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I Love Oprah, but We Need to Stop Encouraging Celebrities to Run for Office

In case you missed it, Oprah Winfrey gave a legendary speech at the Golden Globes early this January. She’s the first black woman to ever receive the Cecil B. DeMille award, which is awarded for "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment."

Winfrey’s speech was so powerful and moving that people started saying she should run for president in 2020. She tackled the topics of race, sexual assault, Time’s Up and briefly, her experience watching a black man receive the award when she was a little girl.

“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men, but their time is up,” she said.

The audience (and the rest of the world) loved every second of her speech — I had tears in my eyes while listening to it. (You can watch her full speech here)

“I want all the girls watching to know a new day is on the horizon,” Winfrey said. “And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure they are the leaders to take us to the time where nobody has to say ‘me too’ again.”

Of course, the Twitterverse came in clutch, and #Oprah2020 was trending. People even took it to the next step by saying her acceptance speech was the first of her presidential campaign.

Since the beginning of Donald Trump’s campaign, it’s been pretty clear that celebrities, businessmen, and reality show stars with no political experience don’t belong anywhere near the White House. Do we really want to choose them to run our country over those who spend their lives studying politics, working for communities, governments and for the people?

As much as I loved watching “The Oprah Winfrey Show” as a kid (and wishing I could be in the audience), I still don’t think she should run for president. I want someone to be president who worked really hard to get where they are but not in the entertainment industry. I want someone who knows how to be a good, genuine person without excluding people based on their religion, skin color, or sexual orientation. I want someone who understands the struggles that people in the lower and middle classes experience — and that's not a celebrity who lives on a television screen.

But in the March issue of InStyle, Winfrey admitted that she’s still not down for the whole president thing.

“I’ve always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not. And so it’s not something that interests me. I don’t have the DNA for it,” she told InStyle.

So I guess #Oprah2020 is a no-go, but she isn’t the only celebrity who has been rumored to run in the next presidential election.

Hopefully we can stop encouraging celebrities to run for president. 2020 is closer than it seems, and we don’t need to repeat history.


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Amina is currently a senior at Montclair State University studying communication and journalism. She has a passion for writing, digital media and creating content. When she's not writing, you can probably find her catching up on current events, trying new fitness classes or searching for the next best restaurant. You can view more of her work at aminalake.com.
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