Wild, Wild West: Is There Method to the Madness of Kanye’s Presidential Run?
Written by Selwyn Duke
So, are you ready for Kim Kardashian in the White House?
Rapper and producer Kanye West set off his own fireworks July 4, announcing on Twitter his intention to run for president. And despite America’s falling statues and virtues, it became the day’s news. But is West’s move more artifice than ambition?
The colorful singer sure has his political boilerplate down pat, writing in his Independence Day message:
While I’m all for trusting in God (and, just as importantly, following His ways), the rest of the above is so hackneyed that it’s better suited to a rap “song.” Here we go:
Unifyin’ our vision,
Endin’ the derision,
The corruption needs excision,
Make West your 2020 decision.
(Feel free to use that, Kanye.)
Hackneyed or not, the rapper’s candidacy was immediately met by a “Go West, young man!” by at least one high profile individual (tweet below).
In turn, this was met by humor, with the tweeter below alluding to a theory adopted by Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, stating that we’re all essentially like the faux-reality-immersed “human batteries” in the film The Matrix.
West’s announcement was also met with anger and accusations of Machiavellian motives (tweets below).
While this conclusion is understandable, I’m not sure it’s that clear cut. Since West has received much press for being a vocal Trump supporter, it’s also possible he would attract some black voters, young people, and independents who’d planned to vote for the president.
Yet some theorize that West doesn’t even have a political motive. In fact, some “accused West of pulling a publicity stunt on the heels of the release of his new single, ‘Wash Us in the Blood,’ and the recent announcement of a new album, ‘God’s Country,’ writes Business Insider. “Also in June, West announced a collaboration to bring a version of his popular Yeezy fashion line to Gap stores next year.”
Moreover, if West’s announcement is serious, his planning certainly has not been. After all, the “deadline to file as an independent presidential candidate has passed in six states, and the deadline is approaching in seven others,” Business Insider also informs.
And with “just four months until voters head to the polls, West also hasn’t appeared to register with the Federal Election Commission, though there is no official deadline to do so,” the site continues.
In addition, while “West could run in these states as a write-in candidate, rules for write-in candidates vary from state to state and often do not count: A 2016 Washington Post report said that states often opted to tally the votes for all write-in candidates in an ‘other’ category,” Business Insider further relates.
One also has to consider that West is, by his own admission, bi-polar. This is a serious problem that can profoundly impact judgment, so some of what he does and says (especially via tweets) should perhaps be taken with a grain of salt.
This includes his presidential “ambitions,” which he has expressed before in reference to the 2024 election. Nonetheless, while West won’t be elected president in 2020, this doesn’t mean he couldn’t be a spoiler.
Note that since modern elections are often decided on slim margins, siphoning off even three or four percent of the vote (something within West’s capabilities) can alter the outcome.
So if West is serious and will remain so — and that’s a big if — here are some questions:
• Does his run signal disenchantment with Trump?
• If so, will West attack the president? Would this draw some Biden supporters into his camp? Would it also draw some young people, blacks, and independents who might otherwise vote for Trump?
• Or would he damage mainly the president by running as a Trump alternative?
• Does West’s run signal disenchantment with “both sides,” with the whole system?
• If so, will he run as a “compromise” candidate and draw votes from both sides?
If West does have political motives and is serious, it’s also possible he may run for a time, attract attention and some supporters, and then pull out and endorse Trump. It’s also possible he could endorse Biden under such a scenario. Though I consider this less likely, West seems so mercurial that nothing can be taken for granted.
Whatever the case, what speaks volumes about our time is that West is still more mentally sound and is a more serious candidate than the Democratic Party’s nominee, Joe Biden.
Selwyn Duke (@SelwynDuke) has written for The New American for more than a decade. He has also written for The Hill, Observer, The American Conservative, WorldNetDaily, American Thinker, and many other print and online publications. In addition, he has contributed to college textbooks published by Gale-Cengage Learning, has appeared on television, and is a frequent guest on radio.
Courtesy of The New American