by Ashira Kolupoti ‘24
Published Oct. 16th, 2021
In 2015, rapper, fashion-designer, and producer Kanye West first announced his future plans to run for president. Throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, he became more vocal about his political views. Finally, on July 4th, 2020, West announced he was officially running for President.
He wrote on Twitter, “We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States 🇺🇸! #2020VISION.” His announcement made headlines and was the number one trending topic on Twitter in the United States. Some news outlets claimed his campaign was a publicity stunt intended to promote his next album Donda, which he dropped on August 29, 2021.
His campaign advisors were revealed to be his then-wife Kim Kardasian and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk. As an independent candidate, he called his new party the birthday party “because when we win, it’s everybody’s birthday party,” as he explained to Forbes. West qualified to run in 12 states: Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and Vermont. He encouraged voters who lived in states which he didn’t qualify for or missed the independent Party deadline to vote for him as a write-in.
As far as his political views, West revealed he was pro-life prior to announcing his political campaign. Later, during a rally in South Carolina, West claimed abortion should be legal because “the law is not by God anyway.” In a meeting with former president Donald Trump, West called the Thirteenth Amendment a “trap door,” suggesting it should be altered to close a loophole that could make it legal to enslave prisoners. His view reflects ex-wife Kim Kardasian’s activities in prison reform prior to West’s presidential campaign.
By the end of his run, West received 66,641 votes across the 12 states he was eligible to run in. Shortly after West announced his first campaign, Elon Musk claimed he had attempted to convince the rapper to run for president in 2024 rather than in 2020. On November 4, 2020, Musk’s wish surfaced when West expressed interest in running in the 2024 election. After Joseph Biden won the 2020 presidential election, Kanye West wrote on Twitter, “WELP KANYE 2024,” once again becoming a trending topic on the social media platform. However, as of May 2021, he remained undecided about his future political aspirations.