I can only imagine how many pairs of eyes rolled upon reading the headline of this article. Everyone is really over the concept of electing television stars to public office, but hear me out here. Oprah Winfrey is not simply a “television star.” She is an iconic self-made multi-billionaire and philanthropist whose life epitomizes the American Dream. Not only that, but she is the reason I’m majoring in Communications (also, I don’t know exactly what I’m doing and I figured I might as well cast a large net).
Following her Golden Globes acceptance speech (I’ve been referring to it as her inauguration speech), many viewers began suggesting that the television legend run for President. Yeah, I'm aware that she claims that she recently said that running for President is "not something that interests" her. Regardless of that, I'm here to convince you to write-in Oprah Winfrey in 2020.
1. She Has Humble Beginnings
Oprah was born to the small farming community of Kosciusko, Mississippi on January 29, 1954. It’s hard to believe, but the mogul who is now worth $3 billion, often wore potato sacks for clothing as a child. Raised by her grandmother for the first six years of her life, Oprah’s childhood was tumultuous, filled with poverty and sexual abuse at the hands of older male relatives. Eventually, she was sent to live with her father in Nashville where she would eventually begin working in television broadcasting. This would lead her to hosting what we know to be The Oprah Winfrey Show.
2. She Advocates For Children
After her company, Harpo Productions bought rights to her show in 1988, Oprah became the first woman in television history to own and produce her own talk show. As her show grew, so did her influence. Following several broadcasts of her show which highlighted child sexual abuse, Winfrey initiated a campaign to create a national database of convicted child abusers available to law enforcement and social workers. President Clinton signed the “Oprah Bill” into law in 1993. If she advocated for children through her talk show, what would she do for them as President?
3. She Is Really, Really Rich
Beyond her political influence, Oprah’s current net worth rests around $2.8 billion, according to Forbes. She is the first African-American woman to become a billionaire. If she's that good with money, I'd say she could benefit the economy at least a little.
4. She Gives Back
Winfrey is known for using her enormous wealth for philanthropic purposes. The notable Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa has educated hundreds of underprivileged girls across the country’s nine provinces since its opening in 2007. Not only has she invested in the education of young women, but in 1989 Oprah developed the Oprah Scholars Program with Morehouse College which has funded the education of over 400 young black men since its establishment. These are only a few of her numerous charitable works. Imagine what she could do from the oval office.
5. She’s Mostly Scandal Free
Now, no one is perfect. If you’re of a certain age, you may remember the 1996 beef between Oprah and the beef industry in the height of the Mad Cow Scare. After an episode of her show featuring a former cattle rancher who exposed controversial practices in the beef farming industry, beef sales plummeted to a 10-year low. Because of this, a group of cattle ranchers sued Winfrey for over $10 million, claiming defamation of the beef industry. The courts sided with Winfrey in the end. Other than that, she’s had a few bad book club recommendations. As far as I know, she’s never leaked classified government information from her private server and there’s no videos of her bragging about sexually assaulting women.
6. She Epitomizes The American Dream
Oprah Gail Winfrey began her life with next to nothing yet managed to create a multi-faceted media empire and become one of the wealthiest and most influential humans of the last century. She works hard and unifies people. That being said, you should AT LEAST CONSIDER giving her your vote, should she run for President.
“The goal of my shows, my interviews, my business, my philanthropy, all of it, whatever ventures I might pursue, would be to make clear that what unites us is ultimately far more redeeming and compelling than anything that separates me.” -Oprah Winfrey
And Oprah if you end up reading this, just know that I will gladly drop out of school and work for OWN. XOXO.