And people say Donald Trump is making a mockery of politics.
There was a ton of feuding and drama at the VMA’s Sunday Night, but perhaps the most prominent statement uttered by a celebrity yesterday was Kanye’s announcement that he will run for president in 2020. After being handed the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award by Taylor Swift, the Chicago artist launched into a rambling speech, effectively apologizing for his past actions like his interruption of Swift’s 2009 acceptance speech and touching on several poisonous aspects of today’s media. He then concluded with the announcement of his plan for presidency.
West actually isn’t the first rapper to announce a run for political candidacy, earlier this year, Waka Flocka Flame stated he was going to run. And just last week a 15 year old Ioawa student got a fake name – “Deez Nuts” – in the polls. The only difference between these goofy attempts and Kanye is that neither or them are eligible to run for president due to their age, but Yeezus is. All this coupled with Trump currently leading the GOP polls makes it a bit difficult to take politics very seriously as of late.
But Kanye doesn’t seem to be that set on winning, instead it appears his focus is on generating some new discussion. “I don’t know what I stand to lose after this. It don’t matter though, because it ain’t about me; it’s about new ideas, bro, new ideas.” he said on stage. “People with ideas, people who believe in truth.”
“Sometimes I feel like I died for the artist’s opinion. For the artists to be able to have an opinion after they were successful. I’m not no politician, bro[…] And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.”
No, not a lot of it made sense. However, despite the perceived arrogance of high-jacking his own award speech to preach about his ideals, there was a tragically real emotional undertone to it. Granted, it was all over the place, but whether his digression stemmed from anxiety or the marijuana he had apparently smoked backstage prior to his appearance, he was ultimately trying to speak about some pretty brilliant ideas regarding celebrity culture and how artistry has the potential to bring us together, while modern media and the competitive nature of award shows only serve to tear us apart. Beneath the shaky execution, Kanye wanted to highlight the beauty of art that is often lost in the competition bred by tabloids and celebrity gossip, and that generation Y – while certainly aimless – may have a thing or two to teach the older folk about self-esteem and even entrepreneurship. I won’t get much more into it here, but I urge you to read this interesting analysis of the speech on Vox.com, if only to consider what West was trying to say instead of writing it off simply because everyone else already has.
Although with that being said, it’s hard to say how well his knowledge of music, fashion, business, and this vaguely insightful tangent will translate into actually running a country. Ronald Reagan was originally an entertainer before becoming president, the key difference being that he actually had experience in politics prior to getting elected. He also never had to deal with public opinion being as fast and and loud as it is now. When Kanye unexpectedly revealed his plan for presidency, the internet expectedly blew up with reactions of all kinds, but most of which were making fun.
FINALLY somebody to run for president who can challenge Donald Trump's ego. #Yeezus2020
— Mike Persak (@magicmikepersak) August 31, 2015
Kanye West is the ONLY person who can say "Yes I rolled a lil sumthin" & talk about himself becoming president and gain support #YEEZUS2020
— Good Ol' Joles (@JolanBiokua) August 31, 2015
— Lee-Michael Conway (@LeeMConway) August 31, 2015
White House spokesman Josh Earnest already told reporters that he looks “forward to seeing what slogan [West] chooses to embroider on his campaign hat,” says The Associated Press.
Whether or not Kanye is entirely serious about this decision is not clear, but CNN journalist Brian Stelter investigated a little, and tweeted that there may already some framework for the rapper’s campaign.
http://t.co/FvHM51uonc was registered earlier this year.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 31, 2015
However, the domain was apparently registered by Tramall Ferguson, a young financial advisor who decided to create the url back in April on a whim, according to TMZ. Ferguson is now patiently waiting for Kanye to call him while he receives offer after offer by third party individuals looking to buy the url.
All kidding aside, the pop icon is undeniably ambitious. Who knows, maybe with the right backing he would be exactly the kind of change we need in politics. What do you think? Was Kanye broaching on some good ideas or was it nothing more than pseudo-intellectual nonsense? Do you think he’ll make a good candidate for the 2020 election?