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What will presidency mean in 2020? Something has shifted in the political climate, and perspectives are starting to radically alter. The 2016 presidential election produced a president, Donald Trump, with no political experience, which was perceived as one of his strong points. He was an outsider. USA Today called him an “anti-establishment outsider.” At least a large portion of Americans today do not consider political experience to be the most important factor in deciding which candidate to vote for. Recent events only confirm that.
On Jan 7, Oprah Winfrey, the famous TV show host, philanthropist and entrepreneur delivered an emotionally charged and resonate speech at the Golden Globes. She had just won the Cecil B. deMille award, which is given to those who have had a major impact and influence on the entertainment world. She was the first African-American woman to ever receive this award, so her acceptance speech rang forth with “a new day is on the horizon!” This refers to a recognized, new age of equality and respect among men and women. This speech headlined everywhere overnight, with the question being asked: could Oprah Winfrey be president?
The hashtag titled as “Oprah2020” skyrocketed on Twitter, with even NBC posting a tweet in favor of a potential Oprah presidential run. A multitude of various media outlets approved the idea, and even a few talk show hosts, such as Seth Meyers and Jimmy Kimmel, did the same. This is despite Oprah Winfrey having any political experience. However, with the current president also lacking that experience, that might not be of much weight against her in a campaign. While President Trump’s current approval rating may be at 36 percent (Gallup News), his supporters feel he is functioning as a President and has been capable of the work. This is all despite a lack of experience.
While Oprah has since refuted any ideas of actually running, this desire for outsiders to fill in U.S. politics is catching on. Numerous celebrities, actors and music artists have considered their own presidential campaigns for 2020, including Kanye West, Dwayne Johnson, Chris Rock and even Katy Perry.
Much of this activity among the celebrity world can be attributed to the wide range of diversity that has hit U.S. politics in the past fifteen years.
From Barack Obama becoming the first African-American U.S. president to Bernie Sanders’ Democratic Socialism, to Hillary Clinton being the first woman to be the democratic nominee for presidency, to President Donald Trump today.
In an interview with Vanity Fair in 2016, Dwayne Johnson responded over whether he might enter the political ring, saying, “It would be a great opportunity to help people, so it’s possible. This past election shows that anything can happen.”
By the year 2020, the U.S. may be seeing a more diverse cast of presidential candidates than ever before. It could be a general anti-establishment spirit, or a lack of appreciation for the knowledge and experience many politicians have worked years to attain.
Anti-establishment differs from the latter in that it is based in distrust. With the current president having had no law school or steady political position under his belt, it begs the question: “Why pursue any political training or experience before running for office?”
The cultural meaning of presidency has already changed. It is no longer just the highest level of political office in the country. It’s not just being a politician.
While education and experience may certainly benefit a person in office, it counts for more now that a candidate display themselves in a bold, different and charismatic fashion. That’s always been a factor, but it seems to be the biggest factor now.