Thoughts on a President Oprah
I don't really watch daytime TV - or much TV at all for that matter - so the number of things I know about Oprah are about the same as the number of things I knew about Trump when he first started running for President (for real) in 2015, which is to say I can probably count them on both hands. That's not a big deal, since I can learn about her like I did about him and still come out feeling vindicated for siding early on the long-shot. There's plenty of time before 2020 for more serious analysis, but this is mostly going to be my intuitive first impressions. Hopefully this ages as well as she does.
To start off, I have an overall positive opinion of her.
I get that doesn't mean much, since it's an under-informed opinion, but it reveals an important quality about her that is confirmed by social proof: people like her and have generally good feelings about her as a person even if, like me, they know next to nothing about her.
She's a populist, much like Trump, and that's good for stimulating confidence.
People like a winner, which is why they voted for the Persuader-in-Chief and would likely vote for Oprah if she ran. To those who are fervently anti-Trump and would continue to carry their low-confidence through to 2020, she'd be a breath of fresh air, a light in the darkness. To those who already have high confidence in the country and the direction it's going thanks to Trump, she would most likely maintain it through her force of personality, her optimism, her charisma, and an appeal to ... wait for it, thinking ourselves into a better place, much like what Trump does with his power of positive thinking:
My guess is, knowing nothing else about her, and merely applying the Persuasion Filter, that she would tap into the emotional state of the country, much like Trump did, and lead people back towards the political center, but without the same stigma and scandal that surrounded him.
Of course, I've no idea what her actual policy views are with regards to any important issue, which would obviously be a critical consideration come election time. I'd need to know I wasn't seating the black female equivalent of Stalin, for instance, before I settled on a final decision.
At least on her show, it wasn't being paid for with your taxes.
At least not directly, anyway.
Dave Rubin has forewarned of the dangers of division that could arise in a match-up of Trump versus Oprah in 2020, wherein populism paired with centralized power leaves the Constitution in a dark place.
His message is a well-reasoned shot of sobriety; but the Persuasion Filter says that being a populist also has its advantages. It means you can raise awareness and move people's focus to where you want, which is an important, if not essential, quality of a leader. To capture the attention of the masses, matching their emotional frequency, and then leading them to a hopefully better place.
It's obvious Oprah's left of center, meaning I'll probably agree with her on social issues and disagree with her on economic ones. How far left is the one-hundred-fifty-trillion-dollar question. Too far and she won't be able to reach across the aisle to work with Republicans and she'll just wind up further polarizing people beyond where they are now, which could lead to greater expansionism and schism as Rubin suggests, as well as potential bankruptcy of the nation's virtue and treasure.
A more economically moderate Oprah, however, might see a less inefficient welfare bureaucracy compared to what we have now, which would be a step in the right direction at least.
My inner libertarian likes this Oprah a lot better.
The Trump Hysteria Bubble is only beginning to deflate, and the better Donald Trump does, the better America does, and the more the country will begin to snap back to its senses.
Who succeeds him will be equally important, as Presidents usually follow a pendulum swing with the change candidate being favored to win, capitalizing on all the failings of their predecessor. Trump's biggest failures at the moment are in race relations, healthcare, and the war on drugs, which are not unrelated concepts.
I've long said Rand Paul would be a good follow, building on the momentum of deregulation to help push for a cutting back of the welfare state, reducing military intervention, and ending the war on drugs. All things we've been primed for under Trump, which he could then finish. He and Trump seem to be getting along well, which would aid his chances more than any other Republican, and he can even legitimately claim credit for helping, as he did with the healthcare E.O.
That said, one thing Rand suffers from is he is not a Master Persuader, although he's been getting better recently and knows how to play the Game of Thrones, unlike his father.
Oprah, on the other hand, already has that quality in spades, which may be why the left chose her as the perfect counter against Trump. I mean, who else are they gonna run? Creepy Biden? Crooked Hillary? Pocahontas? Sell-out Sanders? Mark Cuban doesn't have the intersectionality, and even The Rock only has a quarter of what she has, which identity politics is pretty much all the far left has going for it these days so they may as well run with it.
Like Trump, she'd be an outsider. She's been in the public eye, and though she herself is not a career politician, she is a successful businesswoman who's engaged with many top players across the political spectrum.
It should be a comfort to conservatives, at least, that Donald Trump once considered her as his first choice for VP, so it's reasonable to assume they think alike in many ways. Part of me wishes he'd gone through with that. It would have made things a lot easier for him and we wouldn't be seeing these charges of racism and sexism. I don't know why he didn't.
Either way, whether you like Trump or not, Oprah would definitely be in his class and of his caliber. The main difference being style (his tough and blunt, hers more gentle and tactful) and likely policy (his economically-minded, hers socially-driven).
I'd been toying with the idea of #RandOprah2020 - Make America Nice Again.
Scott Adams predicted that whomever followed Trump would have to be someone nice, and the two of them certainly are. Rand would bring the policies, Oprah the persuasion, and they'd be the first truly bipartisan ticket in American history, which is actually a throw-back to the way it used to be under the original Constitution, wherein the number-two candidate gets to be the VP.
Either way, we'd get legal weed, and it'd be great if we could all finally chill out
and come together to talk about our differences over a bowl.
Unfortunately, I doubt that pairing will ever happen, but I can dream, right? More likely, the two of them would be opponents in 2020 and it'd really come down to policies with hardly any mudslinging - which in itself would be a nice change of pace following the last election which was pretty much the exact opposite of that.
So long as Trump does well the next three years, he could win a second term if he wanted one, but my feeling is he won't run again, nor will he need to, and that's probably for the best. Better to go out on top having accomplished something extraordinary than to putter around for another four years risking actually developing mental illness and undoing everything. One solid term would allow his supporters to claim victory for the very stable genius and his detractors can finally let their heart rates come back down and stop crying, and crying wolf.
If Trump did run, he'd most likely destroy Oprah the same way he did Hillary, and using the same tactics. He'd be ruthless, turning on his old friend, and I don't know that America would necessarily like that even if they warmed up to him by then. It'd leave a bad taste in our mouths and send us back to the start of 2017 again.
The divide in that race would be the same as in 2016, mostly along partisan and identity politic lines. Trump's advantage is that most of the present mass hysteria would be gone and he'd have a list of truly monumental accomplishments under his belt to boast of by then. Oprah's advantage would be that Trump actually likes her and wouldn't hit as hard as he did against #CrookedHillary, nor would he have cause to either, since she never lied under oath about keeping national security information on a bathroom server as far as I can tell.
Though, who knows what skeletons could unearth in three years?
She'd also have more advantages than Hillary had. We know from Trump's precedent that political experience doesn't matter. She matches his business experience and is actually self-made to an even greater extent (no inheritance boost), as well as being a black woman (and not half, like Obama), who can empathize with the no-longer silent masses of abused women ala the #MeToo movement.
I don't enjoy sullying my hands with identity politics like this, I'm just telling you how it is.
Whilst I and many others wouldn't care about her race or gender, or his, many still do and would, and that will sway votes one way or the other whether any of us likes it or not. That's just the reality we find ourself in. Though, a part of me would like to see the glass ceiling shattered if only so we can say we did and move on from it, and I'd feel a lot better if someone like Oprah did it than the likes of Crooked Hillary.
She'd be more deserving of the honor, and more humble as well in not boasting of how much she deserves it, unlike Hillary.
And you can't tell me she doesn't look Presidential.
Again, though, I'm gonna apply the Persuasion Filter and predict that Trump doesn't run for a second term in 2020, especially if Oprah runs. I think their history of mutual respect would outweigh all other factors and they're both smart enough to realize they could accomplish more together than at odds.
So what I think will happen - what I predict will happen - is that there will be a lot of pressure put on her to run and she might just cave, as he did, depending on how the next three years go. If she runs, it'll be against someone like Rand or another Republican who isn't a RINO (maybe even Ivanka or Pence, though more likely someone we haven't seen in that sphere yet). If she runs, it'll be on a platform of filling in all the gaps that Trump leaves behind (if there are any by that point) - things like race relations, ending the war on drugs, rebuilding family values, probably (unfortunately) free healthcare and college, and possibly even Universal Basic Income.
And like Trump, she's already highly memeable.
I could see her doing stuff on climate change, and maybe criminal justice reform and technology. Whether it's good or not depends on what exactly she does.
I don't think she'd do well in terms of the economy, foreign relations, international trade, immigration, or counterterrorism; but that might not matter as Trump could potentially have all that covered by then. At least enough momentum in the right direction that she wouldn't have much to fix.
Just a lot to not break.
As I said, I predict that Trump won't run for a second term. Apart from his age, he'll likely be satisfied with the groundwork he's laid and the legacy he'll leave for whomever follows. Assuming he doesn't run, I think he'd actually wind up supporting Oprah and using his Master Persuader skills to install another like-minded - and more well-liked - Master Persuader on the throne.
I can just about envision him on the Presidential Balcony, the crowds really packed this time, with his supporters and hers all standing together side by side. He turns to her and says, "I think she'll do an amazing job!"
And he would actually mean it.
By then, a lot could change, but the polarization of this country remains one of its biggest problems and I don't see that being completely undone in his term. It might under a President Oprah, though.
I think if anyone can #HealTheDivide at that point, it'd be her.