OPINION: Does Kanye Have 2020 Vision?
Updated: Jul 11, 2020
Harder, better, faster, stronger? Not exactly the case here for 2020 Presidential hopeful Kanye West. He has moved a little too slow this time around.
On the evening of July 4th, Kanye West declared his own independence and announced his plan to run for President in the 2020 election. This declaration was in the form of a tweet, with his apparent campaign slogan: #2020VISION, which honestly has a nice ring to it. Immediately following his announcement he received support from Elon Musk, in addition to his wife and known activist, Kim Kardashian West. Kanye has come out since this and said he considers them to be his current campaign advisors and that he even offered to make Elon the head of the space program.
Since his announcement, West has done an interview with Forbes, detailing his plans a little further. In the interview he noted that he is running as a candidate of the Birthday Party with his already chosen Vice President by his side. The Birthday Party has its origin from the idea created by West that, "When we win, it's everybody's birthday." In terms of his Vice President pick, West has already secured a female preacher from Montana to be his running mate.
So what are the logistics here of this actually happening? Short answer is: it's kind of complicated. When one decides to make a run for the Oval, there are an abundance of steps needed to be taken ensuring the correct paper work is filed. Some of those steps are registering with the Federal Election Commission, and meeting state specific filing deadlines. Neither of which West has done.
In terms of Kanye's run, he is in a bit of sticky situation. Kanye has said if Trump is still in the race for 2020, he will run as an independent. However, if for some reason Trump is not in the 2020 race, he will run as a Republican. As of now, it is clear to everyone that Trump is very much in the race for 2020, so West would then be running as an independent.
That said, if Kanye does decide to run as an independent, it is too late in the game for him to make it on the ballots in Alabama, Illinois, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and Texas. However, he has expressed that he is working to fix this set back by attempting to use corona as a way to get around the filing date requirements.
But what about running as a write in? Write in candidates still must file the appropriate
paperwork on time, and additionally some states don't allow write in candidates on the ballots at all. Write in candidates don't have a great track record in getting to the Oval, seeing as a write in candidate has never won a Presidential election. But hey, it's 2020 and nothing is shocking anymore.
If West is serious about running, he will be following a long line of independent or third party campaigns challenging a strong Republican or Democratic candidate. In 1992, Ross Perot, a Texas billionaire, took 19% of the vote. And in 2000, Ralph Nader’s Green party took less than 3% of the overall vote. That said, Nader's run was was heavily blamed for costing Democrat Al Gore the presidency against Bush.
So where does West stand on the issues? In his interview with Forbes, West noted:
He is against the death penalty.
Wants to end police brutality.
Desires to clean up the chemicals in substances we use such as — deodorant and toothpaste.
And at the moment, he does not have a foreign policy plan.
However, West mentioned that the most important part of his plan is "to give everyone forty acres and a mule" highlighting his love for the outdoors.
So in reality, what would a Kanye West White House look like?
Would Kris Jenner be his communications director? Kim Kardashian his director of criminal justice reform? Kylie Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian in charge of cleaning up chemicals from our products? Is there a recording studio in the White House for him, or would that need to be built? Would he forgo Camp David to spend time at his ranch in Montana? Is his cabinet solely going to be comprised of family and his friends in the music industry? Will secret service be required to wear Yeezys? As you would expect, I have questions, and I want answers, Kanye!
All of this to say, Kanye has not followed his own advice from his song Stronger and acted fast here. To the contrary, he has moved WAY slow in order to make a legit run for President in the upcoming election, so maybe try again in 2024 Kanye. But as the musician once said, "I feel like I'm too busy writing history to read it" so that would make sense why he missed the filing deadlines to run as an independent.
Whether Kanye officially runs as a write in or not, you have to admit... his #2020VISION slogan has a nice ring to it.
Meredith E. Milton is an Opinion Contributor for The National Times