Politics

Oprah vs. Trump

 

oprah, before da announcement
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nayrb7/

 

Some conservative friends of mine find it amusing that liberals are now supposedly in love with the idea of electing Oprah Winfrey as president.  “Those silly liberals were once so principled in their opposition to electing a TV personality billionaire president, now they fawn over Oprah.  Haha!”

Aside from the fact that every liberal I know sees Winfrey as a poor candidate, I think the primary point to consider is that the Republican party nominating and ultimately electing Trump – a known conman and corrupt personality – to the presidency has lowered the bar so much that a dangerous peddler of pseudoscience and woo is talked about as a reasonable choice for the office of president.

Don’t get me wrong, Trump is so bad in my estimation, his corruption so deep, his complete lack in ethical norms so wide that, if the Democratic and Republican nominees end up being Winfrey and Trump, I’m voting Winfrey.  She wouldn’t be in my top 1000.  But Trump is such a raging imbecile, narcissist extraordinaire, TV-watching simpleton who thinks he’s insightful, that stopping his reelection would benefit humanity, even if doing so means having Oprah Winfrey as his replacement.

Trump is a fraud who inherited hundreds of millions of dollars from his daddy, continued making money under the name and in the business his daddy built. There’s nothing wrong with this per se, but what is wrong is the way Donald Trump and his sycophants act as if he’s some sort of self-made genius. His family sent him to all the right prep schools, etc. Making and losing huge sums of money in the life Trump was born into is anything but surprising, even knowing how he is the greatest living embodiment of Dunning-Kruger.

Nearly everything Mitt Romney said about Trump in early 2016 at the Hinckley Institute was completely true, and then some. There was never any illusion about the intellectual, ethical, and moral failings of Donald Trump. So-called conservatives still supporting him because of partisanship and tribalism need to wake up the dangers of having this sort of grifter in the White House.

So, yes. I also find it interesting and somewhat worrying Oprah Winfrey is currently being mentioned as the potential nominee for the Democratic party. Even though Winfrey is nowhere on my radar searching for good candidates, I’d vote for her every time in any contest that came down to her or Trump.

I say this knowing how much real-world damage talk shows like Oprah Winfrey’s inflicted upon society. The most obvious example is the Satanic Panic of the 1980s and 90s. While the public and authorities were whipped into a frenzy by fraudulent books and daytime talk shows, hundreds of people were arrested for imagined crimes such as “Satanic ritual abuse.”

Dozens of innocent people were incarcerated for hundreds of years collectively before finally being released. Most were daycare providers accused of Satanic ritual abuse. In nearly all cases, the only “evidence” provided was testimony extracted from children using the pseudoscience of recovered-memory therapy, where a gullible or disingenuous therapist would lead the children to the claims they wanted to be validated.

There was never a shred of physical evidence, which, if even a fraction of the abuse and murder claimed by the children turned out to be true, there certainly would have been. Luckily, we came to our senses, had a full review of the evidence, and eventually released most of those we, as a country, falsely imprisoned.

So, even though Oprah Winfrey represents, among many others, some of the worst tendencies we have, she’s still infinitely better than Trump.

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