Have you heard? Kanye West has tossed his hat in the 2020 presidential race. The 43-year-old rapper and fashion designer announced the news in a July 4 tweet, triggering a wave of reactions that range from joy to shock to concern.
A lot of people immediately balked at the idea of a West presidency, but others weren’t so mad at it. Ahead, we’ll look at West’s announcement, what people have to say about it, and what a West presidency could look like.
Kanye West’s presidential campaign announcement
West made his announcement on the evening of July 4, tweeting: “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.”
The post quickly went viral, amassing over 300,000 comments and nearly 1 million likes. As the tweets rolled in, West’s name shot to the top of Twitter’s trending topic list, where it remains as of this writing.
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What are people saying about Kanye West’s presidential campaign announcement?
Many Twitter users reacted negatively to the announcement, citing his lack of political experience, penchant for being unpredictable and making one-off remarks, and more.
One person said, “imagine supporting someone who said slavery is a choice…” referencing comments West made in a 2018 interview with TMZ.
“Yes, let’s make USA a bigger laughing stock for other countries. Geez!” read another tweet.
“He doesn’t even know how politics works. Presidential nominations for 2020 closed in December 2019,” said another fan, while a fifth person reminded him, “I think you might be a tiny bit late for this election.”
But then someone defended West, musing, “call it a late registration.”
A second defender said, “I’d take Kanye West as president over [President Donald] Trump and [former Vice President Joe] Biden lol.”
Chiming in, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted West directly saying, “You have my full support!”
“Literally any idea Kanye West has ever set his mind on, he accomplished! so I honestly believe we will see him as the president one day,” said another tweet.
Kanye West’s political aspirations
The Yeezus rapper expressed interest in running for president years ago. He told the audience at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards that he planned on running in 2020 but later doubled back and told Vanity Fair he had decided to hold off until the 2024 race.
As far as his political affiliation, it’s honestly hard to tell. West famously criticized Republican President George W. Bush in September 2005 over his response to Hurricane Katrina, a Category 5 storm that hit a month earlier and caused catastrophic damage in New Orleans. But in recent years, he has strongly criticized Democrats and aligned himself with President Donald Trump, calling the commander-in-chief his brother and fellow holder of “dragon energy” — all while promoting progressive ideas.
He may have to run as an independent candidate, as many filing dates for the main two parties have already closed. But as Deseret News notes, that could also prove to be a challenge, given that several of those deadlines have also closed.
West did not share any sort of agenda but in the past, he has dedicated time to criminal justice reform and talked about bringing more jobs to the United States. He previously said on BBC radio, “I don’t have views on politics, I just have a view on humanity. If there is anything that I can do with my time to somehow make a difference while I’m still alive, I’m all for it.”
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