For Kanye, America’s sanity, don’t vote for Yeezy in 2020


Image courtesy of Billboard

Kellen Voss, Print Associate Editor

Earlier this summer, in the midst of Black Lives Matter Protests and civil unrest all across the country, one bit of news got swept under the rug that has the potential to alter the 2020 presidential election.

On July 4, Kanye West announced via Twitter that he would yet again be throwing his hat into the presidential ring and campaigning to be the leader of the free world.

When I first saw that tweet on my timeline, it felt like a joke. It felt like a publicity stunt to promote a new album that he has been teasing, which still has yet to be released despite promises that this will be some of the greatest music he has ever released.

It’s hard to believe anything Kanye West says at this point. His mental illness and recent outbursts have been well-documented on his pseudo-campaign trail. 

Diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016, recent statements from his wife, Kim Kardashian West, expressed concern over the rapper going through a manic period. These periods, which can last from hours to days to weeks, feature wide shifts in behavior. In an interview with Vogue, Kardashian West said West doesn’t treat his diagnosis with medication, and focuses her efforts on being supportive and understanding during outburst, including those on his “political trail.”

Yeezy has made more than a few wild claims, ranging from a little odd in the rapper saying that a presidential win for him would be “God’s appointment” to doubling down on his utterly absurd “Slavery was a choice” take by claiming that Harriet Tubman “never actually freed the slaves” at a campain event in South Carolina.

While these claims have started to feel like the boy who cried wolf over the past few months, the scariest part about all of it isn’t that West is still pushing to be in the Oval Office, but that it’s mid-October and some Americans still seem to think that he has a chance.

Earlier this week, claims of Kanye leading the incumbent and Democratic Presidential candidate in a Kentucky precinct voting poll went viral before ultimately being debunked. Instead, West flaunted an Associated Press test poll that had been leaked and unconfirmed. 

Even with the poll not being accurate, the fact that many in the general public believed that news shows us two things: not only that Kanye’s campaign is very much still in the public consciousness, but also that many people see the current two presidential candidates much like how South Park saw the 2004 election as being between a rock and a hard place.

If the 2016 presidential campaign taught us anything, it’s that celebrities with no political experience appeals to the general public, who at the time seemed worn out by voting for traditional, car-salesmen-esque politicians that refused to “tell it like it is.” We still see that with widespread support for President Trump and early interest in businessman Andrew Yang, who aimed to challenge him from he Democratic side. 

The latest presidential reign, led by a man who seems as confused as a horse in a hospital, should stand as a reminder that celebrities should not run for president.

The 2020 presidential election will arguably be the most complex one in our country’s history, with a worldwide pandemic affecting voting in so many ways. There are a slew of pressing issues from police reform to climate change that demand leadership and consideration from those who have been hands-on in trying to solve these predicaments. 

From mail-in voting being more prevalent than ever before to Americans waiting hours on end to vote in person, this election already has the potential to be a colossal shitstorm. For the sake of our country, we don’t need people writing in West as a candidate thrown on top of that.

Voting for West takes away from the serious discourse surrounding this election. It’s easy to vote for West, but it’s irresponsible and certainly not productive.

College students should stay informed for this election by researching candidates in local candidates, voting early and encouraging friends to take this election seriously by not voting for ridiculous write-in candidates like Yeezy.

While you may be hard-pressed to find a student on GVSU’s campus who actually believes Kanye West should lead our country, let this column be the opposite of an endorsement for the rapper who claims to have “2020 vision”.