2020 I’mma run the whole electionKanye West – Facts – The Life of Pablo
The chances of Kanye West fully committing himself to the 2020 US presidential race seems wholly unlikely. #2020VISION will most likely extend past the coming election, with Kanye’s true test being in 2024.
Kanye has only recently filed as an official candidate, but is yet to give any substantial explanation of his platform, nor has he sought comprehensive ballot access (except Oklahoma and South Carolina). As of right now, Kanye is still able to achieve the ‘magic number’ of 270 Electoral College votes, but on a practical level, will find success next-to-impossible.
This lethargic start to his gigantic ambition is rather telling that Kanye is not fully committed. As Kanye claims himself, “I’m walking. I’m not running” and that his expectations are spread between “2020 or… 2024”.
The disadvantages Kanye faces now are dual with the advantages he may face later. Kanye has either mapped out this potential path or more likely, will unknowingly stroll down it. Regardless, it seems Kanye’s venture into politics will not culminate this November.
One reason to believe Kanye is instead committed to 2024 is the possibility he is using 2020 as a springboard of sorts.
By simply teetering on the edge of a full-blown campaign, Kanye has sparked avid discussion around his candidacy and more importantly, his possible opponents. Like many things in Kanye’s career, time is often to his benefit. His decision to run for head-of-state may be absurd now, but in 4 years time, may emerge as a viable approach. Of course, this is entirely dependent on many other variables. But perhaps Kanye is using a Trump-esque ‘hokey-pokey’ method of prolonging their invisible primary and in effect, incubating their candidacy in the electorate’s minds.
2020 may also bear more tangible fruits for Kanye. The Federal Election Commission grant $20 million to any candidate from a minor party that received at least five per cent of the popular vote in the preceding presidential election. It would come to no surprise that Kanye intends to run as a third-party candidate (under the ‘Birthday Party’ banner). Securing matching funds will enable Kanye’s hopes of independence, predictably so considering his distaste for convention. This certainly gives explanation to Kanye’s current snail-pace approach. If Kanye is to be rewarded with a foot in the 2024 door, it will now be necessary for him to push on. However, this springboard approach would come with a potentially seismic dilemma.
Kanye’s candidacy certainly threatens Biden by poaching votes. Biden’s first worry regarding Kanye will be the young vote. Biden can comfortably expect this group’s support, yet still struggles to entirely enthuse them. Kanye’s mainstream, pop-culture presence and radical policy will therefore bite a fraction of this loosely-tied demographic, even if Kanye is to simply take on board the few diverging votes submitted in protest. Equally, Kanye will threaten Biden’s black vote. Kanye seems to revel in this potential disturbance, claiming “To say that the Black vote is Democratic is a form of racism”. This position which will especially resonate after Biden’s “you ain’t black” gaffe. Despite this, Democrats have shown an acute awareness to this new threat, and have since sounded the alarm, ‘a vote for Kanye is a vote for Trump’. Being labelled a spoiler to Biden’s promising race would not be the most flattering image, although it does not seem to be electoral-cyanide for Kanye. The newly terra-formed battleground of the 2024 race would allow Kanye to reattempt his bid versus no incumbent plus matching funds, even presenting Kanye with the opportunity to become nominated by the GOP if he so chooses.
However, the contrary seems more likely. Kanye’s politics are in close proximity to the positions of Trump, and their two personalities generally mirror. Since Kanye’s alignment with MAGA, Republicans have become more favourable and less unfavourable of Kanye, whereas Democrats have experienced the converse. Although this alignment did render Kanye’s candidacy redundant, Kanye’s recent denouncement of Trump will solidify himself as a tempting alternative to some, rather than a mere clone. Similarly, Kanye’s candidacy threatens two Trump demographics. Kanye’s hard pivot to faith may afford him the many Christian voters dissatisfied with Trump, understandably after Trump’s Bible photo-op. Furthermore, Trump’s 8% share of the black vote in 2016 will likely see a drastic reduction. Kanye may offer an outlet to black conservatives, who otherwise may be torn. If Kanye was to instead spoil Trump’s campaign, it again would not be the worst outcome. Kanye could then assume a vacant position of opposition against Biden, either as a well-funded third-party candidate or a GOP nominee. This position would be further galvanised by a strengthened public perception for his role in Trump’s defeat. Considering Kanye’s ballot access in two convincingly red-states, Oklahoma and possibly South Carolina, this almost seems intentional.
“Balding Donald Trump taking dollars from y’all”Kanye West – So Appalled – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
An early poll suggests 8% of the US population would vote for Kanye in a strictly three-way race in 2020. For reference, Ross Perot’s 1996 run achieved 8.4% of the popular vote and had significant impact. It needs to be noted Perot achieved this after establishing an entire platform with the additional recognition earned in his earlier 1992 bid. If Kanye is to pick up the pace, he could easily become an irritant to 2020’s outcome.
Kanye’s candidacy needs to be watched. Not only could Kanye present an immediate disruption to 2020, if he is successful in achieving a 5 per cent vote share, intentionally or not, Kanye will likely become an even greater disruption in the successive election. And at the very least, Kanye will enjoy a sharper electoral experience and possibly a snowballed momentum going into 2024.
Peripheral to the 2020 election itself lies other objectives for Kanye that if achieved, will render him a formidable force.
Business wise, we can predict Kanye to steer his array of business ventures into serving the domestic economy and becoming eco-friendly.
For one, the YZY x GAP partnership will set to achieve affordable clothing, a goal Kanye has had in fashion for a long time. Kanye and Yeezy consumers have long resented amped-up hypbeast prices of the Yeezy brand. It has become a career-long mission for Kanye to pluralise his products. Kanye hopes to distribute his apparel as a basic supply, as if its bread or water. Furthermore, with his many acres in Wyoming, Kanye is hoping to create an independent factory compound. This is in the hopes to shift his brand’s form of production to creating clothes from seed to sew, in the hope of benefiting both local employment and the environment. Kanye has also had his eyes set on housing. Not only making them more affordable, but more sustainable and considerate to mental-health .
We can safely predict this direction and growth of business will manifest in other Yeezy sectors. Namely: beauty products, education facilities, web-streaming service and even alternative, clean energy. All of which will serve as attractive credentials for his candidacy in 2024 if accomplished. By trail-blazing new standards of industry and simultaneously having evidence of bettering the American economy, Kanye will become a far more respectable contender for the Oval Office.
If its true politics is downstream from culture, Kanye can make serious strides for a 2024 bid through his music. Kanye’s latest single ‘Wash Us In The Blood’ was a greatly effective means of relaying its message of criminal justice in America. The anticipated album ‘God’s Country’ or ‘DONDA’ will serve Kanye’s bid well if it remains politically fuelled. An album would be a compelling and completely unique form of political advertisement. Regardless, the musical medium is often Kanye at his most charming and comprehensible. Perhaps his music will be his greatest means of communication. If Kanye can flesh out his policy platform in his music and be persuasive in doing so, Kanye would enjoy a particular advantage.
Kanye will also need to do some house-keeping in this down-time. First needing to make a persuasive defence of his mental slavery philosophy. Kanye will have to clarify the ‘slavery’ comment by combating the misquote ‘slavery was a choice’ and emphasise it was a comment on mental slavery, rather than physical slavery. Next, Kanye will also have to explain his MAGA cap “super-cape” was a statement on freedom of speech, rather than an advocation of Trump’s politics. This will be an uphill, but necessary battle for Kanye.
“400 years later we buying our chains”Kanye West – Saint Pablo – The Life of Pablo
Not only will Kanye have to play catch-up on issues in his past, but also his present. Kanye’s rebirth into Christianity may indeed present him as a more favourable candidate than ever before. Yet a real concern for many will be the separation of church and state. Although faith is an abundant characteristic in any US President, Kanye exerts colossal overtones of religion and sometimes even fundamentalism. Kanye would find an enormous amount of utility in Locke’s thinking regarding the compatibility of reason and scripture, and on religious toleration.
He the new Commander and the ChiefKanye West – On God – Jesus is King
Another present problem for Kanye regards his mental-health. It is wholly unsurprising that Kanye regards his bi-polar condition as a superpower, but again, the general electorate will not look upon this issue so favourably. If Kanye is to further yield support, his outward pride will require action. This may be through shifting mental-health perception and discussion or committing his time and money to mental-health support. Besides, mental-health is not exactly a deal-breaking characteristic in presidential candidates.
Furthermore, Kanye will have to utilise this time to refine his policy. Thus far, it seems Kanye is disinterested with any actual policy formulation. It is apparent in Kanye’s artistry that he prefers the advantages of curation rather than creation. This seems to translate to his vision of a cabinet-central Presidency. The little policy he is sure on, is ill-researched. His conspiracies regarding Planned Parenthood and vaccines will be entirely insidious to his public perception if his position is not altered or better clarified. The greatest grasp he has on a singular policy is his criminal, justice and prison reform, and can be expected to be a central pillar to a Yeezy manifesto.
“Genocide what it does. Mass incarc’ what it does. Cost a cause what it does. ‘Nother life bein’ lost”Kanye West – Wash Us In The Blood
If Kanye achieves the following, he can bolster his 2024 bid:
- 5 per cent vote in 2020 to be granted matching funds.
- A portfolio of environmental American business.
- A refinement of his policy and philosophy.
- Releases music that shifts political discussion.
Through all this speculation, it seems Kanye will find greater opportunity in 2024 than 2020. Be this a master-plan, or convenient circumstance, the next election will be the true crescendo for Kanye’s political journey.
Went from bein’ a broke man to bein’ a dopeman. To bein’ the President, look there’s hope manKanye West – Crack Music – Late Registration