How Oprah Paved the Way for Trump
By John Beuhler
Although times seem dire, you can take solace in the fact that you’re pretty cool. You’re the result of millions of years of evolution and—you are the most intricate system in the known universe.
Your body is a complex society. Cells with the same DNA make up different biological structures for different purposes just like how people of the same species have different jobs in society.
The white blood cells police the body. Proteins construct organs structures to form tissues. The central nervous system mitigates the body’s functions like a government. The digestive system is the energy company and waste disposal—you get the point.
Like the body, society is constantly seeking a balance of operating conditions in which it functions best. Too far in either direction means illness within a biological body or unrest in a society. To keep a balance, both systems utilize duality. Two opposite forces keeping each other in check and the system in balance.
Duality occurs in the family, with the opposing energies of the father and the mother compromising to raise a balanced child. Too much nurturing raises a spoiled neurotic, and too much nature produces an emotionally illiterate brute.
Evolution is elegant; it only needs two energies, because two is the least amount needed to create opposition. Government has even been reduced to a liberal and conservative model that mirrors the male and female model.
If left off balance for too long, complex systems will correct themselves with a violent reaction such as a fever or a revolution. Just as a single bacteria or mutation in the body can cause illness, certain people and ideologies that can throw a society out of balance, also making it sick.
In 1986, Oprah went on the air—and over the next 25 years, pushed Western culture so far to the feminine side of the equilibrium, that 30 years later she paved the way for her masculine equivalent, Donald Trump to win the highest office in the world.
Trump won because he offered himself as a force to balance the equation with his ultra-masculinity. He would be an equal and opposite reaction to the current hyper-feminized culture Oprah had created and few enjoyed.
Trump and Oprah are two sides of the same coin. Trump’s a megalomaniac who puts his name on everything he touches, delights at the sound of his own voice, and has absolutely no idea what he is talking about—just like Oprah.
He sells his name to brand buildings, ties, and steaks. She puts her name on magazines, books, and merchandise. He pushes hard, male ideologies. She pushes feminine, faux-spiritualities. They are both reality TV stars, and both are stunningly full of shit.
Trump doesn’t own the buildings that bear his name; he is a merely a brand. Oprah doesn’t write the books in her book-club; she is merely a name. Trump spouts macho rhetoric because it garners him votes. Oprah spouted therapeutic, pseudo-spiritual claptrap because it garnered her ratings.
They both even opened schools, with mixed results.
The significant difference between them is that Trump’s wives are only with him for his money, whereas Oprah has Stedman, who never quit his job at the carwash.
Both Trump and Oprah have superseded their human forms, each becoming media mainstays. He claims to want to make America great again and she claims to want to help you live your best life. The truth is that neither of their interests extend past their own bank accounts.
Oprah had an influence on society that will never be realized again. Media has splintered into so many different platforms that no channel will ever be as influential as the big three (NBC, CBS, and ABC) networks were. Even Oprah’s own cable network, OWN, is currently being “owned” by a cadre of competitors.
If you don’t think she was influential; her show produced 4,561 episodes. That is enough to fill an hour a day, seven days a week, for nine years. There is no other media source that has ever had that much exposure in culture. You might say religion did, but 43 minutes a day, five days a week for 25 years is the equivalent of going to church for an hour every Sunday…for 63 years.
She targeted the underestimated housewife market which was, up until that point, resigned to watching games shows and soap operas. The housewives were ultimately the most powerful members of society, as they formed children’s values, shaped the school system, and made most household purchases.
Oprah also broadcast into millions of homes simultaneously—by sheer numbers alone, Oprah’s influence dwarfed any religion ever.
During my own development, many sociological changes occurred as a direct result of Oprah’s influence on mothers: the self-esteem, self-love, and victim-worship movements; fear-mongering about sexual abuse, pedophilia, and incest; the relentless pursuit of happiness; and positive visualization as a science, to name a few.
Though they masqueraded as positive ideals, Oprah’s philosophies and their legacies continue to have, a deleterious effect on society. For advice on marriage, parenting, and our health, we trusted a single, childless, overweight woman—and we’ve been paying for it ever since.
How did Oprah become so famous? She’s not an entertainer. What the hell did she do?
She was a friend.
She joked with women, complimented them, experienced things with them, and exposed them to new ideas—but most of all she let them know about fantastic things they should buy. She was a one-woman marketplace—exhibiting ideas, philosophies, and merchandise—and taking a cut.
The opinions, philosophies, and life rules came from guests, not from her, so she could take a cut of the profits without any responsibility for the product. She was insulated; safe to sell her heart out—and sell she did.
A show produced every day became a voracious beast hungry for content, so there wasn’t time to vet the ideas, products, or books for truth. They would be selected based on profitability.
Slogans such as “Take Care of Yourself,” “Live in the Now,” “You’re Worth It,” “Spoil Yourself,” and “My Favorite Things,” easily translated into “Buy something nice for yourself, right now!”
She sold more than goods; she sold a culture of self-indulgence and instant gratification. This of course, made women less happy. As it turns out, when you eat whatever you want and buy whatever you want, you don’t get happy, you get fat and broke.
A theme kept recurring in Oprah’s dialogue with women and that was their ambition towards happiness. Oprah realized that she should just sell them what they wanted.
Happiness was a gold mine because it perpetuated its own demand much in the way alcohol does. Depressed? Drink alcohol. Feel happy momentarily. Then feel depressed. Drink more alcohol. The person caught in the cycle pays through the nose, but if you’re selling, you sell.
Like alcohol, material goods also only briefly alleviated depression, but happiness was better. It didn’t have to be manufactured, transported, or warehoused, only marketed—and Oprah was the queen of marketing.
Happiness was the perfect product because it created its own demand, and people had to keep rebuying it because they couldn’t hold on to it.
The saying “Happiness is not a fish you can catch” is factually correct. Your brain will actually close the reward pathways in your brain to return your mood to a balance. That’s why your favorite song or food loses its appeal after too much exposure. This is also why addicts have to take more and more of a substance to achieve the same high. The society in your head tries to balance itself.
People even migrate back to a base mood after experiencing events as extreme as winning the lottery or losing their eyesight. Happiness is fleeting, and thankfully so. Ecstasy can’t be maintained for a reason. If an orgasm lasted for two days, you’d be praying for a bath with your toaster.
Although perpetual happiness doesn’t exist, Oprah sold it by introducing us to people who claimed to know how to get it. However, the problem with selling something that doesn’t exist it that the buyer will eventually lose interest when they can’t get it.
To get around this problem, Oprah would put the onus of obtaining happiness on the happiness seekers themselves. That way, when they couldn’t find it, they would blame themselves and not Oprah.
She had to make perpetual happiness impossible to find, so that no one could discover that it wasn’t real. It’s a classic scam; sell a pill too big to swallow to cure a disease that you’ve made up.
The impossible method Oprah would sell housewives as a means to find happiness was self-love. If they could just learn to love themselves they would finally be happy.
Of course, self-love doesn’t exist either. Self-respect and self-esteem do, but love is an emotion for family and other people, not yourself. If you truly love yourself, you are a narcissist and you should seek help.
A healthy person exists in a constant state of self-diagnosis. “What is wrong?” “Should I have said that?” “How am I being perceived?” “Do I look okay?” It is important to be self-critical for the comfort of others and for your own well-being.
We know that death-row inmates score the highest in self-love and self-esteem, but because of Oprah, the pursuit of it persists as the main goal in life. If it is the right thing to do, then why does its actualization read so obviously as pathological? After all, who loves themselves more than Donald Trump?
In the years following the self-love movement’s inception, people futilely chased it, but it eluded them just as happiness had. Again, Oprah had to change tack and concentrate on why women couldn’t love themselves. She looked to blame outside influences such as body standards, unsupportive husbands, not doing what you love…but most of all, not having enough stuff.
When the housewives couldn’t manage to love themselves, they reasoned that it might be impossible for them. Maybe years of exposure to these external influences had rendered them unable to ever love themselves. Maybe it was too late.
However, it wasn’t too late for their kids.
Of course! If their parents and society were responsible for ruining their self-esteem, they’d be damned if they were going to let the same fate befall their kids. Their children would love themselves and be happy if it killed them.
With that realization, the self-esteem movement entered the nursery and then the schools, ultimately turning them into narcissism factories. Oprah began rocking the hand that rocked the cradle and focusing the mother’s protective instinct on their children’s self-esteem.
All things that lowered self-esteem were attacked. Competition was bad because it produced a loser, and losing doesn’t make one feel good about themselves. Sports changed from an emphasis on winning and sportsmanship to having fun and giving participation. We rewarded mediocrity, then wondered why our children were not be able to compete with cultures not lucky enough to grow up with Oprah.
Discipline also makes children feel bad, so we did away with it and produced a generation with no respect for authority. We treated a generation like child stars and then wondered why they grew up like child stars.
Oprah also knew that fear was a huge ratings grabber. Self-preservation and the safety of family rates very high on people’s hierarchy of interests, so why not combine fear with children?
She would commit shows to how our children could be hurt by faulty products, bad parenting practices, freak accidents, or violent toys and play—but the biggest ratings draw was sexual predators.
Oprah combined fear, sex, and children into one super-topic of child sex abuse. Although statistically very rare, child molestation by a stranger was hyped up for maximum emotional impact and it changed parenting forever.
Oprah professed that being a mother was the hardest job, and it is—especially when you’re fighting a nonexistent enemy.
She framed the outside world as such a dangerous place that mothers brought their children indoors. These new indoor kids lacked a sense of competition and exercise. With this isolation, they failed to develop the interpersonal skills developed by sports and non-structured imaginative play and would grow up socially delayed in many cases.
Mothers stopped denying their children junk food, for fear repeating the oppression of their own parents, and American children became the fattest in the world.
Mothers were nurturing their children to death, to spare their feelings.
Oprah had become the mouth at the ear of America’s mothers. Housewives took their parenting advice from a childless woman just because she was good on TV and for their efforts, they created to a spoiled, self-centered, ineffectual generation with a life expectancy shorter than that of their own.
Ostensibly, they had done it for the child’s happiness—but children were less happy than ever because they were isolated and unhealthy.
With TV as the primary caregivers of the indoor generation, children became obsessed with celebrity. Their artificially inflated self-esteem saw fame as the only worthwhile life path.
A generation encouraged to follow their dreams, all picked the same dream, super-stardom. There is little limelight in careers such as plumbing or teaching, so practical ambitions were dashed and the population of YouTubers, Instagram vixens, and karaoke contestants exploded.
If anyone criticized a child’s lackluster performance, they were called a bully, the newest enemy of self-esteem. Bullies were held up as foreign invaders that needed to be eradicated. They are, however, a natural part of society.
Of course, assault is a matter for the police; I’m speaking of social pressure placed on a high-strung child when their level of achievement doesn’t match their level of self-esteem. For example, a student makes a play at raising their social status higher than that of their fellow students by singing a song and posting it on YouTube.
They haven’t put in the time or practice that it takes to get good at singing, but they want the accolades, wealth, and popularity that comes with fame. Ultra-supportive parenting has inflated the child’s ego artificially, so when the negative comments from honest children pour in, the ego pops.
Some children have even killed themselves over these ego crashes. Instead of placing the blame where it belongs—with the parents, we invent a new foreign invader: the bully.
If your child is truly interested in performance, they will start out with training, then recitals for family or a smaller, trusted group while they develop their talent into something worth exhibiting.
If you want your child to be bully-proof, teach them humility and hard work instead of lavishing fake praise and empty accolades that only set them up for a fall back to reality.
To be fair, bully hysteria did not come from Oprah directly, but is a direct result of her legacy of victim-worship.
Children and fear were great topics, but people could become fatigued by the constant fear-mongering.
Oprah would balance her shows with therapeutic, happy things. People were also very interested in the things that made them feel good and they didn’t even question the logic as they were ‘happy.’ things. Thanks to a concept introduced on The Oprah Winfrey Show, 77% of Americans believe in angels, and many also believe in positive visualization as a science (The Secret).
People ask me what the problem with pseudo-therapy is if it makes people feel good. The problem is that things that feel good with no sacrifice or effort are rarely good for you. Donuts are not packed with vitamins. An overemphasis on eliminating everything that makes you feel bad mirrors the effects of the current painkiller addiction. It doesn’t address the root cause, it takes more and more to achieve the same result, and it eventually kills you.
Negative emotions are important. They serve as a contrast, allowing us to feel real happiness. That is the secret to real happiness, by the way. Happiness takes sacrifice and discomfort; it exists only in contrast to unhappiness and struggle.
You never hear that because you can’t sell that idea in a book. The reason you can’t sell that idea is because everybody already knows it to be true, deep down.
Negative emotions should not be muted, as they are essential for navigating life. We feel bad when we do things we shouldn’t, so we don’t do them again. We feel shame when our behavior has negative effects on others and on ourselves.
Shame is essential to civilize a society. No rule of law can control a population that does not feel accountability for its actions. However, in Oprah’s world, it must be done away with because it degrades one’s self-esteem.
The war on shame started with the moms, then leaked into schools and infected an entire generation. Shame was outlawed, and now the only people you are allowed to shame are the bullies or people who are honest.
Oprah was also a big opponent of body shaming. As a compulsive overeater, she has had a life-long struggle with her own weight. She used that fact to gain credibility with her viewers as she trotted out all manner of ‘experts’ selling fad diets and lifestyle changes.
You can’t sell a book about sensible eating and exercise because we know that already. Novelty is the rule of television, so fads took center stage and the viewers laid down the dollars that forged Oprah’s three-billion-dollar empire.
Of course, the diets worked only briefly, leaving the dieter deprived, only to gain back more weight when they ultimately gave up. Diets are another self-perpetuating product for Oprah, because the cure is the sickness—buy the diet, deprive yourself, fail, indulge to make up for lost time, gain weight, buy the diet…
When the women failed, they would blame themselves, never Oprah—because it wasn’t her diet idea, she just took some profits from each book.
The diets kept failing for years and Oprah was forced to take the new tack of ‘body acceptance.’ She pointed women’s blame away from themselves and toward the beauty industry’s unattainable standards.
If she could not keep her own weight in check, she would seek to change the reality of body preferences to fit her own.
Oprah would later claim that one of the factors contributing to her overeating was the trauma of sexual abuse.
It was a perfect way to shift accountability for overeating from herself to her sexual trauma—another big ratings grabber.
Oprah would reveal her own sexual abuse, and in doing so, change how we saw victims.
She called victims of sexual abuse “survivors” and “brave”. With shame gone, people began feeling pride for having endured trauma and began wearing it like a badge of courage. Even competing with others for trauma-supremacy. “You think you had it bad?”
If that wasn’t enough to launch victim-worship into the public ethos, Oprah invited celebrities to share their own traumas, conflating trauma and talent in the public ethos. They could safely share your trauma without seeming egocentric if they claimed to be doing it to spread awareness or to help others. This made victimhood even seductive to a celebrity-obsessed generation. You could achieve a small level of fame by sheer virtue of having been a victim.
Trauma was excellent because Oprah could sell self-help and therapy to cure it. The only problem was that not everyone had trauma, so people would begin to invent it out of smaller and smaller things.
As an example of how mundane trauma have become; American college students now claim trauma over words and ideas just because they conflict with their own—demanding safe spaces and trigger warnings.
Victimhood has become so prevalent that colleges have become less like institutions for expansion of the mind and more like shelters for emotional weakness.
These students are actually victims, not of a hate speech, but of a legacy of victim-worship.
One can only hope that the hero paradigm will recover. The hero used to be one who had a positive effect on the world. Now you are a hero when the world has had a negative effect on you. Ambition toward victim status doesn’t produce effective people, only emotional cripples who hold up hard luck stories and fake trauma instead of art or achievement.
We let society become severely damaged by believing a liar for a long time.
I had read about her propensity for lying, storytelling, and embellishing the truth, so I watched an old Oprah episode to see if I could catch her in a lie. It took all of thirty seconds.
She told a story about how Stedman had surprised her with a Sheepy Fleece bathrobe. The well-trained audience swooned at the romantic gesture, never questioning the likelihood of a multi-billionaire being caught dead in a $92 bathrobe. “She probably wears it when she clips coupons,” they must have thought.
She gave each audience member a robe, and they were ecstatic. The company pays Oprah to lie about using their product, sales go through the roof, women get a material fix, and Oprah gets paid…to lie.
Oprah cares so little about being genuine that she even hired a lying coach for her court case against Texas ranchers. The man who specialized in coaching defendants on how to be more believable on the stand was Dr. Phil McGraw. He was an expert in lying. He was such a good liar in fact, that Oprah gave him his own show following hers.
Dr. Phil was to be the perfect patsy for Oprah’s toxic effect on relationships. She would claim that husbands were the source of much of women’s unhappiness. She would suggest sweeping life changes to be made behind the husband’s back.
The Oprah Winfrey Show would end at 5 p.m., leaving wives simmering with vitriol just as their husbands were arriving home—to a bushwhacking.
When a husband wondered who might have poisoned his wife against him, a glance at the TV showed no signs of Oprah—only Dr. Phil. That lovable hayseed, that font of folksy common sense—the perfect patsy.
There are people with whom we all wish our mates would not consort, because they seem to poison them against us. Women had no trouble forbidding men from hanging out with their bad-influence friends, but men didn’t even realize the extent to which Oprah was influencing their wives. No big deal- only more than any other influence in history.
Women would put a quick stop to their husbands watching a male version of Oprah.
Especially if he encouraged them to buy products they couldn’t afford, to only do work that nurtured their spirit, or to stop being ambitious and just be happy with their current size of their bank account.
In Oprah culture, a man’s value in relationships became worthless. They were seen as more of an adversary than a partner. Men didn’t feel needed or wanted in the relationship, so they began leaving marriages or not getting hitched in the first place. The ones who stayed were the submissive men who fit the new paradigm of irrelevance.
As men disappeared from the family, so too did their role as fathers, with cataclysmic results.
The ideals of a workable society are in danger of being lost entirely, as they have been absent over two generations- replaced by pseudo-spiritual mottos and motivational quotes that are only good for an immediate and fleeting emotional boost.
Emotions are the language of therapy, so emotional thinking is gaining respect as the preferred form of thinking over logic in many areas of life. Everyone from anti-vaxxers to climate-change skeptics, even ‘flat-earthers’ are all now able to voice delusional opinions because they feel that they are true.
Of course, everyone has a right to their own opinion.
That is also a flawed ideal of the new ethos. Of course, everyone has a right to say anything, but if you don’t know what you are talking about, your opinion is worthless. However, because we’ve cut the shame, people now offer unqualified opinions without fear of reprisal.
Of course, everyone deserves respect. Wrong—that is another fake ideal.
Respect is defined as “esteem for, or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability.” Not everyone or every idea deserves esteem. Awarding people respect not deserved is an extension of the self-esteem movement; it is the equivalent of a participation award. Obligatory respect is not respect at all.
I am not a religious man and I am not proselytizing here, but I do respect the Christian religion and how it has framed Western society. It evolved to be the best religion because we take what we consider useful and leave the rest to fade into antiquity, falling off like vestigial appendages.
I heard once that the only significant rule in The Bible is The Golden Rule; the rest is just commentary—and I agree. Christianity works so well because of its emphasis on treating others well.
Selflessness is the ideal that holds society precariously over a fall into anarchy, so it is very troubling to hear anyone extolling self-centeredness as the most important virtue. Oprah is the mother of egocentrism and self-centeredness, and those qualities are the precursors to an evil, and cruel society.
The good news is that people have become fed up with the quality of people that these new ideals have been turning out. So fed up in fact, that when they were presented with the feminine, hyper-nurturing ethos, they chose a megalomaniac, just because he was the alternative.
This thirty-year ethos of egocentrism, fear mongering, and victim worship is coming to an end.
We have been arresting reality in favor of emotion for a very long time, and the results have been terrible.
I don’t judge Trump for being Trump or Oprah for being Oprah. They are simply emergent energies in a capitalist game. Their psyches have developed to support their own avarice.
Trump became an eventuality once Oprah pushed the pendulum so far to the emotional side of the spectrum. Its swing back towards the center is not going to be pleasant.
Oprah’s children have come home to roost. They are mean and without conscience. Thank god, they are ineffectual wimps.
It’s 5 o’clock. Oprah is over. Daddy is home.