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Culture

2020 Just Got Real: Kanye Is Running For President This November As The "Birthday Party" Candidate

By Paula Gallagher·· 6 min read
kanye west WWD
WWD

When Kanye announced on Twitter that he was running for president, my first thought was this is probably a just publicity stunt, but he’s crazy enough to mean it.

And apparently, he did. 

Kanye West “YES” is running for President of the United States. (Kanye told Forbes, “My campaign is Kanye West YES, not YEP, not YEAH. YES. YES. YES.”) His days of supporting Trump are over. I mean, one of his reasons for donning the MAGA hat in the first place was because he likes “Trump hotels and the saxophones in the lobby.”

Why the "Birthday Party"? Because if Kanye wins the election, it will be "everybody's birthday."

After reading some of his comments, my initial impression is that his campaign is a combination of good sense, whimsy, and ….um, what?

Let’s start with his inspiration to run for president. The thought came to him in the shower: “I was in the shower thinking, I write raps in the shower. It hit me to say, ‘you’re going to run for president’ and I started laughing hysterically.” 

Shower thoughts can be mindbending (Don’t believe me? Check out the Hustle’s weekly compilation.), and Kanye’s comments on the elements of his campaign have our minds doing some mental gymnastics to keep up.

Let’s Start with Some Good Sense

Kanye has enough good sense, and dare I say it, even humility, to know that he doesn’t know everything. He admitted to Forbes that he doesn’t have a foreign policy yet, but that he’s “focused on protecting America, first, with our great military.” He knows he’s a political newbie, saying, “I haven’t done enough research on [taxes] yet. I will research that with the strongest experts that serve God and come back with the best solution. And that will be my answer for anything that I haven’t researched.”

“I will research that with the strongest experts that serve God and come back with the best solution.”

And he’s mature enough to know the role that emotional manipulation plays in politics: “As I speak to you for what a political campaign—a political walk, as I told you, because I’m not running, I’m walking. I'm not running, we the people are walking. We’re not running anymore, we’re not running, we’re not excited—we are energized. Someone can say, ‘Hey, I got a brand new car for you, it’s across the street,’ and you get so excited you run across the street and get hit by a car trying to run to your new car. That’s how they control the Black community, through emotions, they get us excited, we’re so excited, but then for 400 years the change doesn’t truly happen.”

These snippets might make you nod your head and think that just maybe Kanye wouldn’t be such a bad candidate, but we’re not done yet.

Add a Heaping Spoonful of Whimsy

“When I’m president, let’s also have some fun,” says Kanye. 

What does this “fun” look like? Kanye continues, “Let’s empower people with 40 acres and a mule, let’s give some land, that’s the plan.” Ummm, okay…?

And the fun continues with Kanye’s embrace of a “design,” not “policy,” perspective. Kanye said, “I don’t know if I would use the word policy for the way I would approach things. I don’t have a policy when I went to Nike and designed Yeezy and went to Louis and designed a Louis Vuitton at the same time. It wasn’t a policy, it was a design. We need to innovate the design to be able to free the mind at this time.”

“I don’t know if I would use the word policy for the way I would approach things...It wasn’t a policy, it was a design.” 

Kanye will take his design approach from fashion to the White House — inspired by the fictional world of Wakanda: “But I’m gonna use the framework of Wakanda right now because it’s the best explanation of what our design group is going to feel like in the White House…like in the movie in Wakanda when the king went to visit that lead scientist to have the shoes wrap around her shoes. Just the amount of innovation that can happen, the amount of innovation in medicine—like big pharma—we are going to work, innovate, together.”

The freedom to innovate and collaborate sounds great — cut right through all that red tape — but the real-life U.S. Government is a far cry from a comic book world of superadvanced technology, small size, and exceptional privacy.

(But we could use that Wakandan tech to achieve one of Kanye’s other goals. He wants to “Clean up the chemicals. In our deodorant, in our toothpaste, there are chemicals that affect our ability to be of service to God.” Personally, I like this goal. Who needs endocrine disrupters?)

Kanye’s Stances on Current and Political Issues

Joe Biden isn’t “special.”

Kanye isn’t threatened by Joe Biden: “Joe Biden? Like come on man, please. You know? Obama’s special. Trump’s special. We say Kanye West is special. America needs special people that lead. Bill Clinton? Special. Joe Biden’s not special.” 

The COVID vaccine is “the mark of the beast.”

I think it’s safe to say that Kanye hasn’t had his kids vaccinated: “It’s so many of our children that are being vaccinated and paralyzed… So when they say the way we’re going to fix COVID is with a vaccine, I’m extremely cautious. That’s the mark of the beast. They want to put chips inside of us, they want to do all kinds of things, to make it where we can’t cross the gates of heaven.”

Planned Parenthood is evil.

The pro-life movement isn’t the only voice saying Planned Parenthood targets the African American demographic. Kanye is saying it too: “Planned Parenthoods have been placed inside cities by white supremacists to do the Devil’s work.” And he’s loud and clear about his position on abortion: “I am pro-life because I’m following the word of the Bible.”

The Only Thing That Seems To Matter to Kanye

Kanye’s not interested in what the naysayers have to say. He’s convicted that God is calling him to this work: “God just gave me the clarity and said it’s time.” If he wins the presidential election this year, it’s “because God appoints the president. If I win in 2020 then it was God’s appointment. If I win in 2024 then that was God’s appointment.” 

Closing Thoughts

Kanye might just pull it off. He has enough cultural clout, and 2020 is apparently the year for crazy, first-time-in-our-lifetime stuff to happen. Plus, tons of people would love to see Kim as First Lady. Only time will tell if this power couple will be moving into the White House.

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