Oprah Winfrey has just announced she doesn’t have the DNA to run for President. She is an intelligent woman and this is no doubt the wise decision of a person with depth. It doesn’t matter what other major Hollywood celebrities were saying, and the fact that she did capture the public imagination when giving a wonderful speech at the Golden Globes 2018. In the end it was her decision not to run and rightly so.
The day after her speech, famous faces from Show business were already calling for Oprah to run. It seems as if celebrities who are willing to run for President or keen for their peers to do so, are inspired by Susan Jeffers’s “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”. They certainly are not inspired by Aristotle, one of the most influential thinkers in political theory. I guess their way of seeing things is simplified by the fact that Oprah would be running against Trump and not Churchill, and therefore knowledge of foreign or domestic policy would not be that important.
Being a good orator, delivering a good speech with “presidential” lines and even a performance worthy of a president, doesn’t make you an expert in politics, international relations or security. No-one doubts that Oprah could do better than Trump but that’s not the point. Politics is an art form just as filmmaking is. To succeed in both areas takes years of training and expertise. Could Theresa May direct a film like “Pirates of the Caribbean” just because she is well known ?The answer is a clear no.
There has always been a strong relationship between the arts and politics. Great talent is known for possessing a “free spirit”- which many politicians lack. Russia’s first great writer, Pushkin, was an inconvenience to the Russian officialdom and the Tsar in particular. He wrote what many considered to be arrogant and rebellious verse, where he made fun of powerful tyrants. These independent thinkers have historically been a force for social change. This is not the case of Hollywood. Hollywood celebrities are not revolutionary thinkers, or even against the system. A system that as we saw with the Weinstein scandal, is corrupted to its core.
Oprah has proven she has the moral duty to tackle political issues and make advances towards important changes, such as eradicating sexual harassment from her industry once and for all. The fact that she has decided not to run, is probably giving her an extra wow factor . This woman knows her limits, and she has utter respect for a job that requires way more than being the the star of “The Apprentice”/ Property Developer like the current President.