In some ways, they’re perfectly good representatives of the yin and yang of our two political parties. Donald Trump: xenophobic, angry, crude, white male. Oprah Winfrey: kind, sympathetic, open, black female. They’re almost caricatures of the right and left. All they need to do is open their mouths in a public forum and stand there like the apotheosis of their representative parties, and people start clamoring to make them our real political leaders.
In the case of Trump, they succeeded, with disastrous results. In the case of Winfrey…most of what I’m seeing is rejection. We’re supposed to be the reality-based community, and Winfrey is missing that one critical aspect that would make her a true avatar of the political left: she stands for fantasy and quackery and feel-good pseudoscience.
…the big qualm I have about the prospect of a President Winfrey: Perhaps more than any other single American, she is responsible for giving national platforms and legitimacy to all sorts of magical thinking, from pseudoscientific to purely mystical, fantasies about extraterrestrials, paranormal experience, satanic cults, and more. The various fantasies she has promoted on all her media platforms—her daily TV show with its 12 million devoted viewers, her magazine, her website, her cable channel—aren’t as dangerous as Donald Trump’s mainstreaming of false conspiracy theories, but for three decades she has had a major role in encouraging Americans to abandon reason and science in favor of the wishful and imaginary.
Remember the Secret, the Law of Attraction? She was big on promoting that. How about the legacy of Dr Oz, Dr Phil, Deepak Chopra, and Jenny McCarthy? We now hear all the time about witch-hunts and moral panics, but it was Oprah Winfrey who enabled this nonsense.
As I say, she is an ecumenical promoter of fantasies. Remember the satanic panic, the mass hysteria during the 1980s and early ’90s about satanists abusing and murdering children that resulted in the wrongful convictions of dozens of people who collectively spent hundreds of years incarcerated? Multiple Oprah episodes featured the celebrity “victims” who got that fantasy going.
Pizzagate is the logical descendant of her shows that featured people claiming there Jewish satanic rituals in which babies were sacrificed — and she didn’t show a scrap of skepticism.
I am constantly being told that Winfrey is going to be groomed for the presidency, that Democrats are just as superficial as Republicans. I don’t believe that for a moment. But if the worst case scenario happened, and we had a 2020 presidential election to decide between Trump (isn’t he going to be impeached before then?) and Winfrey, it would be the end of the American experiment and the complete failure of democracy.