November 2, 2018

"I am an independent woman. I've earned the right to think for myself and to vote for myself, and that's why I am a registered independent."

Said Oprah Winfrey, rallying for Stacey Abrams in Georgia.

I was wondering what size crowd Oprah drew. I'm seeing that all available tickets were claimed and that the event was Forbes Arena at Morehouse College, which has a capacity of 6,000. That doesn't mean there were 6,000 people there. In the video, there's a black curtain behind Oprah, so I'm thinking there were unused seats behind the curtain. The audience does sound very enthusiastic. Anyway, I'm interested in the way crowd size is reported/unreported, now that Trump has set such an insanely high standard for political rallies. I would think that if anyone on the Democratic (independent?) side could draw the same kind of crowd, it would be Oprah.

IN THE COMMENTS: Big Mike said:
Correction. She was born with the right to think for herself and to vote for herself as a citizen of the United States. One can thoughtlessly relinquish those rights, but they are our absolute birthright.
I am sure Oprah would agree that all Americans have this right, so to me, the interesting question is why Oprah said "earned." It seems wrong, because it suggests that less successful, accomplished Americans do not have this right. The trick is in the word "right." If she'd said "power," it would make sense.

I think it goes something like this: Oprah had to struggle to get to the place where she can think for herself and vote independently. She didn't mean to imply that other people are not entitled to think and to vote in their own independent way. It's that some of them haven't got in touch with their power to exercise their rights. You need to develop as a person — and it takes work — to get where you see, value, and use your rights.

Another way to look at it is that Americans should not be complacent about rights. Rights come and go and change over time. If we don't work to see, value, and use them, they can get lost. We're losing and gaining all the time, and if you haven't noticed, you're part of the problem. Don't get too comfortable. You may think you were born with an immense fortune in rights, but don't loll around like a pettish heiress.

82 comments:

William said...

Oprah doesn't get up your nose the way many celebrities do. If you want to have a celebrity endorsement, she's the one to have.......There should be some kind of survey to determine who's the most toxic celebrity. There's so many. Lena Dunham, Jane Fonda, Rosie O'Donnell. The Republican Party should organize a Caravan of Stars to tour Georgia.

buwaya said...

This business of large rallies is a unique aspect of Trumps way of politics.

Other politicians have organized the occasional "event" rally, but Trump has made this into his primary venue, of his own political campaign efforts. The sheer number of these things is extraordinary. How many people have seen Trump in person? I think the number, by now, is vastly more than have petsonally seen any American politician ever.

And Trump obviously has a very capable staff system behind this.

SteveR said...

“Independent” means being as flexible as possible, it’s how she got rich. But she’s been around long enough to leave no doubt about her politics.

Henry said...

Oprah is more Native American than Elizabeth Warren:

Before taking the DNA test, Oprah said she didn’t believe she had any European or Native American ancestors. Her test results showed her to be correct about the European ancestry (she had 0 percent), but wrong about the Native American part (8 percent). She also learned she was 3 percent East Asian.



Big Mike said...

Correction. She was born with the right to think for herself and to vote for herself as a citizen of the United States. One can thoughtlessly relinquish those rights, but they are our absolute birthright.

rhhardin said...

Independent woman think for myself etc.

It's a claim made only when it's not true.

rhhardin said...

The way she thinks for herself is calculating what will impress other women.

Wince said...

"I am an independent... I have earned the right to do exactly what I want to do," she said. "I've earned the right to think for myself and to vote for myself, and that's why I am a registered independent, because I don't want any party and I don't want any kind of partisan influence telling me what decisions I get to make for myself."

Isn't that exactly what Kanye West was saying?

mccullough said...

Oprah stopped her show awhile ago. She’s probably still popular with a decent percentage of women over 55 years old.

But out of sight, out of mind for most people. She’s like Johnny Carson these days. Well known among older people.

Lucid-Ideas said...

Oprah is gynarchy and female cognitive-dissonance personified. The independent that votes D 100% of the time. The strong, independent woman that inspires slavish devotion from her strong, independent viewers on a daily basis. The earning of a right that was already there, required no effort whatsoever, and ends up being a complete lack of introspection on its face. Oprah thinks she thinks for herself the same way her female fans think they think for themselves. She's the leader of a book-supper-club-harem. Give her a round of applause while she gives herself a pat-on-the-back.

zipity said...

There were a lot of people there. But half of them were there because they thought Oprah was going to give them a car...

chickelit said...

Oprah stands for open borders, doesn’t she? Not exactly a crowd pleaser these days.

Darrell said...

Independent?
I know she endorsed Democrats over the years. Lots. Perhaps she could provide a list of all the Republicans she endorsed over the years.

Leland said...

What did she do to earn the right to think for herself and vote for herself? Did her audience not earn that right yet?

And this:

I don't want any kind of partisan influence telling me what decisions I get to make for myself

Sounds a bit hypocritical to me, since she is standing up their being a partisan and talking about earning the right to make such decisions.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

I don't know how the election will turn out in GA. But, it'd sure like to see voters reject the celebrity BS.

Marc said...

Will be interested to read your post about the 5,000 in DC at the annual March for Life come January.

Clyde said...

So Oprah has bolted from the plantation, but wants other African-Americans to stay on it. Because if any significant percentage of their votes are ever in play, the Democrats will lose.

prairie wind said...

Correction. She was born with the right to think for herself and to vote for herself as a citizen of the United States. One can thoughtlessly relinquish those rights, but they are our absolute birthright.

Hear, hear!

tommyesq said...

Oprah gave stuff away to draw her audience - more D than I.

gahrie said...

How fucked up do you have to be to believe that you have to earn the right to think independently and vote independently? She's at least implying that ordinary people (Blacks?) don't have the right to think independently or vote independently.

wendybar said...

I call BS on her calling herself Independent. The proof is in the pudding, and her pudding is full of lying Democrats.

rhhardin said...

I am woman hear me roar.

rcocean said...

Lets be honest, Ms. Abrams - with her past remarks and actions - wouldn't be nominated unless she was black.

Nothing wrong with that. Nominating people based on their religion or ethnic background has been a Democrat Specialty for 150 years.

That's why the Democrats have a hard time nominating POTUS candidates who aren't crooks, fools, or liars. Clinton was a crook. Hillary was a liar. And Kerry and Gore were fools. They got lucky with Obama.

Chuck said...

I have the same questions that others are posing about Oprah.

How do you get to be a "registered independent"?

I need to make some presumptions about Oprah in order to ask some hypothetical questions that would then be applied to whatever Oprah's true circumstances are.

I presume that for tax reasons, Oprah's permanent residence is Fisher Island, Florida where I understand that she owns a home. One of seven or so ultra-luxury mansions, from an estate in Montecito, California to a luxury penthouse duplex in Chicago, to various mansions in Telluride, Maui, et cetera. Florida is the one where there is no state income tax.

In Florida, I believe that an individual can register with a party affiliation, or not. There is no "registered independent." To be sure, Oprah may have registered with no party affiliation.

But if you do register without party affiliation, you cannot vote in a Florida primary election. You have to register as a partisan to vote in that party's primary, is my understanding.

And in Florida this year, there was the hotly-contested Democratic primary which was won by the black mayor of Tallahassee Andrew Gillum, who's been given active support in his campaign by Oprah.

So does Oprah vote in Florida? Did she vote for Gillum in the Florida Democratic primary? If she did, then I don't think she is a "registered independent."

tommyesq said...

I saw a show on PBS (or maybe the History Channel) last night, something like America in Color - color film of the 30's and 40's, at a time when color film was unusual. Two things of note. First, in '39, the American Nazi's held a rally at Madison Square Garden that drew 20,000 people or so, all doing the one-arm salute - so Nazi's outdrew current day Democrats and most Republicans (not sure about the size of the crowds at Trump rallies, and also not sure there is anyone - Trump, MSM, etc. - who is accurately reporting on such).

Second, when Roosevelt was running for a third term, Wendel Willkie (R) gave a speech in a park to 150,000 people - and still lost in a landslide!

Not sure what any of this means for Tuesday, of course.

Henry said...

"born" instead of earned is one alternative.

What if she said, "I've chosen the right to think for myself." The implication there is that while anyone can choose for themselves, not everyone does.

RichAndSceptical said...

It was a metaphor for slavery earning her the right to vote.

CJinPA said...

I think Oprah was speaking as a collective with "I've earned the right..."

She means women, who've always had the right to think for themselves, but not vote for themselves. Modern feminists really do propagate the myth that western women were silent drones before feminists came along.

Jupiter said...

What she means is that dead white men didn't secure that right for her, she earned it by yakking on TV. It's the flip-side of Obama's "You didn't build that!". Meaning, What white people have they stole, and what black people have we earned.

Henry said...

How do you get to be a "registered independent"?

There is an American Independent Party, but colloquially, saying you're a "registered independent" just means that you register to vote without selecting a party.

Bay Area Guy said...

As celebrities go, Oprah's one of the better ones. Her own hard work and success, however has virtually nothing in common with what the modern day Democrat Party is espousing.

Curious George said...

"That's why the Democrats have a hard time nominating POTUS candidates who aren't crooks, fools, or liars. Clinton was a crook. Hillary was a liar. And Kerry and Gore were fools. They got lucky with Obama."

Yep, with Obama they got all three.

gahrie said...

First, in '39, the American Nazi's held a rally at Madison Square Garden that drew 20,000 people or so, all doing the one-arm salute

In 1939, American students were stilling doing the "one arm" salute while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in school.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, that’s a great riff on my comment.

Fernandinande said...

Did everyone in attendance get a cuckoo clock?

Lucid-Ideas said...

"Registered Independent"

Even if this was a thing, she's not. She's an independent that supports Democrats 100% then, now and always. She will support Republicans so long as the only thing Republican about them is the word/letter in front, behind, or in circles around their names.

Her independence is the equivalent of saying she loves book-barbeques and concentration camps for kulturslavs, but she's not one of those crazy card-carrying National Socialists.

Nonapod said...

You didn't "earn" that!

I hope she doesn't actually believe that she somehow personally "earned" a right (like she personally drafted the 19th Amendment or something).

The Crack Emcee said...

"Oprah had to struggle to get to the place where she can think for herself and ote independently."

What woman, wo follows as many con artists as Okra does, can claim to "think independently"?

Everybody swallows what she saids without a thought.

The Crack Emcee said...

Not only does everybody swallow what she saids without a thought, but - while talking all this black shit - all her idols are white.

Dr. Oz.
Dr. Phil.
James Arthur Ray.
Ekhart Tolle
and so on.

If I was in charge of the Republican Party, she'd be terrified of showing her face anywhere.

Birkel said...

Trump's response:

And you get a job. And you get a job. And you get a job.

And you get a raise. And you get a raise.

Sebastian said...

"I am an independent woman. I've earned the right to think for myself and to vote for myself, and that's why I am a registered independent."

Nothing new here: people think they've earned what they get.

Thinking for herself, she knows she can be more influential, and not lose GOP customers, by claiming to be independent while being 100% Dem.

She's still the best Dems can do in 2020: the least toxic "independent" lefty who will turn out the vote and sway just enough squishy suburban GOP soccer moms to make up for the loss of less-than-college white men. Called it here in 2016.

Darrell said...

Oprah gave stuff away to draw her audience

Donated by manufacturers. Never a penny out of her pocket.

Bilwick said...

The retired Dean of Faber College, Vernon Wormer, offered a cautionary note to Ms. Abrams: "Fat, stupid-looking and socialistic is no way to go through life, lady."

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

One thing is for sure, all the big money is on the left.

the democrat party crawled into bed with big-pharma and the GOP doesn't have the stones to point it out.

PM said...

Oprah's a smart, savvy person. Living proof that the only color that matters is green.

JPS said...

Clyde,

"So Oprah has bolted from the plantation, but wants other African-Americans to stay on it. Because if any significant percentage of their votes are ever in play, the Democrats will lose."

I'm getting to be the mirror image.

I left the Republican Party in disgust a couple of years ago, but I'm delighted to learn of capable, serious minority politicians at the state level going Republican. Not because I wish the Republican party particularly well, but because it'd be better for them and for the country if more minority votes were in play.

The Democrats wouldn't take them so much for granted, try so hard to destroy any prominent minority who opposes them, and constantly boast of their moral superiority. The Republicans would give more of a damn about them if they thought they had any chance of winning them over. Some give a damn anyway, but many take the attitude that Jim Baker (who I don't think was an anti-Semite, just an unsentimental political calculator and kind of a dick) took when told that Jews would object to some Bush 41 policy: "Fuck 'em. They don't vote for us anyway."

And even if Oprah Winfrey votes Dem in the end every time, good for her for telling the party that at least in theory they have to earn her vote, they can't just count it as theirs.

Seeing Red said...

I am an independent woman. I've earned the right to think for myself and to vote for myself, and that's why I am a registered independent."


She didn’t build that.

tpceltus said...

I believe that Oprah used the word “earned” quite specifically and that it means quite a bit to her. As I recall, she has said that you may think you can stand up for yourself, but you really can’t until you reach 40 or so. From the context of her remark, I understood this as meaning, to her, that it’s not until you’re about 40 do you have the knowledge, skills, perspective, mental/verbal dexterity, resilience, confidence, etc. to do this well in a substantive and consistent way...that is, you have to “earn” it. I thought it was an interesting observation given her track record of success in a number of ventures in the pretty tough entertainment business.

Limited blogger said...

What will Trump's nickname for Oprah be? I bet it will be vaguely complimentary. That will spin the left off in other directions.

The Crack Emcee said...

My original comment, listing Okra's sins, disappeared.

Weird.

Achilles said...

Henry said...
"born" instead of earned is one alternative.

What if she said, "I've chosen the right to think for myself." The implication there is that while anyone can choose for themselves, not everyone does.

That is not what she said.

What she said was stupid and betrays that she doesn’t really understand what the point of the founding of our republic was about.

Jupiter said...

The Crack Emcee said...
"My original comment, listing Okra's sins, disappeared.

Weird."

Don't fuck with Oprah, Crack. She's got FaceBook, Google, Barack Obama and George Soros on her side. What have you got?

whitney said...

Anyone that doesn't realize that it's just a Skins game from this point on is living in a fantasy world

Drago said...

Jupiter: "Don't fuck with Oprah, Crack. She's got FaceBook, Google, Barack Obama and George Soros on her side. What have you got?"

In this case, objective truth.

As with Archimedes, give Crack a place to stand with Truth as a lever and he just might move the World.

Crack, feel free to use that.

Yancey Ward said...

It was an interesting use of the word "Independent". I don't doubt that she is registered that way- it is probably a recent change so that she could "honestly" appeal to "other" true Independents.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

Generally I heavily discount the political views and advice from the wealthy. Their world views and perspectives are completely divorced from the vast majority.

Kevin said...

Rights come and go and change over time.

Locke and Jefferson disagree.

Ken B said...

“Rights come and go”
Talking of Michelangelo.

Bill Peschel said...

Crack, your comment on Oprah didn't disappear. I just came across it in a different post.

Search for "11/2/18, 9:54 AM"

traditionalguy said...

She speaks about MONEY. You will quickly have your rights stolen without the money that buys lawyers, CPAs , and guards patroling your walls. Ask Hillary.

Seeing Red said...

Oprah sat in Jeremiah’s church for years. She’s not independent.

Darrell said...

Oprah is as independent as Cookie.

The Crack Emcee said...

Thanks, Bill. Here it is again:

"I am an independent woman. I've earned the right to think for myself and to vote for myself, by saying "The Secret" is science, allowing cultists to jump on my couch, killer gurus to spread their message on my show, introducing the public to quack doctors, helping a politician who conned Democrats into thinking "Hope" is a political platform (instead of the big bag of "nothing" they got after 8 years) and bookmarking all that with the black Civil Rights Movement to make me bulletproof to anyone scared of being called a "racist"."

- Okra

The Crack Emcee said...

Drago said...

"As with Archimedes, give Crack a place to stand with Truth as a lever and he just might move the World.

Crack, feel free to use that."

Dayum.

Remember that the next time reparations comes up, k? (I kid) Thanks.

Phil 314 said...


Blogger Clyde said...
"So Oprah has bolted from the plantation, but wants other African-Americans to stay on it"

Independent says nothing of who one votes for. I'd be curious how many Republicans she's voted for.

When we hear "independent" we reflexively think the person is somewhere near the middle. I see a good number of "independent" individuals who find the party their closest to, too moderate. Hence the extreme leftist who is "independent"

Francisco D said...

I registered as an Independent in Illinois in 1971.

In Iowa, I also registered as an Independent.

Now in Arizona, I am a registered Independent.

It's not difficult. You can do it when you apply for a new drivers license.

Marcus said...

In Florida, you can register as an Independent voter, indicating a minor political party or "None".

SDaly said...

I'll say it again. If any former employer of Oprah were to break publicly the non-disclosure agreement Oprah makes all employees sign, Oprah would slink away and never be seen again.

Chuck said...

All you people professing that you registered as “independents” or no party affiliation; yeah, I get and in my earlier comment I acknowledged that it could be done. But in many places (and it really should be everywhere), you cannot vote in primaries if you are not declared for one of the parties.

Has Oprah voted in any primaries? Where?

I am thoroughly unimpressed by anyone’s being a “registered independent.”

Bilwick said...

"One thing is for sure, all the big money is on the left." And if they took that big money, and actually gave it to the people they profess to want to help (as opposed to using it to promote the expansion of the State), one might take more seriously "liberals'" vaunted "compassion."

DavidD said...

“Think for yourself ’cause I wouldn’t go with you.”

George Harrison, 1965.

DavidD said...

“ ‘I've earned the right to think for myself and to vote for myself, and that's why I am a registered independent.’ ”

I wonder how many people heard this and thought, “Hey, I don’t have to be a Democrat either....”

Oopsie poopsie.

bagoh20 said...

Nobody, including Oprah needed to earn any power to vote independently. Nobody knows how you vote in that booth, regardless of what you tell them. It is one of the few things we do entirely in secret. I can hold a gun to your head and tell you how to vote, but you can still defy me when you get in that booth. Me and my buddies can stand outside the voting location in all black tactical outfits holding billy clubs, but you can still vote against the guy we obviously endorse. Then again, some precincts in the city of brotherly love gave Obama over 100% of the votes. That's how your independence actually gets stolen from you.

bagoh20 said...

"I am thoroughly unimpressed by anyone’s being a “registered independent.”

But it sure felt good last month after over 40 years as a registered Democrat. I feel emancipated. Non-affiliated should get to vote in either primary, but not both. We are registered "non-affiliated", not disenfranchised. You can cross lines in the general election, so why not the primaries?

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

I think more and more people are moving from R to I-independent because they don't want to be harassed by the oh-so tolerant left.

The left are trying really hard to get into that voting booth with you.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

That said, the D's really target the I's with creepy intrusive prodding.

I'm considering the switch so that when my nosy lefty neighbors look for my party affiliation, they will not know that I really vote R.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

BREAKING: Woman who claimed Justice Kavanaugh raped her now admits they’ve never even met. She’s been referred to DOJ/FBI for investigation and could soon be in serious legal trouble

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

She said “The One.”

That’s all I need to know.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I love the secret ballot.

I imagine the Democrats will eventually want to get rid of that, too.

Then we get full peer pressure, no doubt driven by your melanin, genitals (no longer fixed), “not-religious-bit-spiritual” preference, who you’re horne7 for, et centers.

We’re told none of this should matter. Yet one political party says it’s all that matters. Strange, no?

And what makes it all possible is the enemedia. “What’s right for me is not for thee.” That’s the media society we live in today. Whole swathes of people are exempt from pejorative because they think the right things.

That’s #%&$ed up. All of it.

Gahrie said...

You can cross lines in the general election, so why not the primaries?

Open primaries suck here in California.

DavidD said...

As does having the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, run against each other in the general, I would imagine.

Anonymous said...

Is she still here?