Wednesday, February 6, 2019

If Oprah Ran for President, Would She Change?

During the State of the Union address last night, we witnessed the real time behavior of some of the Democrat candidates for the 2020 election.  It was hard for them to hide their feelings; they wore their hearts on their white sleeves.  And then there was the Dems' response (more of a campaign speech for herself) by Stacey Abrams who, though backed heavily by Oprah Winfrey, lost the Georgia gubernatorial election.  But what if Oprah, herself, ran for President? Would she compete with Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in a race to the left?  Would she embrace Medicare for all? Open borders?  Identity politics?

There are many analysts who believe that Oprah would be a more than viable contender.  But would becoming a politician go against her nature?  Many of Oprah’s guiding principles in life seem eerily similar to those outlined by Maimonides over 800 years ago, described in my book, The Secret Life.  These include teaching a man to fish rather than giving him fish, giving charity anonymously, powering people to self-sufficiency, creating a cycle of positivity, bringing out the very best in people, always giving them the benefit of the doubt, and being open to good ideas and truth, regardless of the source.  (And, conversely, not getting involved in the “blame game,” and always judging people based on substance and character, as Dr. MLK envisioned, rather than identity politics.)

Oprah has always lived by the motto, “Excellence is colorblind,” and has tried to bring out the best in people. Charity, including anonymous charity, have been paramount in her life, especially in the field of empowering people through education. Her attitude is always positive and encouraging.  Are these devotions of Oprah’s in tune with the current direction of the left in our country?  Would campaigning and/or winning change her and her legacy?

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