Make a happy-go-lucky hip-hop album in the gangsta beat world of 2004? Check. Make a video of naked wax figurines of “famous” people and then running a song over it? Check. Design shoes and clothes, because why not? Check. Stage-storm the VMA awards and call the winner’s music undeserving? Check. Make lewd statements against your own race and then use the publicity to release an album? Check.
Wake up one morning and decide that you’ve got to be president and run a Wakanda-style White House? Check?
A day after an image of Kanye West and Elon Musk, two of the most iconic individuals on the planet, went viral, Kanye announced that he’s decided to run for president – a plan that he’d originally intended to put into action in 2024. A lot of absolutely hilarious things have come to light ever since that day, and it’s primarily to do with Kanye’s very interesting press conference with Forbes magazine which resulted in Elon Musk saying on Twitter that he himself didn’t anticipate these differences of opinion (on vaccination and abortion for starters). This tweet seems to have been later taken down, but there’s a lot to unpack within what’s transpired.
The first important question, is Kanye even running at all? Secondly, if he is running, what exactly would that mean for the Biden-Trump face-off?
As of this moment, there is no real indication of Ye running apart from the original tweet, as well as the press conference during which he said that he would run as an independent candidate unless Trump dropped out of the race, in which case he would run Republican. An article written by the Independent mentions that there have been two nominations under West’s name, but both seem to be illegitimate. There are many steps that one must take to register themselves with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) as a Presidential Candidate, all of which are time-bound. These filings and formalities are especially important if one were to run as an independent candidate, in which case Ye’s already missed the deadline in a large number of states. He is in a precarious position where he needs a certain number of signatures in a short amount of time, but if he used his money to achieve this, that in itself could come under FEC scrutiny for being legally untenable.
A last resort could be the write-in ballot (a way to get people to vote for you without being officially listed), but of course this too requires registration in some states.
Which brings us to that big question: even if he somehow managed to scrape his way onto the ballot, would he get the votes?
This is where we stop to analyse his very elaborate policy.
Kanye West says abortions are inherently wrong.
Kanye West defends a poor black officer who did not step in to stop the bad white officer from killing George Floyd.
Kanye West says he’s never voted before this election.
Kanye West says vaccines are the “mark of the beast”.
Kanye West says Democrats force his community to vote for them.
Kanye West says Joe Biden is “not special” and Kanye definitely is (cue song No. 9 off of The Life of Pablo)
Kanye West says the coronavirus is God’s punishment.
Kanye West hasn’t “developed” his views on foreign policy but Kanye West LOVES China (he says it’s because his Mom used to teach English there). He also says he’s bringing the NBA back, and that COVID-19 wasn’t their fault at all.
Kanye West hasn’t done his “research” on a lot of things, but he knows there’s a lot of chemicals in toothpaste that need to be removed because they stop citizens from doing their “service to God”.
This is the very Kanye West who grabbed a $68 million tax refund (courtesy Donald Trump), and then went on to start a church of his own (because Jesus is King) which means he has been endowed with many more tax benefits.
So, the way it seems to be panning out at the moment, Kanye West has made some statements that put even Donald Trump to shame, and his extravagant nature might cause him to lose out on votes. The few “fans” that might actually vote for him will probably end up taking votes out of Biden’s chunk, and it’s pretty unclear as to whether even the Black Vote is his to take, especially considering how clearly Republican his views have always been; not to mention his whole interview stint at TMZ, which went pretty viral when it first came out.
Overall it looks as if Kanye’s presence is of minor significance to the presidential race, which depends on both his making it to the ballot as well as his actually gathering the votes -- votes that if gathered would lead us to safely conclude that Kanye isn’t going to be winning, and Biden’s vote bank just got diluted.
In other news, Trump sits in the side-lines with a grin on his face.
Author: Samarth Narayanan