No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
Much has been made of Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech for the Cecil B. deMille Award at the 2018 Golden Globes. You can make much of it, too, if you’d like:
Shortly thereafter, social media was set ablaze. On one side, there were those who said Oprah was presidential, presidential material, ought to run for president, and the like. Upon the conclusion of her speech, I posted online “Ladies and gentlemen, the 46th President of the United States, Oprah Winfrey.”
I rarely have to explain what I mean on social media. 70 percent of what I post are fun, inside jokes to friends anyway. I also believe that people who are connected to me know me, or know my heart well enough to know the meanings of the things I post.
I am beginning to think that those who need a lesson, or otherwise want to engage, ought to show proof of purchase of at least two of my novels, as these days I am not much into education outside of my nine to five job.
Because it’s the internet, the think pieces began popping up almost instantly. Very few were about the merits of an Oprah Winfrey candidacy. Many were critical of people who dared to dream of such.
That’s sad to me.
To quote a dear friend, who was addressing those who would compare the celebrity of Oprah Winfrey to that of Donald Trump:
Yes, both Oprah and the abuser-in-chief have no prior political experience. However, Oprah is not only well-read and conscientious, she’s spent her life working to understand others perspectives and give voice to the lives of others, while Trump couldn’t care less about anyone other than himself.
Yes, both of them are incredibly wealthy. However Mama Winfrey did it the hard way. Working her way up from the bottom whereas Trump used White Privilege, vaguely legal tactics and a “small sum” of millions from his dad to pretend he did something special in his life.
Oprah has used her life to try and validate the experiences of others. Trump has used his life to take advantage of everyone so he can get what he needs.
Just as social media unleashes some sort of chemical reaction in our brains when our thoughts and images are validated by likes, loves, and laughs, I’d wager that there is an equal reaction in the human brain for…well…trolling.
We, the people, enjoy a good straw man fallacy, don’t we? Arguing against a point that was not being made. And what is such an argument-maker but a troll?
The friend quoted above was not arguing that Oprah deserves to be President. In fact, I don’t know that he has given an opinion on an Oprah presidency. Neither have I. He and I both argue, at the very least, that there is no comparison between Winfrey and Trump as candidates or as leaders, if for no other than Oprah’s altruism.
But I’d like to take it a step further and counter the sad, un-American sentiment that Oprah Winfrey is unqualified because she doesn’t have legislative experience, or government experience, or (perish the thought) political experience.
There are three qualifications to be President of the United States of America, and you’ve already read them. You need to be 35. You need to be a natural born citizen. And you need to have been a resident for 14 years. That’s it. Those who would add to those qualifications are addicted to a political machine that does not serve the people. Instead, it serves itself, political insiders, and the Washington elite.
I happen to believe in the Constitution of the United States and the enduring principles of this republic. The founders were not perfect (hi slavery), but the ideals are noble. Our supreme governing documents tell us in plain language that anybody can be president if the people so decide to put them there.
I could be the President of the United States. Me. I could. I am qualified based on our own governance.
I happen to think that’s dope.
And so do I think it’s dope to think that an erudite, philanthropic woman such as Oprah Winfrey could also be our president.
And while it absolutely sucks that Donald Trump is president, so did he have the audacity to run and to win, even if it was on the strength of this country’s baser, inbred, racist half.
I think it’s time to end the trolling of people who dare to believe in the Constitution, and start believing in the hope that this national was founded on. We can build on this legacy of restoration and transformation that began during the Obama campaign, which I happen to believe is the realization of our founding fathers’ dreams.
At the end of the day, maybe I don’t want political insiders and party elites at the helm. Maybe I just want someone who has the audacity to exist outside of the Washington power structure. Our baser half had that part right–now it’s our turn to determine who gets that chance.
May the best black woman win.
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