12/10/07 — Oprah-quences: How sad is it that people make decisions based on celebrity

View Archive

Oprah-quences: How sad is it that people make decisions based on celebrity

It is not really all that surprising that thousands of people turned out for this weekend’s Oprah rally for presidential candidate Barack Obama.

What would be even more interesting to know is if even a third really know what the candidate stands for or who else is running for the Democratic nomination.

Or, were they just there because Oprah was in town?

The fact that there actually could be millions of people in this country who are making political decisions based on the views of a talk show host is scary.

It does not say much for how much some Americans value their right to choose their leaders or their responsibilities as voters and keepers of the freedom.

So while it might be OK to listen to what Oprah has to say — and then to factor those views into your own lexicon of ideas — to be part of a movement for a candidate because of her say-so is simply wrong.

Because, and this might surprise some people, Oprah really doesn’t have any more knowledge or insight into the campaigns than most of us do. In fact, in some cases, there actually might be people who could tell potential voters far more about the pros and cons of each Democratic or Republican nominee.

And there could be a backlash for Obama, too.

Many of those who turned up this weekend came to see Oprah. Their passion might end just as soon as her limo pulls out of town. So, to really have a chance at winning, candidates are going to have to reach the rest of us — those who don’t get starstruck when it comes to politics. We will see if any of them figure that out.

Published in Editorials on December 10, 2007 11:11 AM