Kanye West announced his decision to run for President in the upcoming 2020 US elections as an independent candidate under the banner of The Birthday Party. The Grammy-award winning American rapper, producer, and fashion designer unconventionally tweeted his candidacy on July 4th, causing an instant internet frenzy.
West is set to run alongside two major candidates – incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. Kanye, who has been an open Trump supporter, said “I am taking the red hat off, with this interview”, adding that he no longer supports President Trump in a Forbes Magazine interview.
In the interview, he labeled his wife, Kim Kardashian, and Elon Musk as his main advisors. He also went on to address his anti-vaxxer beliefs by terming vaccines as “the mark of the beast,” that Planned Parenthoods “have been placed inside cities by white supremacists to do the Devil’s work”, and his Wakanda-inspired White House organizational structure – from the movie Black Panther.
After the brief reports of West reportedly dropping out of the race, the rapper had his first Presidential Campaign in South Carolina. Clad in a bulletproof security vest, with 2020 shaved into the back of his head, West broke down while delivering controversial comments on abortion and slavery.
He shared his experience of planning to abort his first-born and his father’s choice to abort him. “My mom saved my life. My dad wanted to abort me. There would have been no Kanye West because my dad was too busy,” said a crying Kanye. Although West approves the legality of abortion, he wants all new mothers to be given USD 1 million after giving birth.
West also criticized historical civil rights figure Harriet Tubman, who helped African Americans escape slavery and fought during the Civil War, claiming she “never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people”.
Despite his late entrance to bid his name in the presidential ballot, West filed for candidacy at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) with Oklahoma as the first state. The election officials in Oklahoma received the paperwork and a USD 35,000 fee in time for his qualification.
West filed for his qualification petitions in seven other states including West Virginia, Vermont, and swing states of Ohio and Wisconsin. While his petition in Missouri undergoes verification by Election officials for authenticity, West faces allegations of fraud in New Jersey. His paperwork was challenged by an attorney to be invalid.
Current US President Donald Trump reacted to West’s announcement by saying “very interesting.” He said, “If he did it, he would have to view this as a trial run for what’s going to happen in four years.”
Kanye first declared his plans to run for the 2020 Presidential Race at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards during his award acceptance speech. “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, I just have a view on humanity,” he said in an interview later on.
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