Yesterday at the VMA’s, rapper, producer, and celebrity entrepreneur Kanye West declared that he has “decided to run for President in 2020.” Kanye West began his iconic career in the 90’s as a local record producer but by the year 2000, he was producing hit-beats for Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella Records. He went on to have a prolific career as a rapper, record label executive, and soon after as a fashion designer, earning himself 130 million dollars in the process, and making him one of the most influential figures in the music industry today.
Over the course of his career, Yeezus has earned a reputation for crafting controversy by openly speaking his mind. In September, 2005, West publicly declared that President George W. Bush “doesn’t care about black people” as a result of his action (or lack there of) in regards to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In 2009 at the VMA’s, Ye went on stage and took the microphone out of the hands of Taylor Swift, who at the time was giving her acceptance speech for “Best Female Video.” West proceeded to say, “Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time!”
But does Mr. West being a supremely successful and extremely outspoken entrepreneur qualify him to run for President of the United States? Well, let’s take a look at the current front-runner in the polls for the Republican Presidential nomination, Donald Trump.
Donald Trump is a celebrity entrepreneur who made his fortunes in real estate. He is most notable for his hit show “The Apprentice,” where contestants competed for a chance to work in an executive position for his company. His estimated net worth is over 7 billion dollars. Like rapper West, Trump is known for stirring the pot by “telling it how it is.” The Republican Presidential candidate previously questioned President Obama’s country of birth, and asked the President to show his birth certificate, and then claimed, “there’s something on that birth certificate that he (President Obama) doesn’t like.” He has also made controversial comments regarding other candidates, global warming, and immigration.
But again, why do these qualities make Mr. Trump and/or Mr. West good candidates for the President of the United States? Well the fact they’ve both successfully created and managed multi-million and billion dollars companies can justify them being effective leaders, but should Trumps lack of experience justify him being the front-runner? While big business does incorporate some of the same elements as the political realm, politics contain a distinct and unique climate all in its own. In other words, experience is invaluable.
So again, what is so appealing about Donald Trump and why is he in the lead in most polls for the Republican nomination? I think Donald Trump said it best himself when he was asked what differentiates himself from the other candidates:
“I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I’m more honest and my women are more beautiful.”
This one sentence perfectly captures the mind frame of the average American citizen. What Trump and his followers see as “honesty,” many others might see as “ignorance.” Regardless, it is this willingness to speak with out a filter that makes Trump so different from the rest, and as a result, so popular in the polls. It’s his use of controversy that perversely makes him likeable to the average American who does not know much about the political atmosphere. It his use of humor that makes him seem fun in a room filled with bland and traditional DC politicians. Does this make Trump a good candidate for the President of the United States? Maybe, maybe not, but regardless it shows that Americans like outspoken characters in politics. So is it really such a crazy idea that Kanye West runs for President in 2020? If history has shown us anything, then I think not. In 2020, West might actually be “tripping’ off the power.”