Make America Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Again: A Look into Kanye's Quest for Presidency
Updated: Sep 17
Whether you know him from the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards where he interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech, you own a pair of his infamous Yeezy sneakers or are just a fan of his music, you’ve heard the name Kanye West.
Originally known as a GRAMMY Award-winning rapper and producer, West emerged into the public eye in 2000 and later gained more celebrity status when he married his current wife, Kim Kardashian West, in 2014. Though he is no stranger to the spotlight, the star has gained attention in a new scene over recent years as he's developed a great passion for politics.
But how exactly did the rapper go from musician to MAGA to #2020Vision, you ask? Let’s take a look into the life in quest of Kanye West.
Kanye West began voicing his political opinions in 2005 when he went off-script to criticize President George Bush. The incident happened during a fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Katrina, where West stated that he was dissatisfied with former President Bush. To quote him, “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people” remains one of the most controversial moments of the singer’s career.
In 2015, West’s wife revealed who the pair would be rooting for in the 2016 Presidential election by posting a selfie with former candidate Hillary Clinton, where West can be seen posing in the background. Later that year, West announced that he would be running for president in the 2020 election as he took the stage at the 2015 MTV VMAs. Just three days after the announcement, President Trump voiced that he would love to run alongside the singer someday.
The Trump-West relationship grew in 2016 when West admitted that although he did not vote, his ballot would have gone toward Trump if he did. This statement contradicts the previous theory from the earlier photo with Clinton, proving that the singer’s political views are always changing.
A meeting between Trump and West was held in NYC’s Trump Tower later that year, though Trump stated that it was simply just a conversation about life. Two years later, in 2018, West took to Twitter to address fans’ concerns about the singer’s support for the President. He responded by creating a rant-driven Twitter thread explaining that he does not fully support either party and shares views with both Clinton and Trump. The singer went back to his musical roots in the same year to produce a track titled, “Ye vs. The People”, where he reinstates both his support for the current president and his desire to run in the 2020 election.
After releasing an album in 2019, West stayed mostly silent in the world of politics. In 2020 however, he once again supported President Trump when he mentioned that he would be taking the polls in November, as well as stating, “... and we know who I’m voting on,” in an interview with GQ Magazine.
This idea of voting quickly faded, however, when he took to Twitter, on July 4th, to announce that he was an official candidate in the 59th Presidential election.
"Who Will Survive in America"
The day following his announcement West didn't hesitate to show the people his passion and commitment for his country by using Twitter to display the construction process of a housing solution he is calling, ‘YZY SHLTRS’, a name reminiscent of his clothing collaboration with ADIDAS called “Yeezy”. In this same tweet, he used the hashtag #2020Vision, making it his official campaign slogan. This excitement was soon to 'Fade', however, when it was outed that the singer had filed too late and could no longer be registered as a third-party candidate in six major states. Among these states were Texas, New York, and North Carolina.
It was at this same time that speculation arose on whether or not the singer is serious about his candidacy, or is simply looking to stay relevant in the public eye. Two days later, The Federal Election Commission, or FEC, revealed that Kanye had indeed missed the deadline to make his bid official in all of the 50 states. President Trump spoke on the matter saying that West should consider this a practice run since it is impossible to win an election with a bid in just 44 states.
On July 8th, West finally announced the contents of his campaign. His plans for the future of America include the creation of his own political party, dubbed “The Birthday Party” (BDY), a real-life nation based on “Wakanda”, the made-up country from 2018 hit blockbuster Black Panther. The singer also voiced his theory that the US leader is not picked by the people or the Electoral College, but rather that of God himself.
July 9th, was an eventful day for the star, as he voted for the very first time in his 43 years of life. That same day West was criticized by Planned Parenthood for his pro-life reviews that were revealed in the previous day’s interview with Forbes Magazine. Just ten days following his candidacy the rapper won 2% of the vote in his first tally. The next day, West filed the appropriate paperwork with the FEC and secured his spot on the Oklahoma ballot.
On July 19th, West announced that he would be holding the first rally of his campaign in South Carolina on July 20th, with proper pandemic procedures in place. At this rally, emotions ran high as tears trickled down the singer’s face when it was disclosed that he and Kardashian-West had considered aborting their firstborn child, North West. If you're wondering what his solution to the abortion debate is, imagine being awarded $1 million for choosing to keep a baby rather than choosing the option of abortion. While some may agree with this idea, others feel as though money should never be allotted for such a priceless gift.
"All Falls Down"
Although he held a rally in the state the night before, West will not be listed on the South Carolina ballot this fall as he missed the deadline of July 20th. In addition, the singer and his wife have been making headlines for another reason. Sources close to the family stated that while they will always support Kanye and his endeavors, they do not agree with some of the policies he plans to enact should he take office. This infamy over the course of July has put a great strain on the couple’s marriage, and rumors of divorce have been circulating around the press.
Kim Kardashian West was quick to tweet about Kanye's state of mental health leaving many to reconsider their views on the rapper. Pause... we interrupt this message to state that making fun of anyone for their mental health is NOT okay. So, the next time you're thinking of making a Kanye meme, just keep that in mind.
With all that has happened this year, it’s hard to guess what will happen next. However, it is assumed that Kanye will continue to show no 'Mercy' in his quest for the presidency.
Do you think it's time for Kanye to be taken seriously, or is this all just a dramatic act to gain traction in the media? Let us know what you think about #2020Vision in the comments below!