The red, white and blue carpet: no more celebrity nominees

Sophia Di Iorio, In-Depth Editor

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Oprah Winfrey stands before an enraptured audience. She commands the room as usual, only this time she isn’t offering free cars. She drives hoards of people to tears, stoking the flames of a possible 2020 candidacy. Her speech is everything you would demand out of a presidential candidate.

Nevertheless, my vote will not be cast towards Oprah in the 2020 election.

It may seem that I am overreacting, and many believe Oprah 2020 is a joke. Similar to the grandiose claims of Chris Rock, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kanye, the speech can easily be categorized as another celebrity trying to further their brand with a presidential tease. Celebrity nominees should not be taken seriously. And yet, our past has shown that it is possible for a person with no previous government experience to hold office.

Oprah 2020 has become a phenomenon. It is similar to the situation of current president Donald Trump, who also stated that he had no interest in politics before becoming a nominee in the 2016 election. Regardless of your opinion on President Trump, his entrance into politics was groundbreaking.

Trump’s bombastic campaign sensationalized the presidential process, elevating debates to the level of reality television. Inevitably, the content and coverage was not as substantial. The intrigue of Trump overshadowed policies and qualifications, diminishing the prestige of politics.

This has, in my opinion, begun a trend of trivializing politicians. In recent years people have become both acutely aware of the influence of politics, but also dismissive of the politicians themselves. Because of the nature of celebrity culture, a celebrity inherently does not have to work as hard as a politician to gain the attention and trust of a voter. This means that a celebrity would not have to develop their campaign and policies as thoroughly as another candidate.

Politics and political debates are not meant to be a television spectacle led by celebrities. Oprah 2020 is a reminder that the purpose of politicians is to delegate the future of our country, not provide entertainment. So before you leap onto the next bandwagon candidate that the internet presents, invest time in your actual politicians. Look into your local and state elections, and pray that a Kardashian is not elected to office.