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What #Oprah2020 Says About the State of U.S. Politics


#21

US democracy is in tatters. Even if a Bernie Sanders could win the presidency, would he be able to accomplish much given a political establishment owned and operated by the wealthy?

The issue is that there is no longer a counterbalance to the domination of our political system by the plutocrats. Unions and the labor movement served this role from the 1930s to the 1970s. But today there are no comparable mass organizations, and we need them and a mobilized populace to go with them.

Both the presidency of Trump and #Oprah2020 are symptomatic of a culture dominated by celebrities and empty entertainment. To have a healthy democracy, people need to discuss politics and pay attention to what’s going on. Having someone as jarringly bad a President as Trump is could be a blessing if it wakes enough people up.


#22

I understand that Kurt Andersen’s recent book, Fantasyland sheds considerable light on the subject.


#23

Perhaps it would be a good idea to explore the concept of zeitgeist and its significance in the relation to the American electorate.


#24

One of the results of long years of purging progressives from high office is that the Democrats have no professionals within the party popular enough to run.

Running Winfrey takes a page from the same Republican playbook that produced Donald Trump, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Ronald Reagan, but that’s natural enough: if the party wishes to ignore the desires of its base, it has to make a show and hire a showperson.

I doubt Oprah’s draw would mostly just be that she’s not Donald, but of course it’s apt to be a personal rather than issues-based campaign. And the issues that will forefront would again be gender and race to the exclusion of matters economic class, corporate control, first and fourth amendment rights, and so forth.

Were Winfrey elected, other people would mostly run the country. This would presumably be more or less the team that was working with Obama, the Clintons, the Bushes, Ronald Reagan, et al. It’s not terribly relevant in terms of any sort of progressive agenda.


#25

Do we believe Oprah would rein in Wall Street and enact a Medicare For All single payer health care system?

Not hardly.


#26

Thank you for saying what needed to be said. Oprah is so well known and loved by multi millions of people. In the pols they were just thinking in the moment and so depressed by Trump, I would hope would come to senses before any election.

We the people desire more than a minimum wage as the minimum wage in most of the country is not liveable wages certainly not in NYC, Boston, Chicago,the carolinas, california and Seattle and Portland. Seattle has $15 just around the airport??? which is not a living wage in that area but maybe if there are two people working in the household. It does not allow a person to reach their dreams and hopes for their family life, children and retirement.


#27

We had that candidate in Obama, right? But hope and change and closing the revolving door and not taxing elders who had income of less than $50,000 did not come to fruition. Yes, republicans were 100% in opposition to the black President but he capitulated to them in first two years and his base were disappointed and dubed so voted republicans in w/voter suppression and gerrymandering.

Aren’t we special, exceptional.


#28

It’s 2018. There’s an election in November. I don’t care deeply about Oprah or any other potential candidate for president. What matters is the election in front of us.


#29

How about a law that says "Anyone who has made more than a million dollars in their lifetime is disqualified from being president."
Are you automatically qualified to be president because you were in the movies or had a reality TV show or just happened to be born into a rich family?


#30

Really?

The reason we are in the mess we are, the Democratic Party, is because of the Neoliberals we have supported in the past like Obama and Hillary.

I am done with fake ass Democrats (Kamala, Cory, Pelosi, Schumer, Hillary, Obama, Biden) that support perpetual war and perpetual war spending. Fake ass Democrats that offer to cut Social Security. Fake ass Democrats that send drones from afar which kill hundreds of innocent civilians. Fake ass Democrats that bail out the fraudster banks while they let hundreds of thousands of innocent victims lose their homes and jobs.

No. I am clear done with these no good bad actors pretending to be full of hope and change.

If they want my support they will end the practice of super delegates and they will push for Medicare For All.


#31

NO. This is utter madness. A few points, starting with Naomi Klein’s book, “No Is Not Enough” Everyone should read it. This pathological dependence on celebrity saviors: Bill Gates, Trump, Oprah, Bono…
Why would people even consider this in the first place? Reagan is a clue, but we did it here in California in 1966 and thank God he did not create the permanent damage here that he did later at the national level.
Oprah is kind of media bubble brain. I’m probably in the minority of gay men nationally who do not dig her. A cross spectrum of men (generally white, which I am coincidentally for what it’s worth-nothing actually) have big problems with Oprah Winfrey. As do a lot of women. Some men detest her for all the reasons that make them the idiots they are about a powerful woman. Republican and fairly sexist men aside, I’ve observed over years time that a lot of progressive men like myself don’t really buy her schtick. Because that’s all it is. Self serving. Pretentious. Projecting (“everybody really wants the lear jet I have they just won’t admit it”). Oprah’s done her share of good works, but I doubt anywhere near what she could. She’s well intentioned enough, but face it-a Gilded Age II monster along with Gates and the rest of them . As to running government-how much more fucking insulted must we be to get hip? Entertainers (and Trump was a horrid one at that) do not cut it. Period.


#32

The word you are looking for is _kakistocracy:

From Wikipedia:

A kakistocracy (English pronunciation: /kækɪsˈtɑkɹəsi/) is a system of government which is run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens.


#33

Thanks, I’m familiar with the term. I’m reminded of a quote from Edward Abbey, author of “Desert Solitaire” and “The Monkey Wrench Gang” among other works:

“Human society is like a stew—if you don’t keep it stirred up, you get a lot of scum on top.”


#34

I am inclined to agree, despite hoping that someone like an FDR would come along and do the right thing. The older I get the more I believe it will have to happen that a benevolent rich person becomes a leader and gets things changed that allow for a better class of people to assume leadership positions in our government. I didn’t vote for this one, and would like to vote for someone with principles that I share. I just wish more of them qualified for the ballot. That they don’t is a crime and a total: Shame on you, me, and every other “free” person living in this country! I voted for Jill Stein in the last 2 elections despite giving mightily to Bernie of my time and money, and wish more people could see their way to voting to save the stinking planet they are stuck to for survival!
Cheers


#35

Thanks for your reply. Sounds like we are on the same page! I
have been a supporter of Dr. Stein, but in the last election, also financially supported Bernie.


#36

I love this Edward Abbey quote! How could I have missed it before? Might be my chemo brain messing with the memory.

This is exactly the root cause and problem that Paul Buchheit is saying in his Inequality, Revolution and Drones… article. https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/01/22/inequality-revolution-and-drones-kill
I believe the tax system is where the fix lies, and that is the tax system, just opposite the way it’s being done now. We humans need to be taxed into relative parity not absolute, which would be an effort in futility. With economic parity the problems of the well-to-do are the problems of the striving to improve-their-condition. With parity we would act as one body. Right now, the financial inequality is the stress-crack that started the rip in the fabric of this country, and following behind are all the other differences (race, lifestyle, gender, …whatever is convenient to the individual situation) to continue tearing us apart. The basic inequality arises from greed, and as my wife says: humans are not inherently altruistic.

Funny you don’t really hear about Norway’s poor.