Opinion: An inspiring speech from Oprah provokes a media storm

I try not to underestimate the weight words can carry.

A speech like Oprah’s in acceptance of her Cecil B. DeMille award at the Golden Globes was nothing short of influential, boldly shining a light on the sexual harassment charges spreading throughout Hollywood. The “Time’s Up” movement was the center of attention that night as all the guests doned black uniforms in solidarity.

But in the days following that speech, the Internet was busy creating a movement encouraging her to make a bid for the presidency.

Although she recently discredited such gossip by announcing she will not be entering the race in 2020, the time in between the speech and official denouncement was filled with speculation in mainstream and social media.

Sites such as Twitter are no doubt one of the largest platforms for freedom of speech nowadays; but it also allows premature trends such as this one to spread across the nation or even world within hours.

The goal of Oprah’s speech that night was not to advertise herself as a political candidate, but to inspire the crowd and prompt support of an important social issue; what she has been doing almost her entire career.

Perhaps the mood of the evening with the all-black attire and the powerful, politic-esque style of her speech contributed to the public’s sudden “light bulb” moment.

However, should one inspiring speech be the determining factor in a decision to run for president? The initial flurry of tweets generated enough excitement to make headlines although it was purely based on speculation.

For example, CNN constructed a poll predicting Oprah’s chances up against likely 2020 candidates. Along with that, opinion columnists everywhere sprang out of their seats to warn us of all the reasons why our nation should carefully consider another celebrity president.

The nature of her career may seem like it has been leading to this moment, thus portraying her as the dream candidate.

Still, the public may be subject to tunnel vision, only able to see our current state of affairs and long for change.

Nevertheless, she is an established, respected figure across the world. I trust she has the worldly knowledge and necessary skills, but the hump I struggle to get over is the factor of experience.

I’m all for the underdog who proves the critics wrong and works their way up, just maybe not in the White House. Not to mention, Oprah has already accomplished that part of her life.

She overcame her childhood adversities and by definition, achieved the “American Dream.”

The media attention surrounding the theory of her candidacy was mostly speculation, but it’s curious how some tried to force the two puzzle pieces to fit when there was little evidence of her desire.

No matter what, Oprah’s influence will always reign supreme. Her choices don’t revolve around public satisfaction and it isn’t the job of media outlets to promote that.

She knows when to say NOPErah.


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