Ruibal column: Keep politics political
January 9, 2018
All good art is political. But not all good artists should be politicians.
During the Golden Globes Sunday, Oprah Winfrey accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award for "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment." In her acceptance speech, Winfrey acknowledged the trailblazers before her and all that's left to be blazed ahead in order to have a future where "nobody ever has to say 'me too' again."
It was an inspiring speech. It was beautiful. But what I don't fully agree with is the immediate social media response of "Oprah for President."
Despite the past couple years, the federal government isn't "Celebrity Apprentice."
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is another celebrity who has at least half-jokingly eyed the Commander in Chief title. In his 2016 "Rock the Troops" TV special, he joked that compared to his usual work schedule — in 2016, Johnson had 17 different productions on his plate — the presidency would be more like a vacation.
As of time of print, our current president has spent 88 days in office at golf clubs — according to the aptly named TrumpGolfCount.com. So maybe it is a little like a vacation, but it shouldn't be.
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No one is arguing that Winfrey and Johnson are unaccomplished. Winfrey endured a rough childhood of poverty and molestation and created herself into one force of a journalist, entrepreneur, entertainer, businesswoman and advocate. Johnson followed in his family's footprints and became an iconic wrestler after his football career ended, before his superstar Hollywood fame.
A lot of people have impressive resumes. But that doesn't mean a lot of people should be the leader of the free world.
A president should be a politician. A president should have extensive experience in policy and diplomacy. A president should have fought for an underdog at some point or at least a cause they whole-heartedly believe in. A president should believe in American excellence, but use that as motivation to keep improving instead of a cheap campaign slogan.
We still need the Oprahs and The Rocks of the world. We need journalists who relentlessly ask questions and actresses who capture necessary characters. We need entertainers who give their time to entertain those who give their lives. We need a mid-afternoon escape of "Favorite Things." And where would we be without the "Rock Bottom" finishing move?
We need artists to create art, and to use their platform to inspire all the young girls and boys Oprah referred to in her acceptance speech. The future doesn't and shouldn't rely on the leadership of billionaires on television, but rather those watching who are inspired to get up and join in the effort to make the world a better place — here and now, at the grassroots level. Because change can always be "me too."
Sallee Ann is Engagement Editor at the Post Independent. She has no desire to be president, but would love to be in WWE. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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