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The A-to-Z of Kanye West’s Short-Lived Presidential Campaign

On July 4th of 2020, rapper Kanye West tweeted, “We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for the president of the United States!” The announcement took the nation by storm, with supporters of West rallying immediately. West also gained an unofficial endorsement from the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, who stated, “[Kanye] has my full support!”

At the time of the announcement, West had already passed the deadline to register as an independent presidential candidate in most states. With four months left until the 2020 elections, West is yet to register with the Federal Election Committee and make other preparations.

This is not the first time that West has “announced” his run for the seat of the president. In 2015, West said he would be running for president in 2020 as he claimed the Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Music Awards. He then delayed his plans to 2024 in a tweet.

West claims that his political platform would be a combination of current-president Donald Trump’s campaign and Democrat Bernie Sanders’s policies. In an interview with Forbes, West stated that if elected, he would “use the framework of Wakanda… because it’s the best explanation of what our design group is going to feel like in the White House.” For context, Wakanda is a fictional land from the Marvel movie Black Panther. He further discussed his political affiliations with relation to religion: West said he intends to govern according to the Holy Bible and the word of God. When asked about his thoughts on the current coronavirus crisis and how to tackle it, West answered, “We pray for the freedom. It’s all about God. We need to stop doing things that make God mad… [the vaccine]’s the mark of the beast.” West has no plans for foreign policy, saying that internal affairs and the military are of the utmost importance. In the same interview, West also announced the name of the independent party he would be running under--the Birthday Party.

West was previously a strong supporter of Donald Trump and his policies, even visiting and holding a “press conference” where he discussed future plans for American politics with Trump. Kim Kardashian-West also worked with the Trump administration to grant clemency to Alice Marie Johnson, who was convicted of money laundering and drug-related offenses and was serving a life sentence. The West family had close ties with the Trump administration until the Black Lives Matter movement gained traction.

West’s recent bid at the presidency can be attributed to this divulsion in ideology. It has been speculated that West does not approve of the Trump administration’s handling of the Black Lives Matter movement, police brutality, etc., and his announcement corroborates this.

However, less than two weeks after his announcement, Kanye West dropped out of the race almost as suddenly as he entered it. Although West himself has not publicly commented on this, representatives claim, “He’s out.” Although his bid at the highest office in the United States was impulsive, West allegedly hired a staff of 180 people and was preparing to collect signatures in Florida before dropping out, signifying that his efforts were somewhat serious.

Those who are close to West worry about him in the wake of his declarations. A representative for the West family states that “Kanye has been doing well for a long time. In the past, he has suffered both manic and depressive episodes related to his bipolar disorder. Right now, he is struggling again.” West was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder in 2017; he has since stopped taking his medication as they “stifle his creativity” and claims that the disorder was a misdiagnosis.

West’s representative has announced that although he has pulled out of the 2020 election, there may be a chance that he runs again (stronger than the first time) in 2024.

Authored by Sanjana Sharma

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