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Kanye graduates from hip-hop to politics

courtesy of graphic designer Greg Bunbury

By Bria Blassingame, Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

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If the star of 1951 classic “Bedtime for Bonzo” can go on to become Commander-in-Chief, and The Terminator can get elected to run the 3rd largest state in the U.S., is it really that hard to imagine successful musician, producer and entrepreneur Kanye West living it up in the Oval Office?

Although Kanye’s biggest hits are his mainstream singles like “Gold Digger” and “Stronger”, he has a substantial history of tackling social issues. He doesn’t constrain his political perspectives to his music either: on national television in 2005 Kanye famously stated that former president George W. Bush “doesn’t care about black people” – a moment Bush later described as “the worst in his presidency.”
Let’s delve into some of Kanye’s more politically-charged lyrics and examine what some of the West administration’s policies might look like.

He understands what’s wrong with contemporary America.

“The system broken, the school’s closed, the prison’s open”
– Power (2010).

“You know the kids gonna act a fool / when you stop the programs for after-school”
– We Don’t Care (2004)

According to CNN, the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with 2.2 million current inmates. Kanye’s just stating the pretty simple fact that spending five times more on housing all those inmates than educating kids is a pretty stupid way to run a country. A President who wants to spend more money on education than on locking millions of people in jail? This guy is too damn sensible.

He’s anti-war.

“Been a don, praying for the families lost in the storm / Bring our troops back from Iraq, keep our troops out of Iran”
– Power Remix (2010)

Not only does opposing the Iraq War put Kanye to the left of Hillary Clinton, he’s pretty much against military adventurism in the Middle East of any kind. While the threat of war with Iran has receded significantly since President Obama’s landmark nuclear deal, for a while it looked almost inevitable. Props to him for taking such a firm, coherent stance opposing invasion.

He called out former Republican candidate Mitt Romney for tax evasion.

“Mitt Romney, don’t pay no tax, Mitt Romney, don’t pay no tax”
– To The World (2012)

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but Kanye has a solid history of taking digs at Republicans. On “New Day” he rapped about making his future son a Republican, “so everybody know he love white people.” Hating Republicans is a sound basis on which to base a progressive presidency.

He’s pro-drug law reform.

“And if you’re losin’ your high then smoke again”
– Get ‘Em High (2004)

According to The Guardian, more and more public figures are declaring the war on drugs an abject failure. Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Denmark have all introduced reforms ranging from heroin prescriptions to decriminalization – and who better to lead the campaign for drug law reform in the U.S. than a President who admitted to being stoned when he announced his candidacy?

So now we have decent idea of the kind of platform the Kanye campaign might offer. But if the thought of an anti-war, drug- and prison-reforming President who prioritizes spending on education and hates Republicans isn’t enough to get you on board, consider the potential context in 2020:

Donald Trump has been President for four years and declared war on pretty much everyone who isn’t rich, white and male. He’s expanded military intervention in the Middle East and tripled the prison population by locking up undocumented migrants. Meanwhile education and health funding have been slashed in order to build a giant wall that separates the U.S. from Mexico. Luckily, there’s one man with the ideas and vision necessary to take on President Trump. Kanye isn’t just the President we deserve, he’s the President we need.

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