When Kanye West jokingly announced at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards that he planned on entering the presidential race for 2020, nobody saw any validity to those claims. After all, he has no experience in politics, has undergone several public scandals and is associated with the Kardashian clan, otherwise known as the reality TV divas.
Shockingly enough, West took to Twitter on July 4th to announce his candidacy for President of the United States. “We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision, and building our future. I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION”, said West via social media platform Twitter. It came as a shock to the entire nation, many immediately assumed the announcement was a preconceived plan, in an effort to get Trump elected.
To provide more context, West is a well-known acquaintance of President Donald Trump. He has publicly expressed his support for Trump, donned the blood red “Make America Great Again” hat, and has visited the White House to demonstrate his allegiance to him.
Given West’s relationship with President Trump, it’s not at all a misguided notion to believe that West announced his run for the sole purpose of taking votes away from Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate. After all, West is revered for his music from the early 2000s, hence indicating a possibility of young voters showcasing their commitment to him. However, this theory was quickly debunked after West denounced President Trump and quickly withdrew his support for the man who was formerly his favorite politician.
In the midst of the uproar over West’s announcement, Tesla CEO Elon Musk publicly offered his support to West’s run for President. Musk replied to West’s initial announcement on Twitter stating, “You have my full support!”.
Though West seems to have the public in a frenzy, there may not be much hope for his campaign. West has markedly missed the filing deadline to appear on the ballot as an independent in six states, specifically New York, Texas, North Carolina, Maine, New Mexico, and Indiana.
Yet, West was adamant about proving the public wrong about his odds, despite missing some deadlines. West’s campaign filed a “Statement of Organization” on July 15 with the Federal Election Commission, which establishes his campaign team as the primary organization leading his campaign. On Thursday, July 16, he filed a “Statement of Candidacy,” which can only be done in the event a prerequisite of raising more than $5,000 is met.
West’s run seemingly came to a swift end on July 14th when Steve Kramer, a member of West’s campaign team confirmed to New York Magazine’s Intelligencer that West was out of the race. Yet confusingly enough, West is still scheduled to hold a campaign event for Sunday, July 19th in South Carolina. Many are struck by West’s inconsistency and haphazard decisions.
Nevertheless, with Mr. West out of the race, there is an intense emphasis on voting for Biden amongst liberals. Trump’s controversial, and at some points, tyrannical, policies have created a culture of animosity and polarization. Marginalized communities such as immigrants & people of color have experienced the brunt of Trump’s reign. With attempts to remove DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and international students, many citizens in the U.S are seeking a beacon of hope in 2020.
Senior Political Science major, Enrique Peña commented on the bigger picture of this whole ordeal. “There’s an uncertainty about where we’ll be in a year from now. This pandemic was just a disgraceful wake-up call for us, to understand that our current system isn’t working. We need Medicare for all, more than ever. We need to protect the environment because even more people will die if we don’t fight climate change. We need to protect our most vulnerable. And all of that is on the ballot this November. So we need to vote.”