There’s been a lot of handwringing over Kanye West’s run for president of the United States: his controversial — some would say unethical — attempts to get on the ballot; his bipolar disorder and what seems like the midst of a prolonged manic episode; his publicly faltering marriage to Kim Kardashian; his erratic tweets; running under the banner of the Birthday Party; his claim that top advisers include Jared Kushner and Elon Musk; plans to model his administration on the fictional Wakanda nation of “Black Panther.”
To which I say: YES.
What makes more sense in 2020 than such a bonkers, balls-out presidential campaign? The hypocrisy of the media here, conservative and liberal, is laughable. It’s not like Donald Trump is a paragon of virtue or makes sense every time he talks. On the other hand, the Dems are knowingly running a candidate who is clearly cognitively impaired and are hoping to keep him in the basement till Election Day. The left, which couldn’t get enough of presidential debates when they were suuuuuure Hillary was going to wipe the floor with Trump, now claims there’s no reason for such needless political theater.
“Let’s Scrap the Debates,” read a New York Times op-ed column on Aug. 3. “[They] have never made sense as a test for presidential leadership … This, by the way, isn’t written out of any concern that Donald Trump will prevail over Joe Biden in the debates.”
Of course not.
“Hillary Clinton forced Donald Trump on to [the] defense” at their first debate, CNN reported in 2016, “… a potentially pivotal moment in a tight election campaign.”
West infamously met with Trump in 2018. Not since Elvis met Nixon in the Oval Office has there been greater political performance art.
“I brought a GIF with me right here,” West told the president and the press corps. “This right here is the iPlane One. It’s a hydrogen-powered airplane, and this is what our president should be flying in … We’re gonna have Apple, an American company, work on this plane … what I need ‘Saturday Night Live’ to improve on, or what I need the liberals to improve on is, if he don’t look good, we don’t look good. This is our president. He has to be the freshest, the flyest … we have to bring jobs into America, because our best export is entertainment and ideas, but when we make everything in China and not America, then we’re cheating on our country.”
Unhinged, yes. But West is also right that our best exports are culture and ideas. Apple remaking Air Force One? No more outlandish than an eccentric Silicon Valley billionaire running our space program.
Also, said West: “People expect that if you’re black, you have to be a Democrat.”
Crazy? Or crazy enough to say it?
The real problem here is that West is an avowed Trump supporter who reportedly talks to Jared Kushner every day. West also reportedly has GOP operatives attempting to get him on the ballot in multiple states. He is clearly running a spoiler campaign in an attempt to siphon votes away from Joe Biden, and this is why the media, which historically can’t get enough of West’s antics, has now gone to DEFCON 1.
Just as the establishment was mistaken to underestimate Trump, they would be ill-advised to do the same with West. Both men may not be conventional politicians, but they are savants when it comes to sound bites and savvy, with what plays to their audience-slash-constituency, how to further lampoon our increasingly ridiculous political landscape.
To wit: Anyone who’s seen “Veep” could only imagine the cynical, hypocritical backroom conversations between Biden and his former rival Kamala Harris, who all but called Biden a racist during the primaries.
Yet to watch the media swallow this newfound ticket as holy, meaningful and unbeatable is to live in an alternate reality.
Meanwhile, in response to accusations that fake signatures such as Seymour Butts, Bernie Sanders and a certain Disney icon appear on some of his ballot petitions, West’s lawyers have this to say: Prove that a Mickey Mouse doesn’t live in Wisconsin and didn’t sign that ballot.
Kanye has no shot. He won’t be able to run. But for now, let’s appreciate his great contribution to the 2020 election: showing us all what a true farce it is.