THE CLASS OF ‘54

1. It’s Tuesday, January 9, 2018.

2. It’s National Cassoulet Day.

Really. If you’re inclined toward a pot of white beans and sausage , I hope you enjoy it.

3. Here’s why I have the same soft spot for Oprah Winfrey, John Travolta, Ron Howard and Jerry Seinfeld, among others: They, like me, were born in 1954.

And if it can’t be me, I’d still like someone born the year I was to become President of the United States.

Of course, the year he or she is born is no reason that someone should be President of the United States. And, alas, that applies to Winfrey.

She’s clearly brilliant. She’s demonstrated that for years. Her fortune is self-made. Her brand is strong. She radiates intelligence. Her speech at the Golden Globes the other night was of a quality you can’t imagine from the monkfish flopping in the Oval Office these days.

From what’s known, her political views match up well with mine. That’s important, especially after these years of leadership inspired by the rulers in “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

But Oprah Winfrey, much like Trump even after a year in office, knows little about the nuts and bolts of governing. Yes, she runs a successful business enterprise and is wealthy. But, as we’ve painfully learned in the past year, that’s not the same thing as running the federal government.

And the next President has to reassemble the federal government. The damage being done needs to be repaired if the United States is going to continue to function, much less reclaim its place as a leader among nations.

The task is going to be monumental and I’m frightened to think that there might not be anyone able to do that. Because besides fixing the functioning of government, the next President is going to have to heal the wounds this administration has inflicted on American society.

Part of Winfrey’s appeal, I suspect, is that she’s seen as someone who could unify the nation. Much as she did every afternoon with her show back in the day.

Notice that, for consistency’s sake, I’m referring to her as Winfrey – she’s Oprah to everyone else. It’s not a first name that anybody spits out, like the people who hate Hillary Clinton. It’s said with implied respect by all.

But this nation’s next President needs to be someone who understands government. Someone who knows how laws work. Someone who understands what it takes to cut through the screwups and help people who need it the most. Who knows, for instance, whose ass to kick to get power back to everyone in Puerto Rico.

There are men and women better equipped for that task than Oprah Winfrey. The good news is that there are people of diverse background and origin – although I’m not sure if any of them were born in 1954.

And if they’re not as electric as Winfrey, they’re certainly going to be able to sort out issues, delegate responsibility and make all the big decisions that America will face when Trump finally, thankfully, goes away.

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