One of the biggest stories of the past week has been the possibility that Oprah Winfrey might run for president in 2020 following her highly praised speech at the Golden Globes. Her talk had Democrats abuzz with the potential of a President Oprah and the prospect received saturation coverage in the press. The meme has generated some push-back from progressives such as Briahna Joy Gray, who laid out her concerns in a brilliant article and during a fantastic segment with Aaron Maté at the Real News.
Without treading on the same ground as Gray or colleagues here at Washington Babylon, I wanted to point out one interesting and pertinent matter that’s worth considering.
Behold the latest issue of Forbes, dated December 26, 2017 and featuring this cover:
Nestled like a centerfold spread in this issue is ‘The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.’
And there at the very front of the magazine’s Table of Contents, sporting glasses frames virtually identical to the ones she was wearing at the Globes, was Oprah herself. The talk show host is ranked at #21 and has some quite interesting company. Just look at the top six. (Notably, Hillary Clinton is at #65):
Angela Merkel is a truly sadistic woman. Her austerity policies in Germany and the wider Eurozone have been responsible for the rebirth of mainstream fascism on the continent. Same goes for Theresa May. Melinda Gates and Cheryl Sandberg are both major cogs in the machine that works to privatize public education. Furthermore, the recent revelations that Facebook (Sandberg’s company) and Google (Wojcicki is at its YouTube subsidiary and was the 16th hire for the CIA-funded search engine in 1999) have been actively censoring and suppressing so-called ‘fake news’ (read: Left wing websites that opposed Clinton during the 2016 election) is of serious concern.
Oprah’s appearance on this list is itself worthy of mention. But then let’s connect a few more dots.
One of the big stepping stones of Oprah’s career was her role in the 1985 Steven Spielberg film The Color Purple.
For the past several decades Spielberg has been a major Democratic Party donor and serves in a sense as its Sergei Eisenstein, producing videos for various nationally broadcast events. This is worthwhile to point out because of his lack of criticism for the Clintons. In fact, a November 2015 story in the Washington Post pointed out that the director and his wife Kate Capshaw have sunk $2.5 million into various Clinton efforts over the years, not to mention hosting fundraisers and other events to support them.
Here’s Oprah and Spielberg showing off what great pals they are in 2012:
In his classic (and perpetually misunderstood) book What Is To Be Done?, Lenin wrote about the “‘spontaneous element’ among workers when they stage revolts and uprisings, who essentially represent “nothing more nor less than consciousness in an embryonic form. Even the primitive revolts expressed the awakening of consciousness to a certain extent.”
OK, what’s the Oprah-Lenin connection?
Oprah Winfrey has portrayed working class women in multiple films, starting with The Color Purple and including an adaptation of Toni Morrison’s Beloved, where a woman formerly held as a slave in the South is visited by the ghost of her dead daughter. Her image over the past 30+ years includes the notion that she is a working class woman of color who empathizes with the poor.
This carefully developed image is one that could easily and perfectly parlayed into a political career. She already is known for things like her book club (a literacy campaign) and her weight loss efforts (a public health campaign to curb obesity).
Such a romantic candidate coming with such packaging almost begs a certain adjective:
And as luck would have it, Variety ran a story on January 11 headlined ‘Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep Voice Support for Oprah Presidency.’ If Oprah does indeed run for the presidency, Hollywood will embrace her, Spielberg will be her campaign film director and politics and entertainment will be finally and fully merged.