Don’t get me wrong; I love Oprah – even if she has a kooky relationship with Dr. Phil whom I find as irritating as sand in my swimsuit on a sticky day on a beach hopping with chiggers. Is it the lack of chin? His paternalistic Texas twang? Yeah, maybe. The way he sits with his hands dangling between his knees? Ugh. Sit up! Could also be that he exploits fragile humans and their sad, tragic conflicts for his own personal profit. I dunno. I’m an idiot when it comes to modern media.
Anyway, I saw Oprah’s speech and, yes, agreed, it was moving. I would love for Oprah to take that speech on the road, beyond Tinsletown and tinsle people in fancy ballgowns in isolated theaters. I want her to raise her fist in Midwestern high school gyms and truck stops. Better yet, I’d like her to throw her bazillions of dollars behind class action lawsuits fighting wage and gender discrimination. Oprah vs. Hobby Lobby. There ya go. We’d have a chance, then. Oprah in the Supreme Court flashing a knowing wink at the RBG? I’d kill for that.
What I do not want to see is Oprah running for President. Again, nothing against the goddess. She has contributed more than her fair share to the empowerment of women, especially women of color. But, personally, I am desperate for a dedicated public servant, someone who has sat through dull committee meetings, who understands that responding to a phone call or an email from an angry constituent isn’t a drag, but the heart of the job.
As an elected official myself for the past five years, I can attest to the humbling gap that differentiates a private citizen from a person who has been chosen by the people to serve the people. Okay, sure. I’m only a Town Clerk. What do I do? Oh, that’s right – marriage licenses. Remember twinkletoes in Kentucky who chose to skip over that part of the oath about upholding the constitution? She lost sight of her solemn obligation to serve the public and she made people miserable. Reminds me of someone else making the lives of others miserable because he, too, has forgotten – or more likely, never understood – the words of his oath.
The point is, no matter how bad my mood from itchy sand in my swimsuit, the moment a constituent steps into the town office, I am there to serve. Doesn’t matter if he’s abusive or drunk (have dealt with both), has a felony record as long as his arm (oh, yeah), when he calls, I answer. That’s what being elected is all about.
So, please, let’s consider someone who’s at least served on a school board. Who knows how to read a municipal budget. Leave Oprah to the TV couch. And, while we’re at it, stick Dr. Phil there, too. Give him a steak or something to keep him happy. Because if he runs against her – and considering the society we live in now, that’s the next reality show – I will definitely put my head in a blender.