I was far from shocked when Kanye West announced hes throwing his hat in the ring for the November presidential election.
Post quarantine, and midway through the calendar, Im inured to all of this years insanity and see Yes July 4th tweet as just another notch on 2020s ridiculous belt. The real concern is what his announcement portends for America, because 2021 can be the year America is hit with the perfect storm of destruction and there isnt adequate leadership on the horizon to captain the ship.
Before Yeezys announcement, the race was a choice between two old, White geezers to be president of an increasingly young and browning nation, which is akin to getting Morgan Freeman to host the MTV awards. The next president should be like a loaded up, specd out, MacBook Pro; but Trump the Boomer and Biden, who is OLDER than a Boomer, is like a Hewlett Packard glitching on Windows XP, running against a Gateway Desktop with an AOL CD stuck in the ROM drive!
America is entering uncharted waters and is in dire need of reimagined leadership in the worst way.
Fresh ideas and faces will be needed to galvanize, unify and press forward with a smart and feasible agenda that could nudge Washington just enough so that the partisan Gorilla Glue doesnt muck up the gears, enabling things can get done. Neither Trump nor Biden fits that mold.
The COVID-19 pandemic has already put the United States in a massive fiscal hole and shows no signs of slowing down, as it catches a second wind this summer. Record unemployment and a demolished state and federal tax base will likely lead to severe budget cuts and hardships in healthcare, education and public transportation. When the belt tightens, expect the most vulnerable to feel the most pressure; and in America, we know who that means!
While the nation bickered politically about masks and reeling from the pandemic death toll, yet another unpaid invoice for racial equality got sent to collections. After years of futile phone calls and collection letters, America started to get its check garnished by the people, who were frustrated with being ignored. This has led to a presidential disapproval rate higher than any president since 1945 (outside of Jimmy Carter). The country is going to need strong leadership for the next decade and it all starts in November. But the choices arent that choice.
Trumps 2016 campaign and tenure have been such an immense, unbelievable train wreck that it legitimized illegitimate candidates and created a political reality where an emotionally fragile, egotistical rapper is an actual, viable option to be President of the United States.
Squint your eyes real hard, while holding Vriksasana position and huffing sage smoke, and you might see that Kanye had a plan for all of this darting back a year or two.
Kanye infiltrated the MAGA crew with that brief bromance he had with Trump, while likely putting some key conservative politicians in his pocket with the salacious slavery was a choice talk. He got God in his Gucci knapsack, by working that Black sanctified set with two gospel albums and the Sunday Service tour. Combine that with support from his church plug, Joel Osteen, and Ye sounds amenable to Christian conservatives.
His wife Kim is riding shotgun, where her efforts on criminal justice reform have yielded real results. She got Trump to grant clemency and commute the sentence of Alice Johnson, who was serving a life sentence for cocaine distribution. She then got Trump to commute the sentences of three other women, at the suggestion of the recently released Ms. Johnson, and successfully worked several other cases that she talks about in her documentary on Oxygen TV.
Thats real work that strengthens Kanyes platform, while also counterbalancing Kim Ks brief, yet wildly popular Pornhub career. Mr. West checks a few other candidate boxes as well. Kanye lost his moms early, which makes him human, and survived a horrible car accident, which makes him inspirational. He also doesnt have much, if any, drug or gun talk in his catalog, which is a big plus.
Shoot, he recently secured a national network of campaign headquarters when he signed the GAP deal and doesnt need Big Pharma, Wall Street, or any other corporate donations because he got two frickin Billionaires in his wife and sister in law.
Hell, the combined social media footprint of all the Kardashian women is about 600 million followers on IG alone, which could galvanize the Millennial vote and possibly get that underage Tik-Tok demo to commit voter fraud or at least continue to hack Trump, like at his Tulsa rally.
The slew of problems that America faces on the domestic front is buttressed by the international issues that have behooved The Donald since day one. Four years of Trump stumbling and bumbling on the world stage has garnered snickering, side-eye and head of state shade thrown at both our problems and inept leadership. America used to have haters, people and countries jealous of the U.S. success, and fearful of our might; but now people simply hate America, which many see as a crude and untrustworthy country run by a pathological liar.
Trump seems to only talk nicely about dictators and strongmen, including Putin, who he showers with unconditional, yet unrequited love. Though still the bully on the block, America is jettisoning soft power and international clout with every bumbaclot tweetstorm that Trump pumps out from the Whitehouse. International order depends not only on the balance of hard power, which America always has on deck, but also on perceptions of legitimacy, which depends crucially on soft power.
In essence, Im not sure what Kanye thinks is the actual job, which based on what THIS president does, looks as if it consists mainly of tweeting, traveling, photo ops, and pep rallies; but its the hardest job in the world.
Like a bathroom at McDonalds, Trump has blown up the White House for anybody that goes in there after him, by sowing bad vibes all around the globe, with his surly, isolationist, small dick energy. It wont be impossible, but Mr. West hasnt shown that he has the makeup to perform under that level of pressure or the political acumen to make up for the goodwill that Trump has squandered.
With that said, Kanye doesnt seem like a smart choice to be president and unfortunately, neither are the other two dudes but if Ye makes John Legend his VP, I might have to reconsider! Either way, Im likely still writing in Eric B for president, as I aimed to do all along.
To read more stories by Richard Burroughs, visit his Medium page here.
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