I wrote the first three pieces of this series last week before Oprah’s kick-ass, inspirational, campaign-like speech at the Golden Globes on Sunday. I had no idea I’d be ahead of the curve. And to be honest, I really didn’t think she’d do it. I didn’t think she’d run. But today anything seems possible.
The reason I’m promoting an Oprah presidency is not because she’d be the best person for the job. Like most folks I think a president should have some governmental and political experience, ideally in both legislative and executive branches. But the mold is broken now. Given that, my initial motivation was just to get people to think outside the box.
I think what we need more than ever is a healing presence in the White House. Oprah Winfrey may not make the best president but she would make the best president NOW.
Before the current Republican President was elected, I was less concerned about the presidency but very concerned about Congress. Congress has been dysfunctional for decades and is now worse than useless, actually destructive. I don’t even want to call it partisan, because that implies two or more political parties that have legitimate though divergent points of view who maybe have trouble coming to compromise. That’s not what’s happening now. What we currently have are congressional leaders who will stop at nothing to obstruct and sabotage any piece of legislation that won’t advance the agenda of some shadowy puppet masters. We’re not even sure who these patrons are, except they’re very rich, the one per cent of the one per cent.
That’s why I’m proposing out next leaders do more than advance a progressive agenda. We need someone (many someones) who can model healthy debate. Hence my Pollyanna-ish suggestion that Oprah–or an Oprah-like president–appoint a truly bipartisan team who might form the future leadership of both parties. Naive, maybe. But you can’t say it’s not needed.
Is there anyone who has the fame and the moral authority to take on the job of Healer-in-Chief? Other than Oprah? Anybody? I thought of Fred Rogers, who of course has the advantage over Oprah in many circles, because he is white and a male. The fact he is dead may prove to be an unsurmountable obstacle. But in the present political climate, reality does seem rather fuzzy, so who knows?
I am at a point in my life where I much prefer writing fiction to non-fiction. And I prefer writing fantasy and magical realism to something realistic or historical. It’s just more fun. I’ve been a little bummed at the number of people who have just rejected the “OprahForPresident” idea with an off-hand comment, oh, that’s not gonna happen. Nope, no way. Well, jeez, maybe it’ll happen, maybe it won’t, but have some fun with the idea. Use your imagination. What do you want in a leader? What do you want to see happen in our country, in our communities? Not–what do you think is possible? But–what do you want? What can you imagine? It has to start there.