Is Kanye West Really Running for President?

Kanye West has teased fans with a potential presidential run for years, but Saturday, July 4 the musician tweeted that he actually plans to run in 2020. 

Elon Musk replied, “You have my full support!” Kim Kardashian West quote-tweeted her husband’s announcement with an American flag emoji (a picture speaks a thousand words, am I right?). Many fans immediately voiced their support, while others begged their followers not to vote for Kanye or play into the joke. Overall, people had a lot of questions. 

It's difficult to determine the reality of this tweet. According to Bloomberg, Kanye has not filed with the Federal Election Commission or created a campaign committee, and he has missed the deadline to appear on six state ballots for president. Additionally, Kanye has openly praised Trump and was photographed wearing a MAGA hat while visiting the Oval Office.

The most likely option seems to be that Kanye’s tweet about the 2020 race is solely a publicity stunt for his upcoming album, “God’s Country” of which the first single was released this week.

Still, Kanye is an eccentric and notable celebrity. The media ate up Trump’s campaign, and there’s potential for Kanye to also soak up mass amounts of attention. Voters find themselves frustrated with the current presidential candidates, and a familiar face and famous musician may seem like a reasonable choice to write in. But voters overall must think long and hard about the future of this country — a celebrity president sounds enticing, but we’ve learned that political leadership experience matters more. Additionally, some believe that Kayne’s presidential run would damage the Biden campaign, putting power back into the hands of Trump.

Kanye’s run, publicity stunt or not, simply serves as a distraction. A distraction from an economic crisis. A distraction from a worsening pandemic. A distraction from change. So whether or not the musician's name appears on the ballots, it is necessary to think critically about who should be the next leader of our country during this time of immense collective struggle. 

As a fashion lover, the thought of the next president delivering his inauguration address in an oversized hoodie and Yeezys excites me. As a college voter with much uncertainty for her future, Kanye’s potential presidency incites fear.

For more information about voter registration read here.