiving such great awards, the #TimesUp and #metoo movements and giving black women and girls motivation. The speech also gave people the impression that she may run for the presidency in 2020. This has sparked a movement to convince Oprah to run for president.
Oprah is a credible and nearly universally liked person, but does that qualify her to be president of the most powerful nation on the planet? To put it shortly, the answer is no.
The job of President of the United States is no laughing matter and should be treated with a certain degree of seriousness. People who run for the presidency should at the very least have a degree in political science and/or experience in a political capacity, such as former Pres. Ronald Reagan, who was originally a Hollywood actor and former governor of California. Ironically enough, however, current president Donald J. Trump also has no political experience prior to becoming the 45th president of the United States. He is a widely known businessman, sure, but running a nation is not the same as running a business.
Regardless of whatever opinions people may have of Hillary Clinton, she was objectively more qualified than Donald Trump. She has the right credentials to hold a political position. For example, serving as the Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. However, underlying issues led to her defeat in the last presidential election.
Donald Trump, after a year of being in office, has the lowest approval rating of any other president in modern history. According to TIME, who cited an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, only 39 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Trump’s administration. His approval rating at this time is lower than that of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama at the same respective time during their terms in office. Trump has been a disliked figure ever since starting his campaign. On the other hand, Oprah is widely liked and probably would have a strong chance of beating Trump in 2020.
However, just because she could win and is a popular celebrity, she is not qualified as a good candidate for president.
While any U.S. citizen has the right to voice their opinion, it brings up the old platitude of “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” The stigma surrounding celebrities on office is that they are present to entertain and not govern. This isn’t to say that famous public figures should never think about running for office, but the role of any political office is to govern, from a small community or an entire nation.
As long as said person has experience, then by all means, run for office.