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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Obama + Oprah = Ick

It's taken me a while to figure out why I am uncomfortable with the fact that Barack Obama has taken Oprah Winfrey with him on the campaign trail. But now, I think I know. It's called the "ICK" factor.

Now, I have nothing against the phenomenon that is Oprah. In fact, I respect and admire her for overcoming the instutional racism and gender prejudice that exists in America - and in such a spectacular manner! I think she is also a very talented actress, which she demonstrated beyond question in the movie "The Color Purple." Given all these accomplishments, if La Winfrey recommends a book, I might even consider buying it! (In fact, some books I've already read and enjoyed have made it to her list.)

But ICK! Barack Obama is not a product. He is not a book, a movie or a Broadway show. He is a candidate for president, and should be evaluated on the basis of his accomplishments, not on the basis of Oprah Winfrey's. And the thought that millions of Winfrey fans might vote for Obama simply because she says so, has a very creepy aspect of groupthink to it.

And ICK! Look who Obama chooses to promote his message on the campaign trail. The choice of an anti-gay gospel singer happy to be "cured" of his homosexuality was bad enough; but the fact that Obama picked a TeeVee personality like Oprah Winfrey to campaign with him shows me that he thinks of himself as a product, perhaps a "rock star" as he is so often called, but not as a serious candidate with serious ideas. Aren't we the people a little over electing preening narcissists with vague "kumbaya" messages ("compassionate conservative," anyone?) without first screening them through our internal radar?

Oh, yes, ICK! Obama is a narcissist of the first order. His whole campaign is about how wonderful HE is, not how wonderful his ideas are. His book was called "The Audacity of Hope," for Jeebus' sake! Every human being on the planet hopes for something, but because the Great Obama, Uniter of Us All, does something absolutely unremarkable, it's now "audacious." Could he love himself any more? (And incidentally, could Oprah love herself any more?)

I have read from many different sources that people elect their national leaders based on feelings and instincts, and not on the issues. Well, my gut went ICK! as soon as I saw George W. Bush and his lunatic thousand-yard-stare, and it goes ICK! everytime I see Barack Obama. I hope that America doesn't fall for Obama's con game, because everything he does and says proves he is not ready to be President in 2008.


Oprah's Things said...

I just hope people research the issues and decide on their own who to vote for. If that be Obama or not.

Southern Beale said...

Good post!

I get what you are saying BUT unfortunately in this hyper-consumer culture, Obama is a product. Presidential candidates ARE a book, a "favorite thing." So, for that matter, is the war (remember "you don't roll out new products in August"?)

The sad fact is that we are a nation of consumers and our rulers know it. We are marketed to from cradle to grave (and an excellent book on this subject is "Consumed" by Brian Lehrer).

I'm not supporting Obama in the Dem primary, but I have to say the Oprah-Obama thing doesn't bother me. I don't see how what she's doing is vastly different from what Roger Ailes did with Rudy Giuliani and Fox News. At least Oprah is up front about it; Fox News never made a formal "endorsement" of Giuliani, just slanted their coverage and used their position to promote Giuliani's candidacy in a dirty, underhanded way.

BTW, I love your blog, Madamab! You always have such interesting things to say.

madamab said...

thanks, Southern Beale! I love your blog too. :-)

I was thinking about a possible case this morning - how would I feel about Barbra Streisand going on the campaign trail for Hillary, for example? I think the ICK factor would also be there, but not as much, because Barbra is known for her left-leaning political views, and Oprah is known for...being Oprah.

I understand what you're saying, but I do have a major problem with the consumer culture in America, and I have a major problem with a Democratic candidate for president openly showing his contempt for Americans by treating them as consumers rather than citizens. Democrats should be better than that, and our candidates should be aiming to take America back to its core values, before Raygun waved his shiny credit card in front of our eyes and told us greed was good and shopping would fix everything.

Ironically, Obama, while promising change, is really showing that he will deliver more of the same we've had for the past 7 years - happy talk and good propaganda, with no, or terrible, results. I'd take almost any of the other candidates over him.

Southern Beale said...

Ironically, Obama, while promising change, is really showing that he will deliver more of the same we've had for the past 7 years - happy talk and good propaganda...

Interesting perspective ... Obama's not my candidate but I don't think he's that bad...