Wednesday, January 10, 2018

You Know What We Don't Need?

Oprah Winfrey for president: a wild idea that just got dramatically more real

The entertainment entrepreneur’s electrifying speech at the Golden Globes produced an outpouring of reaction urging the celebrity to run in 2020

As far as I can tell, Oprah Winfrey is a very smart woman. And she has been very successful. And she has done many nice things. And I would think she's probably on the right side of a lot of issues. But no. No, we do not need another god damn celebrity president. And we don't need a celebrity candidate pulling the votes of the "Yass Queen" #Resistance away from actual qualified candidates.

Pictured: What qualified candidates look like.

If the lesson that Democrats learned from losing to Donald tRump was "voters want a teevee person to be President,' well that's actually not that surprising, given Dems' insistence on always learning the exact wrong lesson. But no. We do not need Oprah running for President. We do not need Mark Zuckerberg running for president. We don't need Mark Cuban or Kanye West or Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson or any other half-baked celebrity or zillionaire who thinks that President of the United States is an entry-level position.

Running a nation requires a very different skill set than starring in movies, or running a computer company or providing housewives with untold hours of garbage television. You want to run for president? Fine. Run for Congress. Spend a few years learning about how governance works. Get on some important committees. Prove your worth. Then you can be considered for the top job. You don't walk out of business school and apply for the job of CEO. You'd be laughed out of the office. And this is harder. President of the United States of America is a HARDER job than being CEO of a company. I shouldn't have to point this out.

Now, as I may have mentioned, I believe that Oprah Winfrey is a very smart person, so I assume she's smart enough to know that she's not qualified to be President. She's obviously smarter than Ross Perot, or Steve Forbes, or Herman Cain, or Carly Fiorina, or Ben Carson, or Cheeto Mussolini, or any of the other right-wing idiots that think being good at one thing equals being good at every other thing too.

So here's what we do need in a candidate for President in 2020:

1. Applicable job experience.
     Have a resume that includes words like "Senator," "Governor," "Congressional Representative," and/or "Secretary of. . ."

2. A commitment to equality.
     That is equality between men and women, between cis/het and LGBT, between white and black and brown. You name it. Name a group of people, and we want full equality for them.

3. A commitment to a minimum wage that is a living wage.
     I don't know if $15/hr is the right number, someone smarter than me can figure that out, but it needs to be a wage that allows workers to pay their rent and their car note and not be constantly on the brink of destitution.
And then it needs to be pegged to inflation so that we don't have to keep fighting this battle over and over again. Inflation was 3% last year? Minum wage goes up 3 % Jan 1st. Easy-peasy.

4. Must support universal single-payer healthcare.
      Not "managed competition." Not "market-based whatever."
 Universal single-payer everyone-is-covered healthcare.

5. A willingness eagerness to raise taxes on the wealthy.
      Not even just the one percent. Everyone who is "affluent" or "financially comfortable" needs to chip in. But especially the very wealthy and corporations. The candidate should have no problem facing the camera and saying "hell yes, I'm going to raise taxes on rich people." Bonus points for becoming physically aroused when saying it.

6.  A commitment to preserving what's left of our environment and to fighting global warming.
     Solar, wind, geo-thermal, bio-fuels, etc etc etc. There are so many things we can do to get off of fossil fuels, it just takes the political will to fucking do it. To look the oil and coal companies in the eye and say "sorry, we're moving forward without you. Tough luck."

7. An embrace of regulations.
     Let the right-wing baboons hoot all they want about "job-killing regulations." That pesky government red tape is what keeps our water drinkable, our air breathable, our food edible. Do you think people really want to go back to this?

Or this?

8. Support for marijuana legalization.
     Not because marijuana is so great and everyone should try it (although it is and you totally should), but because smoking marijuana is something that virtually everyone does at some point in their life and people shouldn't have their lives ruined because they did something that didn't hurt anyone and made them feel a little better.

9. Plans for a federal program to address police brutality.
     Something along the lines of: every time a cop kills someone, it automatically triggers an investigation by the justice department. If there is evidence that the killing was not justified, a special prosecutor is brought in to try the case. NO bullshit grand juries. No local D.A.s that have to work with the police in the future. You bring in an experienced defense attorney, someone who has made a career of going up against the police, who isn't afraid to oppose the police department and won't have to work with them in the future. You convict a few of these trigger-happy sobs and see what happens.

So that's all I can think of off the top of my head, but I don't think it's too much to ask. Democrats/progressives/liberals are constantly being told that we have to choose between economic justice and "identity politics." That is, of course, bullshit. Republicans don't. They have no difficulty promising prosperity through tax cuts and budget-balancing while also promoting straight, wite, Christian identity politics. And it works for them. A lot.

This is the approach that, in my humble opinion, we need.

What we don't need is President Oprah.