She has influenced my entire generation on everything from self-esteem to self-defense to self-selfness. She informs the books we read (or re-read), she influences how much we know about our colons, and in numerous ways she has given us permission to like ourselves. That is something for which we all owe her a great deal.
I must also disclose that I admire her. She sets a good example in many aspects of her life. Her charitable example is something that I appreciate. She puts bounties on the heads of child abusers and rapists, what's not to like about that? She has had the same best friend since forever. She seems like a good egg.
So why do I feel a little betrayed that she is endorsing a candidate for president? Is it wrong for me to wish that she kept that to herself? Her endorsement gives Barak Obama something that no other candidate can hope to have: the backing of someone who has been such an influence on American women's world view, who has defined many rights and wrongs for a lot of people. Having Oprah endorse someone is like having a favorite aunt endorse a candidate. How can you ignore Aunt Oprah who has always seemed to have our best interest at heart? And while, as adults we all make our own decisions it still seems a little unfair.
Time wrote a piece about the Oprah endorsement and had this to say about the landscape of Oprah's influence.
From the demographics of visitors to her site oprah.com, we can get an idea of the typical Oprah follower. For the four weeks ending May 5, 2007, 72.8% of Oprah's visitors were female, 66.4% of her visitors were 35 or older. Internet users in Obama and Oprah's home state of Illinois are more than twice as likely to visit the Oprah website than the average American Internet user. Over 35% of Oprah U.S. visitors hail from key voting states; California, Illinois, New York, Texas and Florida.
Do any of those statistics sound familiar? You. Me. All of our best buddies. What's the answer here? Should I just get over it? Should I let it fester until my colon starts reacting?
I just don't know. Please let me know what you think.