Should one rapper really have all that power?


art by Erica Miget

Zachary Taylor, Herbert Hoover, William Taft, Ulysses Grant and Dwight Eisenhower did it. Donald Trump is trying to do it right now. But, does Kanye West, 39-year-old recording artist and entrepreneur, have what it takes to run for and become President of the United States with no previous political experience?

“When I talk about the idea of being president, I’m not saying I have any political views, I don’t have views on politics,” Kanye said in a BBC 1 interview Aug. 1. “I just have a view on humanity, on people, on the truth. If there is anything that I can do with my time and my day, to somehow make a difference while I’m alive, I’m going to try to do it.”

Even without “any political views,” Kanye does not shy from public criticism of existing politicians. However, his tendency to cross party lines makes it unclear which party he would represent in 2020. According to Kanye’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, and 60 percent (134/222) of students, Kanye would most likely run as a Democrat.

“I don’t wanna put words in his mouth, but I’m pretty sure [Kanye would represent] the Democrats,” Kim said in a September interview with Wonderland magazine. “Maybe independent? I don’t know how serious he is about it. We’ll see.”
TKC took to Kanye’s songs, speeches and social media to speculate on his plans for the 2020 election.

Where Kanye stands…

On the Economy

“It’s illegal to not wear clothes, and also possibly too cold,” Kanye said at Oxford University earlier this year. “That means someone is imposing an idea on you that should legally have to do. Clothing should be like food. There should never be a $5,000 sweater. You know what should cost $5,000? A car should be $5,000. And you know who should work on the car? The people that work on the $500,000 cars. All the best talent in the world needs to work for the people. And I am so [expletive] serious about this concept that I will stand in front of anyone and fight for it. Because I was 14 and middle class. I know what it felt like to not get what I have.”

On Racism

“It’s about class and it was a classist move that even when you get invited to certain dinner parties, or even when you’re in certain magazines, it’s still a Dinner With Schmucks situation,” Kanye said in a 2013 Wild 94.9 interview. “Are they inviting you to be a part of what you’re doing or are they inviting you to laugh at your teeth? And ask you a million questions like, ‘Oh, those are cool teeth. What’s that?’ It’s not about racism anymore. It’s classism. Like Paula Deen, she was old school with it. They like, ‘We don’t do it like that anymore, that’s racist. We classist now.’”

On other politicians

“As soon as I heard [Ben] Carson speak, I tried for three weeks to get on the phone with him,” Kanye said in a 2015 Vanity Fair interview. “I was like, ‘This is the most brilliant guy.’”

On education

“Steve Jobs wanted to lower the cost of textbooks,” Kanye tweeted Feb. 16. “Education puts Americans into debt before they even get a chance to get started… We have to lower the price of textbooks. I’d rather teachers got paid more and books cost less #2020.”

On the environment

“I’ll sit there with Obama and [Leonardo Dicaprio’s] talking about the environment, and I’m talking about clothes and everyone looks at me like, ‘That’s not an important issue,’” Kanye said in a May interview with Ellen. “But I remember going to school in fifth grade and wanting to have a cool outfit. I called the head of Payless. I’m like, ‘I want to work with you. I want to take all this information that I’ve learned from sitting in all these fashion shows and knocking on all these doors and buying all these expensive clothes, and I want to take away bullying.’”

On marijuana legalization

“And if ya losing yo’ high then smoke again,” Kanye raps in “Get Em High,” the ninth track from his 2004 album, The College Dropout.