Road to demise
TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag (The Freeman) - January 12, 2018 - 12:00am

I earnestly hope Oprah Winfrey challenges Donald Trump in the next US presidential elections and wins to become the next American president, in accordance with the wishes of CNN and many other Americans who never gave Trump the benefit that age-old American traditions and institutions bestowed on him. Let me correct myself. I not only earnestly hope. I fervently pray that the fates actually give what these Americans are wishing for.

Trump is not a perfect person. Far from it. But the main shortcomings of the man are just his mouth and a lack of executive experience in government. It would have been easier to ignore his mouth if he had been given the chance to let his actions speak louder than his words. As to inexperience, nobody in the whole wide world is surrounded by more expert advisers than an American president. If Trump fails given all that, then the American system, not Trump, must be in real terrible shape.

Take Oprah Winfrey. I have nothing against Oprah Winfrey. I do not know her except for the two or three times that I have seen her shows, once during which she gave away cars to everybody in the audience. But I have always believed that it ought to take more to elect an American president than just the desire to see the first woman, or first black woman for that matter, given the chance to lead what I used to see as the greatest country in the world.

At the very least, it ought to take more than just the perceived or hoped-for ability to beat Trump that should impel anyone to push Oprah, or even Oprah herself, to seek the presidency of a country whose role in the world is as varied as it is challenging, if not dangerous, not just to that world but to its very own citizens.

If Oprah wins, and I do not see any reason why she cannot, she will not just be the person who kicked Donald Trump out of office. She will, more importantly, be the person who, on waking up first thing in the morning on her very first day in office, needs to deal with people like Kim Jong Un before noon, or get a grip on a new developing situation in Tehran by sundown.

There might be a flood of refugees knocking at the door, or a ton of cocaine managing to slip border security. There could be a new knife attack in some major US city or a fresh school shooting in some rural town in the Midwest. There could be a nationwide strike of truck drivers or a medical crisis spawned by some Third World virus entering the continental US.

Why, there might even be my own president Rodrigo Duterte provoking some crisis of his own in the Philippines or with his neighbors, like China, for instance. And ahh, China. China might start truly flexing its muscles in its closest sphere of influence, the South China Sea, and over which the United States only has a very tenuous freedom of navigation claim.

You see, it takes more than just the ability to beat Trump to make an American president and America should know better than that. Or does it? Because if Oprah were to run solely on that qualification, then America would be no better than the Philippines. In fact the Philippines would even be better. It is a pioneer in these things, and it has sort of perfected the gambit. But America is just starting out. Frankly, it shouldn’t. Or maybe it should, and reap the fruits of its own folly.


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