Kanye 2020. Kanye West Wing. Kim K for first lady.
A new political phenomenon rocked the nation during last week’s MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs). Ever since then, Kanye West has been consistently trending on Facebook and Twitter. Meanwhile, Yeezus himself has been flying under the radar after his big announcement, besides the beautiful flower bouquet he sent to Taylor Swift. However, it’s never too soon to start seriously considering what a Kanye candidacy would look like.
Though 2020 is still five years away, Mr. West has actually articulated some more cohesive policy positions than many of the 2016 candidates.
First off, Yeezy sticks to his liberal roots when he tells this parable about the ineffectuality of charitable giving: “The church want tithe, so I can’t afford to pay/Pink slip on my door, cause I can’t afford to stay/My fifteen seconds up, but I got more to say/’That’s enough Mr. West, please, no more today.’”
Here, Kanye takes on the role of his younger, struggling self reaching out to a pastor for help. West seems to be saying that poverty is a systemic problem best dealt with at a causal level rather than having churches and private charities bandage the symptoms.
On the other hand, he has some pretty conservative messages on making college tuition more affordable. In his 2004 track “We Don’t Care,” ‘Ye rapped the lines, “Cause ain’t no tuition for having no ambition/And ain’t no loans for sittin’ your ass at home.”
It should be noted that over a decade has passed since that song dropped, so maybe West has evolved on this individualistic stance.
He may not have a lot of political experience, but ‘Ye has proven to be a renaissance man in other areas, taking on the fashion industry in addition to his thriving music career. With candidates like Donald Trump and Ben Carson polling so well, West’s lack of political experience may be a boon.
I predict Mr. West would gain wide-ranging support, from the religious folks he won over with his insanely popular ode, “Jesus Walks,” to the Black Lives Matter movement with his frequent criticism of race relations in his song “New Slaves.”
He definitely already has the endorsement of rapper Big Sean, who once dropped the line, “’I know Kanye a jerk,’ how could you say that?/He rode me and my mama ‘round in his Maybach.”
A lot can happen between now and the 2020 race. Either way, the 2015 VMAs will go down in history as the point Kanye West eclipsed the reputation left behind by his 2009 VMAs outburst and becomes an icon of thoughtfulness, creativity and the American spirit. The real question is: what will be his campaign anthem?
Annie Cappetta is a sophomore majoring in political science.