On the one hand, when Oprah speaks, the crops flourish. Hearts grow three sizes, baby rabbits open their eyes, the crocuses emerge from the frozen earth, distant music can be heard on the soft wind and it is springtime at long last.
On the other hand, Oprah is a celebrity candidate with no executive experience.
On the one hand, Oprah is an inspirational figure who had to work hard for everything she has achieved, and she knows how to string a sentence together and tell a story that is not about herself, which is what she so ably did at the Golden Globes last Sunday night as she received the Cecil B. DeMille award, which is why this conversation about Oprah 2020 is even happening.
On the other hand, why is it that any time someone uses their platform to lift up another person’s story, we assume that it must be because they are running for something?
On the one hand, Oprah is willing to serve if it is the people’s will. (At least, that is what Stedman said, and he ought to know.)
On the other hand, in order to serve, she will have to run for office, and the interval between someone being a viable candidate and the public discovering that she is in fact a nightmarish elitist who once lovingly caressed the hand of the true JonBenet Ramsey killer is known as a “primary.”
On the one hand, Oprah is more presidential than Donald Trump.
On the other hand, there is a case to be made that the pretzel George W. Bush briefly choked on is more presidential than Donald Trump.
On the one hand, is the cure to a TV star president who has no executive experience another, different TV star president with no executive experience?
On the other hand, is the problem with Trump that he is a TV star, or is it every other characteristic that Trump possesses — the fact that he has the attention span of a goldfish who has recently swum into a wall, and the intellectual curiosity of the wall?
On the one hand, after a Trump presidency, I would kill for a dull individual with specific policy ideas who could speak soporifically about fixing Obamacare until I became bored and turned on “The Bachelorette.”
On the other hand, Oprah could probably be that person.
On the one hand, maybe the fact that we are even having this conversation is a sign that we live in a fallen, broken world, where we cannot have nice things, and we will never have a normal, boring president ever again, and this is just how things are going to be from now on, and we will oscillate forever between terrifying celebrity presidents who just think it would be fun to run and well-intentioned celebrity presidents who are actually trying to put in the work, and so by 2040 the president will be Jake Paul, after three terms of The Rock.
On the other hand, there is little I can imagine Trump hating more than having to spend the rest of his presidency listening to the talking heads on television rave about what a better president Oprah would be.
On the one hand, we have already had President Trump, so, really, do we have anywhere to go but up?
On the other hand, if Oprah has to be president, who will be Oprah?
Follow Alexandra Petri on Twitter, @petridishes.