4 Political Platforms Kanye West Will Definitely Run On If He Makes Good On His 2020 Promise
"I have decided, in 2020, to run for president," Kanye West boldly announced on Sunday night, after receiving the VMA Vanguard Award. The statement came at the tail end of a rambling, borderline nonsensical speech — is there any other kind of Ye speech? — about art, artists, and making amends with #squad curator Taylor Swift. But is this Yeezy being Yeezy, or is the rapper/producer/designer extraordinaire seriously considering adding "politician" to his repertoire? Given that Donald Trump swiftly emerged as the GOP presidential frontrunner this summer — and that a former Hollywood actor by the name of Ronald Reagan became one of the most celebrated presidents of the 20th century — we can't completely write off such an idea just yet.
So let's imagine what a Kanye West presidential campaign would look like. Because politics is nonstop entertainment as it is. It's almost certain that West would run as a Democrat; the rapper has consistently supported Democratic politicians in the past, and tweeted in 2014 that he was voting for Democratic candidates in the midterm election.
It's no surprise, really. West has a lot of opinions, many of which have aligned with Democratic viewpoints. This is also the man who called out former President George W. Bush, a Republican, for neglecting the thousands left stranded in New Orleans, a predominantly African American city, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Plus, there was this selfie/photobomb from earlier this month ...
Here's what we could expect from West's 2020 presidential platform ...
On Black Lives Matter
This issue is a no-brainer. In December 2014, West expressed his full support for the Black Lives Matter movement, applauding the demonstrators rallying in support of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice, among other black men and women, girls, and boys killed by police officers.
Of course, there's also the lyrics of his 2013 hit "New Slaves," which touched upon the mass incarceration of black men in America (more than a year before Common and John Legend debuted their racial justice track "Glory"):
I know that we the new slaves ... Meanwhile the DEA, teamed up with the CCA They tryina lock n---s up, they tryna make new slaves See that's the privately owned prison, get your piece today They prolly all in the Hamptons, braggin 'bout what they made
On Reproductive Rights
On this issue, West is a tough nut to crack. Raised in a Christian family, it appears that he has some negative feelings about abortion, and wouldn't generally support a woman's right to choose. In 2011, West ignited a bit of controversy when he tweeted about women who have abortions — they're gold diggers, all of 'em, according to West.
"An abortion can cost a ballin’ n—-s up to 50gs maybe a 100," West tweeted. "Gold diggin’ b—-es be getting pregnant on purpose. #STRAPUP my n—-s!"
Not cool, Yeezy. The rapper has also hinted at some of his anti-abortion feelings in his tracks, such as 2013's "Blood on the Leaves," which features the line, "Main reason cause your pastor said you can't abort that."
But Kim Kardashian, West's wife and prospective first lady, is not only a supporter of Planned Parenthood, but also of a woman's freedom to control her reproductive life. Kardashian, who's currently pregnant with the couple's second child, reportedly used in-vitro fertilization to conceive. So it's likely that West would support legislation to protect reproductive rights — whether it's the right to use IVF or to have an abortion.
On Class Inequality
The great paradox of Kanye West is that he can perfectly speak to the 99 percent while simultaneously being a member of the one percent. I mean, what's a better way to flip off Wall Street than with the "New Slaves" lyric "F**k you and your corporation"?
Corporate greed is not West's thing, despite the fact that he often participates in it. Back in 2011, when Occupy Wall Street was thriving, West paid a visit to Zuccotti Park. He kept a low profile, though, letting Russell Simmons do most of the talking.
West's views on class inequality are nuanced. He may not be the Bernie Sanders of 2020, but his VMA speech Sunday night was decidedly anti-brand — which, paradoxically, is entirely on-brand for West. "We’re not gonna control our kids with brands," he said. Now put that on a bumper sticker.
On Gun Control
If Kim Kardashian becomes our FLOTUS, I definitely know what her campaign would be ...