[Maham H.] Breaking Down Kanye West’s 2020 Presidential Campaign: Everything We Know About the Rapper’s Incursion Into Politics
Competition Brief: Why Did Kanye West Run for President?
In 2020, Kanye West decided he would run for president of the United States. As an American citizen he is within his rights to do so. As a billionaire according to Forbes, he certainly has the resources to do so. Still, one needs to question what exactly was his motivation?
If for publicity, does he need more?
If for money, only being president is financially rewarding: not running.
If on behalf of God, perhaps there should have been more divine intervention?
If in order to serve the country, perhaps there would be more substance in the platform?
If serious, perhaps the run would have been better planned?
If on behalf of Trump, would one famous person sacrifice their own reputation for another?
If delusional, since when or has he always been and riding a wave of equally delusional fans?
Every answer generates more questions.
Statement of Fact
— In July 2020, Kanye West decided to run for president of the United States of America.
— In November 2020, Kanye West conceded defeat.
— Kany West has expressed interest in running for president in 2024.
Wealthiest musician of the world, a game-changer in the genre of hip hop and one of the top song-writers of the world needs no introduction. You may not have heard his songs but you most certainly have heard his name. Kanye made himself known to the world through his music but soon broadened his spheres of influence to include fashion design, philanthropy and most recently, politics.
The Best Man for the Job
Kanye first dipped his toes in the waters of mainstream politics when he met with Donald Trump in 2018 and praised him as a political leader. Taking to Twitter to highlight his support for Trump and sporting ‘Make America Great Again’ merchandise generated much controversy as people believed that he was taking a stance against Black Lives Matter and other race associated movements.
Although a staunch supporter of Trump and his conservative policies on issues such as abortion and race, Kanye attempted to distance himself from the president in 2017. He deleted his Tweets affirming support for Trump and also displayed displeasure towards the government’s travel ban, which targeted Muslim majority countries. He was also disappointed by the state response to COVID-19 pandemic.
Regarding Joe Biden, Kanye claimed that he isn’t “special” and that the democratic representative did not possess the qualities necessary to be America’s president. Disheartened by the political affairs of his nation, Kanye attempted to take matters into his own hands by running as an independent candidate in the 2020 presidential elections. His campaign possessed strong religious undertones, reflecting Kanye’s born-again Christian ideologies. He advocated for instituting prayers in school, strengthening organizations centered around faith and discouraging abortions.
Kanye’s motives for joining politics are not immediately clear. It may be that he considers himself the best man for the job. He is after all one of the most popular musicians of all time, with a net worth of $2 billion. The rapper has contributed towards the fashion industry and collaborated with world-famous brands such as Adidas, Gap and Nike. Additionally, Kanye maintains a passionate care for social issues and is strongly influenced by his christian beliefs. His presidential campaign focused on issues such as environmental degradation, the need for moral rejuvenation of American society and encouraging faith-based organizations.
Kanye’s concern for societal and global challenges is laudable but there is more to being president than simply contributing to societal welfare. As a philanthropist, social welfare is the goal but as a president one must also focus on the economy and foreign affairs. Kanye’s presidential campaign barely touched upon such issues and the rapper himself admitted to Forbes magazine in 2020 that he remains ignorant regarding taxation and foreign affairs.
Kanye also lacks relevant experience in the domain of politics. He has never held political office before and now expects to fill in the top-most position. If the rapper genuinely wishes to be president it would be more prudent to run for a position in his local government and gain some experience before aiming for the prestigious role of political executive.
A Republican Ruse
Despite Kanye’s lack of experience or even understanding of the realm of politics, he managed to bag 70,000 votes and received the 7th highest national vote count for a presidential candidate. His conservative stance on issues such as abortion and race, gained him many supporters who maintained Republican values but were unwilling to vote for Biden. This subverted votes that would have gone towards the Democratic party towards Kanye’s party instead.
Political experts also point out the fact that the political ballot that allowed Kanye to run as a presidential candidate had been signed by Republican operatives. This led many people to conclude that Kanye maintained his support for Donald Trump and had run as a presidential candidate to siphon off the votes the Democratic party would have received, especially from conservative christians, the Black population and minority groups such as Latinos.
Still others point to Kanye’s delicate mental health and believe that he has been unfairly manipulated by the Republican party. During his first campaign rally in South Carolina, Kanye broke down in tears as he addressed the crowd. His ex-wife, Kim Kardashian took to social media and urged people to show compassion towards Kanye as he suffered from Bipolar Disorder.
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by mood swings that go from euphoric highs to depressive lows. During the euphoric highs, also termed as periods of mania, the individual may make risky or impulsive decisions. Kanye’s presidential campaign fits into the erratic pattern often displayed by people suffering from Bipolar Disorder. His plan to run for president was a spur-of-the-moment decision as evidenced by the fact that he missed deadlines to apply for the ballot in most of the states and qualified for ballot access in 12 states only. This period of impulsivity a.k.a. mania was followed by his emotional breakdown at the Carolina rally where the rapper spoke passionately regarding abortion and shared his personal life experiences with the crowd.
David Crowley, a democratic representative, believes that the Republican party took advantage of the musician’s delicate frame of mind and encouraged him to run as a presidential candidate in an attempt to subvert votes for the Democratic party. In any case, most people refuse to take Kanye’s presidential run seriously. Regardless of whether Kanye was intentionally attempting to assist Trump or being unfairly taken advantage of, the consequence remains the same which is that Joe Biden won the presidential elections.
Standing in the Spotlight
The rapper’s ingress into the political realm received much interest and attention by media sites who were quick to analyze this latest development. Kanye’s campaign inspired a host of questions, particularly related to the suitability of a musician as president, generating a renewed public interest in the rapper.
Despite all the efforts he had made to gain votes, including almost $13 million in funding, Kanye received only 0.04% of the country’s votes. He did not appear distressed by his less-than-stellar performance in the presidential elections. He accepted the election’s results and expressed interest in running again in the 2024 elections.
It is possible that Kanye’s motives behind running for president did not extend beyond a desire for attention and a means for publicity. He entered politics suddenly and so impulsive was his decision to run for president that he missed deadlines to apply in most states. He attended a few rallies, then threw himself into his music and fashion endeavors. The rapper did seize the opportunity to launch a website and release merchandise to go along with his campaign.
This would certainly explain Kanye’s impulsive jump into the realm of politics and the lack of well thought out policies in his political framework. He made headlines, sold some merchandise and promoted his music before retreating back towards his usual pursuits.
Such a stunt demonstrates Kanye’s non-serious attitude and his lack of suitability for high office. He should focus on his music and fashion projects, as he possesses finesse in these domains. As for his aspirations to tackle social and global challenges, Kanye should stick to philanthropic works and leave political contrivances to those experienced in the affairs of state and diplomacy.
Author Credit: Maham H. Copy Writer "I am a versatile copy writer proficient in researching, writing and editing diverse content. My focus is on crafting blog posts and video scripts designed to attract audiences and generate website traffic. My aim is to contribute to organizational success by producing quality content that can express what a brand wishes to say and showcase their products and services. I also wish to captivate viewers by catering to their interests and needs by producing engaging and informative content."