Oprah's Polarization Dialogue with Michigan Citizens
The latest Golden Globes Awards highlighted and honored the lifetime achievements of Oprah Winfrey. Missing from these accolades was her recent work as special correspondent for 60 minutes which she has called ‘One of the Great Honors of My Career’. For her debut, Oprah sat with Michigan voters and encouraged a frank discussion about the current political divide in the United States. The conversation -- which brought together a farmer, a drug counselor, a speech therapist, a former GM factory worker and a sales manager who all had a lot to say about the state of our union in the early days of the Trump administration -- began, as you would expect, with the current president:
Oprah Winfrey: I want to know from everyone around the table. How do you think Donald Trump is doing as president of the United States today? Tom?
Tom: I love it. Every day I love him more and more. Every single day. I still don't like his attacks, his Twitter attacks, if you will, on other politicians. I don't think that's appropriate. But, at the same time, his actions speak louder than words. And I love what he's doing to this country. Love it.
Oprah Winfrey: Yes, Jennifer?
Jennifer: I feel like he's a horrible president. And he's divided our nation more than it has ever been. And then when he's on teleprompter, he's sane, I mean, I'm like, "That's great. That's great. That's a good message." But when he's off teleprompter, I feel uncomfortable. It makes me feel sick to my stomach. And I think that we look like we're a joke to other foreign leaders. It's an embarrassment.
The 60 Minutes website has a lengthy excerpt from this conversation and you can also watch her debut piece on CBS All Access. Although the conversation suggests little in the way of solutions, it does expose the general sentiment of the average citizens --
sentiments that can guide transpartisan efforts in the future.