Oprah: A Pawn of the Left?

 

Consider the possibility that Oprah Winfrey may actually run for president. There are plenty of reasons why she shouldn’t or wouldn’t, but let me tell you why she might, and why the Right should be concerned. I want to thank Georgi Boorman for her article in The Federalist for inspiring me to explore the following: why we should be worried if Oprah runs for president.

First, Oprah has a huge fan base. They adore her. Unlike Barack Obama, people feel as if they know her, know what kind of person she is, and admire her integrity and directness. I have to admit that I do like and admire Oprah; after all, she overcame huge odds to become one of the most successful people in the world. And she’s likeable and smart, too. Anyway, when people like a celebrity a lot, they will give credence to his or her ideas, and they especially like Oprah because she essentially says to her audience: you can do anything:

The highest honor on earth that you will ever have is the honor of being yourself. And your only job in the world is to figure out, that’s what this movie is about … people think your job is to get up and go and raise money and take care of your family. That’s an obligation that you have, but your only true job as a human being is to discover why you came, why you are here.

Every one of us has an internal guidance, a GPS, an intuition, a heart print, a heartsong that speaks to us. Your only job is to be able to listen and discern when it’s speaking versus when your head and your personality is speaking. And if you follow that, you will be led to the highest good for you. Always.

Now before you start rolling your eyes, remember that people in our culture today want to be reassured, coddled and encouraged. They love the idea that success will come to them, that they just have to want it enough. Unfortunately in offering this advice, Oprah seriously underrates her own abilities to succeed, including discipline, drive and dedication. Those qualities are part of her make-up, and I think she assumes everyone else shares those same qualities and will make the most of them. But she’s wrong.

So Oprah has developed a huge audience that has essentially deified her, that believe she is spiritually deep and knowing. If Oprah says a person can be successful, well, it must be the Truth.

Even now Oprah is showing up in the spotlight more often, although she has left television. I suspect she is testing the waters for a presidential run. Her motivation may actually be to serve “her people”, i.e., fans (like a female Moses who will lead them to the Promised Land), so I think she’s considering the role of president of the United States, even if she says she’s not.

Two developments will be intersecting over the coming months, as Oprah becomes more visible and her ideas become even more mainstream. Slowly people will begin to realize that their personal success isn’t just around the corner, as Oprah has predicted. But rather than question her ideas, they will assume that they have to wish harder for good outcomes. And over the next two years, when they realize their dreams still have not come through, they will look for someone to blame. And it won’t be Oprah, whom they adore. It will be Trump, whom they’ve been conditioned to hate and blame for everything.

Meanwhile, the Left will find a way to persuade Oprah that she has a calling to run for president. Rather than emphasizing power, they will frame the position as an opportunity to serve, to humbly accept this duty to help the country and rescue it from Trump. They will de-emphasize Leftist ideology, and rather than talking in Leftist terms, they will speak in Utopian terms. They will say, yes, the country has become successful and Trump has been able to back laws that have helped people get by. But he hasn’t helped them realize their dreams, the way Oprah would if she were in power. As the population nurses its own greed, narcissism, and apathy, Trump will be further demonized (if that’s possible) and Oprah will be discussed in messianic terms. Her opponents will be reluctant to criticize her because they will be labeled racist. And of course, the mainstream media will be thrilled to have her run.

Once she is in office, the ideologues will work through her, manipulate and control her, and assure her that their Leftist ideas will support her Utopian dreams.

Does this sound crazy? That’s because you are on the Right. But for people who are either on the Left or don’t know what they are, who treasure their materialistic dreams, Oprah fits the bill.

I think we should be worried.

There are 79 comments.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  1. Thatcher

    Susan Quinn: First, Oprah has a huge fan base. They adore her.

    True, but they adore her for what she is and does now. Once she runs, she’ll lose a chunk of that base the second the “D” is put beside her name. As her positions on issues become known, she’ll lose even more base. The only question is, how much?

    Susan Quinn: I think we should be worried.

    Concerned? Yes. Worried? No. I’m not sure she would even survive the Democrat primaries, especially if Crazy Bernie and Fauxcahontis team up.

    • #1
    • March 12, 2018 at 7:34 am
    • 4 likes
  2. Member

    Oprah has a *male* fan base too, you say? Other than what I would guess to be a majority of the African-American male demographic and betas in the NY-DC-LA media industries?

    That point of doubt is for starters.

    Second, would she go radical in order to secure the Democrat nomination? Because my take at least is that if the fires of internecine ideological rancor continue to burn within the party through to 2020, there will be a bloc that takes umbrage at Oprah’s billionaire lifestyle trappings, notwithstanding her race and her sex and her early-life tribulations. If such a bloc does indeed emerge, either it might force Oprah to tack left in order to secure the nomination — after which point she will have turned off many heretofore neutral voters going into the general — or the bloc might get enough of its adherents to sit out the general (in the event that Oprah is the nominee anyway), thus handing PDJT another term.

    As an aside, I will say that I don’t perceive Oprah as being down-to-the-marrow anti-American the way the Obamas are; moreover, the fact of her having endured tribulations on the way to eventual and stupendous success is something that stands in stark contrast against the Affirmative Action-styled silver platters that delivered advancement to a nonetheless ungrateful and unproductive pair of faculty-lounge totalitarian dilettantes.

    So even if Oprah vaults into the Oval Office, I wouldn’t be alarmed — mightily displeased, but not alarmed.

    • #2
    • March 12, 2018 at 7:50 am
    • 5 likes
  3. Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: First, Oprah has a huge fan base. They adore her.

    True, but they adore her for what she is and does now. Once she runs, she’ll lose a chunk of that base the second the “D” is put beside her name. As her positions on issues become known, she’ll lose even more base. The only question is, how much?

    I’m not a member of Oprah’s fan base and only know about her tangentially. I thought that she lost some of her fans in 2008, when she came out strong for Obama. People had seen her as apolitical. She peddled Leftist pabulum, but nothing overtly partisan. Then Obama appeared on the scene and maybe because he was black, or a local Chicagoan, or both, she decided to campaign for him. I remember reading that her ratings took a hit. Unknown if it was directly tied to supporting Obama, but I’m sure a number of fans left her.

    The memes for a 2020 campaign between Oprah and Trump are starting to show up. One I’ve seen is “Oprah is a famous TV star because she gave her audience stuff. Trump is a famous TV star because he had people compete for a job. Sums up the difference between Democrats and Republicans quite well.”

    • #3
    • March 12, 2018 at 8:02 am
    • 8 likes
  4. Thatcher

    Meh. Living my life day-to-day is my focus now; if a talk-show/self-help diva decides to run, I don’t have to care…She should choose Dr. Phil as a running-mate, though. (Do the people who follow her actually vote, anyway?)

    • #4
    • March 12, 2018 at 8:07 am
    • 8 likes
  5. Member

    We should be concerned. She speaks for, indeed was an important contributor to the flabby nihilism that dominates modern culture. She’ll get all democrat votes, all blacks and a big chunk of women votes. She believes her shallow pitch and won’t learn or change.

    • #5
    • March 12, 2018 at 8:18 am
    • 8 likes
  6. Member

    Oprah isn’t a pawn of the Left. She is the Left.

    • #6
    • March 12, 2018 at 8:21 am
    • 6 likes
  7. Member

    I do believe that Oprah is the perfect progressive candidate. Not necessarily a winning candidate, but an exemplar of progressive ideology. As the OP suggests, Oprah’s success is due to factors that she dismisses as central to a person’s meaning and purpose. Progressive ideology negates the real to sell an unreal vision of the possible.

    Should we be worried? Yes, were she to succeed in winning office. Oprah would be well advised if she is to run for office that it be the Presidency, because whatever office she held would be the last public office she would hold. Reality intrudes in ways that can be very destructive to the more naive practitioners of progressive ideation. Her experience with the beef industry is just a small foretaste of what would happen if she were managing national policy.

    Fortunately I don’t think that Oprah will win even if she does run. I am forgetting who compared and contrasted the 2008 and 2016 elections and highlighted the national moods for each allowed for dramatic change. In 2008 the weariness of international conflict and the financial shock at home moved the needle left more sharply than in recent times. In 2016 the mounting failures of a weak America internationally and the failure of leftist central control of the economy created an opportunity for a candidate who promised strength and decentralized economic approaches. My guess is that continued economic progress and no dramatic international misadventure will make 2020 not an ideal opportunity for the kind of change that Oprah would represent.

    The mere fact that a high profile entertainer with business acumen has succeeded in being elected does not mean that all future successful candidates will be drawn from the entertainment world. Oprah’s biggest obstacle, ironically, is that Hillary ran for President. Hillary’s calumny and paranoid control of the levers of the DNC is causing a reduction in the “superdelegate” approach. This makes for a more open and competitive selection process. In turn, this may create a similar field for the Democrats in 2020 that the Republicans had in 2016. Oprah needs a Hillary-style control of the nominating process to gain the nomination with a pristine image in place. The bruising that Oprah would suffer in gaining the nomination coupled with the campaigning skills of an incumbent president make an Oprah win very unlikely.

    • #7
    • March 12, 2018 at 8:25 am
    • 3 likes
  8. Member

    Susan Quinn: But he hasn’t helped them realize their dreams, the way Oprah would if she were in power.

    And this is our modern problem: the President is not about helping us achieve our dreams, but providing for national defense, etc so that we are FREE to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.

    • #8
    • March 12, 2018 at 8:31 am
    • 5 likes
  9. Coolidge

    She’s the one who keeps saying to “speak YOUR truth” (emphasis added). Nuff said.

    • #9
    • March 12, 2018 at 8:48 am
    • 6 likes
  10. Member

    @susanquinn, rest your heart — Oprah will not be the Dem candidate in 2020. Hillary will be. Oprah will suffer some unfortunate event should she try to wrest the nomination from the Hilldebeest.

    • #10
    • March 12, 2018 at 9:28 am
    • 2 likes
  11. Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Stad (View Comment):
    True, but they adore her for what she is and does now. Once she runs, she’ll lose a chunk of that base the second the “D” is put beside her name. As her positions on issues become known, she’ll lose even more base. The only question is, how much?

    I don’t think people will care what is next to her name–a D, an R or whatever. And I think her positions will sound like Obamas. Plenty of people liked what he said.

    Stad (View Comment):
    Concerned? Yes. Worried? No. I’m not sure she would even survive the Democrat primaries, especially if Crazy Bernie and Fauxcahontis team up.

    Warren just said she’s not running. What’s the difference between concerned or worried?

    • #11
    • March 12, 2018 at 9:37 am
    • Like
  12. Member

    Danny Alexander (View Comment):
    Second, would she go radical in order to secure the Democrat nomination?

    That, to me, is the question. I see the Democrats as crazy and unlikely to recover any time soon.

    • #12
    • March 12, 2018 at 9:40 am
    • 2 likes
  13. Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Danny Alexander (View Comment):
    Oprah has a *male* fan base too, you say? Other than what I would guess to be a majority of the African-American male demographic and betas in the NY-DC-LA media industries?

    I think you’d be surprised, @dannyalexander. But I really don’t know.

    Danny Alexander (View Comment):
    Second, would she go radical in order to secure the Democrat nomination? Because my take at least is that if the fires of internecine ideological rancor continue to burn within the party through to 2020, there will be a bloc that takes umbrage at Oprah’s billionaire lifestyle trappings, notwithstanding her race and her sex and her early-life tribulations. If such a bloc does indeed emerge, either it might force Oprah to tack left in order to secure the nomination — after which point she will have turned off many heretofore neutral voters going into the general — or the bloc might get enough of its adherents to sit out the general (in the event that Oprah is the nominee anyway), thus handing PDJT another term.

    Oprah doesn’t have to go hugely left to get the nomination. Obama didn’t. And maybe some will be annoyed at her wealth, but she’s also been enormously generous. Remember, the media will frame how others perceive her, and they will be gung-ho. I think you’re thinking too logically and too Right, Danny. I’m trying to see into the mind of the Left and middle America–and there are a lot of them who love her.

    • #13
    • March 12, 2018 at 9:41 am
    • 2 likes
  14. Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Danny Alexander (View Comment):
    As an aside, I will say that I don’t perceive Oprah as being down-to-the-marrow anti-American the way the Obamas are; moreover, the fact of her having endured tribulations on the way to eventual and stupendous success is something that stands in stark contrast against the Affirmative Action-styled silver platters that delivered advancement to a nonetheless ungrateful and unproductive pair of faculty-lounge totalitarian dilettantes.

    We didn’t know all that about Obama until after he was elected. I agree that she’s actually pro-American and not an ideologue. And no one will care that she didn’t use Affirmative Action as others did; her independent and fighting nature will only support her running successfully.

    • #14
    • March 12, 2018 at 9:43 am
    • 1 like
  15. Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):
    I’m not a member of Oprah’s fan base and only know about her tangentially. I thought that she lost some of her fans in 2008, when she came out strong for Obama. People had seen her as apolitical.

    Now this has some credence.

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):
    The memes for a 2020 campaign between Oprah and Trump are starting to show up. One I’ve seen is “Oprah is a famous TV star because she gave her audience stuff. Trump is a famous TV star because he had people compete for a job. Sums up the difference between Democrats and Republicans quite well.”

    This sounds like a meme from the Right, not the Left. And if she decides to run, all bets are off!

    • #15
    • March 12, 2018 at 9:45 am
    • 1 like
  16. Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):
    (Do the people who follow her actually vote, anyway?)

    They probably haven’t, but I bet they will if she runs!

    • #16
    • March 12, 2018 at 9:46 am
    • Like
  17. Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Rodin (View Comment):
    I do believe that Oprah is the perfect progressive candidate. Not necessarily a winning candidate, but an exemplar of progressive ideology. As the OP suggests, Oprah’s success is due to factors that she dismisses as central to a person’s meaning and purpose. Progressive ideology negates the real to sell an unreal vision of the possible.

    Should we be worried? Yes, were she to succeed in winning office. Oprah would be well advised if she is to run for office that it be the Presidency, because whatever office she held would be the last public office she would hold. Reality intrudes in ways that can be very destructive to the more naive practitioners of progressive ideation. Her experience with the beef industry is just a small foretaste of what would happen if she were managing national policy.

    Fortunately I don’t think that Oprah will win even if she does run. I am forgetting who compared and contrasted the 2008 and 2016 elections and highlighted the national moods for each allowed for dramatic change. In 2008 the weariness of international conflict and the financial shock at home moved the needle left more sharply than in recent times. In 2016 the mounting failures of a weak America internationally and the failure of leftist central control of the economy created an opportunity for a candidate who promised strength and decentralized economic approaches. My guess is that continued economic progress and no dramatic international misadventure will make 2020 not an ideal opportunity for the kind of change that Oprah would represent.

    The mere fact that a high profile entertainer with business acumen has succeeded in being elected does not mean that all future successful candidates will be drawn from the entertainment world. Oprah’s biggest obstacle, ironically, is that Hillary ran for President. Hillary’s calumny and paranoid control of the levers of the DNC is causing a reduction in the “superdelegate” approach. This makes for a more open and competitive selection process. In turn, this may create a similar field for the Democrats in 2020 that the Republicans had in 2016. Oprah needs a Hillary-style control of the nominating process to gain the nomination with a pristine image in place. The bruising that Oprah would suffer in gaining the nomination coupled with the campaigning skills of an incumbent president make an Oprah win very unlikely.

    You make some good arguments, @rodin. At this point, some of the criteria you mentioned for success will be determined by the future. Thanks for commenting!

    • #17
    • March 12, 2018 at 9:50 am
    • 1 like
  18. Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: But he hasn’t helped them realize their dreams, the way Oprah would if she were in power.

    And this is our modern problem: the President is not about helping us achieve our dreams, but providing for national defense, etc so that we are FREE to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.

    We agree on that, @julespa. Whether the rest of the country does is a big question, at least to me.

    • #18
    • March 12, 2018 at 9:51 am
    • Like
  19. Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Rodin (View Comment):
    @susanquinn, rest your heart — Oprah will not be the Dem candidate in 2020. Hillary will be. Oprah will suffer some unfortunate event should she try to wrest the nomination from the Hilldebeest.

    Wash your mouth out with soap, @rodin. Or something like that! Good grief! ;-)

    • #19
    • March 12, 2018 at 9:53 am
    • 1 like
  20. Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: First, Oprah has a huge fan base. They adore her.

    True, but they adore her for what she is and does now. Once she runs, she’ll lose a chunk of that base the second the “D” is put beside her name. As her positions on issues become known, she’ll lose even more base. The only question is, how much?

    I don’t believe that putting a “D” beside her name costs her anything. We have a culture which adores and admires celebrities. Her positions on issues aren’t going to matter.

    Yes, we should be worried. I think she would win, and then, as Susan suggests, she just becomes a figurehead with the Left actually running the government.

    • #20
    • March 12, 2018 at 9:59 am
    • 6 likes
  21. Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Painter Jean (View Comment):
    Yes, we should be worried. I think she would win, and then, as Susan suggests, she just becomes a figurehead with the Left actually running the government.

    I sure wish I were wrong, @painterjean, or that it wasn’t possible. So far, many of the commenters aren’t completely getting what I’m saying: she doesn’t have to go far left; she doesn’t have to speak Leftist language; she doesn’t have to be a Democrat. She just needs to be Oprah. And there are still lots of people who hate Trump and would pick anyone else, regardless of his accomplishments.

    • #21
    • March 12, 2018 at 10:03 am
    • 4 likes
  22. Member

    Susan Quinn: I think we should be worried.

    But will she really be any worse than Trump at being president? Maybe after a few celebrity presidents we can strip the office of the excessive power it has accumulated and redistribute it to the legislature.

    Maybe having the president actually be a loved and unifying figure might be good for us, instead of the president being an object of deep partisan divide. Plus Republicans only seem to be fiscally responsible when a Democrat is in charge so putting Oprah in might mean a slow down in the budget busting spending. Also since Oprah is a businesswoman I think she will have a far more practical understanding of the effects of taxes on a business and investment incentives then any other Democrat. You really have to take her seriously but not literally.

    • #22
    • March 12, 2018 at 10:13 am
    • 3 likes
  23. Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I’m saying: she doesn’t have to go far left; she doesn’t have to speak Leftist language; she doesn’t have to be a Democrat. She just needs to be Oprah

    She doesn’t have to go far Left. She already is far Left. And she doesn’t have to speak Leftist language…she does it naturally.

    • #23
    • March 12, 2018 at 10:20 am
    • 2 likes
  24. Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Plus Republicans only seem to be fiscally responsible when a Democrat is in charge so putting Oprah in might mean a slow down in the budget busting spending.

    I can agree with almost everything except for this one, @valiuth. Budget busting is what everyone does, especially Democrats!

    • #24
    • March 12, 2018 at 10:22 am
    • Like
  25. Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Ekosj (View Comment):
    She doesn’t have to go far Left. She already is far Left. And she doesn’t have to speak Leftist language…she does it naturally.

    I don’t listen to her much, so I can’t be sure. But I would be surprised to hear her saying things like redistributing the wealth, or other purely socialist rhetoric. Then again, she does probably refer to equality and fairness . . . well, maybe you have a point, @ekosj.

    • #25
    • March 12, 2018 at 10:24 am
    • Like
  26. Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Maybe having the president actually be a loved and unifying figure might be good for us, instead of the president being an object of deep partisan divide. Plus Republicans only seem to be fiscally responsible when a Democrat is in charge so putting Oprah in might mean a slow down in the budget busting spending. Also since Oprah is a businesswoman I think she will have a far more practical understanding of the effects of taxes on a business and investment incentives then any other Democrat. You really have to take her seriously but not literally.

    Emphasis added. ISWYDT.

    OK, 1 vote for Oprah down, 15,999,999 (or whatever is required to win the Electoral College) to go.

    • #26
    • March 12, 2018 at 10:25 am
    • 1 like
  27. Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Rodin (View Comment):
    ISWYDT.

    What is that?

    • #27
    • March 12, 2018 at 10:27 am
    • Like
  28. Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    ISWYDT.

    What is that?

    “I See What You Did There”

    • #28
    • March 12, 2018 at 10:28 am
    • 1 like
  29. Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    @rodin and @valiuth, you guys are so clever I can hardly keep up!

    • #29
    • March 12, 2018 at 10:30 am
    • 1 like
  30. Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Plus Republicans only seem to be fiscally responsible when a Democrat is in charge so putting Oprah in might mean a slow down in the budget busting spending.

    I can agree with almost everything except for this one, @valiuth. Budget busting is what everyone does, especially Democrats!

    Last time we got sequester, which is the closest we ever came to cuts in a long time. But, yah okay…

    • #30
    • March 12, 2018 at 10:31 am
    • Like
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3