In October 2016, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek — sort of — post about Kanye West running as a Republican challenger to a Hillary Clinton presidency in 2020.
Then Donald Trump won. While that threw off the outrageous theory, Kanye added credence to the idea when he visited President-elect Trump at Trump Tower in December and tweeted “#2024” following the meeting.
The idea/joke flamed out as the Trump presidency plodded into its infancy and West had a few public meltdowns. But the issue resurfaced with one tweet from his wife, Kim Kardashian West, of the cover of Interview Magazine.
The cover is a stunning photo of Kardashian and daughter North West, dressed and posed in a way clearly to bring First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and daughter Caroline to mind.
Interview Magazine 📸 Steven Klein pic.twitter.com/6Um3JgOm8Q
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) August 28, 2017
Below the image reads, “America’s New First Lady: Kim Kardashian West & her daughter North West.”
Of course, it’s just a magazine cover. Most Americans, I hope, are with me in thinking the idea of West running for president is an amusing hypothetical in the abstract when imagining how far into idocracy we can go, in reality, it’s mildly terrifying.
However, I still contend after 2016 anything is possible. And there are reasons why a Kanye candidacy could take off. The following are
“…I’ve contended that Donald Trump and Kanye have so much in common that if he decides to run in 2020 — which he’s insisted he will — he could win. Here’s why:
Personality – When it comes to larger-than-life, over-the-top egotistical personalities there are few that are up to The Donald’s level, but Kanye is one of them. He’s brash, bombastic and while he famously crashed Taylor Swift winning a Best Music Video award at the VMAs and feminists hate him for his lyrics, he has a softer side that he shows when he posts selfies with his wife, Kim or their two children, North and Saint.
Reality TV Series – Ah, yes, the medium that launched Donald Trump into being a favorite of the masses will be the thing that will bring out the non-political, independent first-time voters that catapulted Trump to the top of the Republican ticket this year. Kanye married into reality TV royalty when he and Kim Kardashian tied the knot. Keeping Up with the Kardashians has been incredibly popular with women (!) and Millennials — the largest voting bloc in 2020 — for the past decade. People might point out that Kim K became famous from a sex video, but as we now know, a candidate’s spouse’s indiscretions mean nothing post 2016.
Twitter – Like his would-be predecessor, Kanye has a penchant for going on bizarre Twitter ramblings. On the positive side, he’s not all bullying and insults. He’s even more unintentionally amusing than Trump when he does things like tweet at Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg asking him to give him money. At least he admits when he doesn’t have enough!
Cultish Tagalong Voting Bloc – Kanye fans are diehards. Lines for merchandise alone at his concerts take hours. They’re often unruly, fanatical, and not the brightest bulbs around, but they’re loyal. And if there’s anything that will get Kanye the nomination more than anything else, it’s engendering solid loyalty from a portion of the electorate.
Political Background – Kanye is an avowed Democrat. Doesn’t matter. Yes, he said President George W. Bush hated black people! Doesn’t matter. Trump accused George W. Bush of lying to start the Iraq war and not doing enough to prevent 9/11 throughout the primaries. In the Post-Trump Age you don’t have to like the policies or the people who make up the Republican caucus in any level of government. In fact, the nominee can even actively try to unseat fellow Republicans and plenty of people, no matter how “conservative” they claim to be will fully endorse.
And just imagine the speeches in rap rhymes!
As for Kanye’s ideology, that doesn’t matter either. As with Trump we just need to make Kanye’s statements mean whatever we want them to. If he outright disavows a belief of ours, we’ll just say “he doesn’t mean that.” He’s as conservative and Republican as we each would want our dream candidate to be. Honestly, getting to turn your brain off and stop doing any deep thinking will be a blessed relief for those of us who have been tortured with pointing out inconsistencies and watching the spin and lies.
…should Kanye choose to run as a Republican there’s almost nothing that points to him not being able to clinch the nomination and win the White House.
Heaven help us if he runs.