Kanye West’s First Presidential Campaign

Image courtesy of The Independent

By: Franchetta Groves 

This year, the Fourth of July not only marked the day of American independence, but also the day that Kanye West announced that he would be running for president. While some may be surprised that the rapper would be interested in a career in politics, West has teased at a presidential campaign since 2014. 

West announced his campaign through social media, tweeting, “We must now realize the promise of God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION.” 

The hip-hop rapper has become more vocal about politics in recent years and outspoken about his support for Donald Trump, even wearing the sometimes controversial MAGA hat while performing on Saturday Night Live. Prior to running for the executive office himself, Kanye spoke to GQ on how he intended to vote for President Trump in the fall, claiming that “cancel culture” would not dictate his vote. 

However, if Kanye West wishes to have a chance at the White House, he is going to have to do a lot of catching up. West has filed a form with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) as an independent under a new party called, “the Birthday party.” Even so, he has missed the deadlines in many states which would mean that he would not appear on the ballot and would only be acceptable as a write-in, making his chance of being elected much more difficult. 

West hired Steve Kramer, a get-out-the-vote specialist, and Kramer is hopeful that West had the support needed to get on the ballot. However, it quickly became apparent to him that this was not the case, as he later reported to The Intelligencer that he is “out.” On July 15 after only a two week run Kanye’s management made the announcement that the campaign was canceled. 

This, however, did not deter Kanye West from officially being named on the ballot in Oklahoma or holding his first rally in South Carolina. During this rally, West spoke on what the goals of his administration would be, as well as what some perceived as inflammatory comments. West appeared in front of the crowd in a bulletproof vest and had 2020 shaved on the side of his head. One of the more shocking parts of the night was when West made the claim that Harriet Tubman “never actually freed the slaves.”

Another main topic of discussion was the issue of abortion. West spoke about how the issue has affected him personally and how his own father tried to convince his mother to abort him. He then became very emotional and began sobbing when he spoke of how he had tried to convince his wife, Kim Kardashian, to abort their oldest daughter, North. 

There are reports from Kanye’s family and wife that they are concerned that he may be suffering from another bipolar episode but that they believe he will stabilize as he has in the past.

“I would say the reaction of Kanye running for president says more about the state of our country more than his announcement itself,” said sophomore politics major Gabby Dank, “The instant name calling, defamation, and hypocrites diagnosing him portray the reality that politics is increasingly cultural rather than what has traditionally considered to be political.”

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