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What are the implications of Kanye West running for President? Show more Show less
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On Saturday 4 July 2020, billionaire rapper Kanye West announced he was running for President. In a Tweet to his 29 million followers, West wrote: "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." This is not the first time West has announced a bid for Presidency. But many believe this time he plans to act on his plans. Little is known about his policy agenda, or what his election vision entails. So, what are the implications of Kanye running for office?

Kanye West will split the Democrat vote Show more Show less

Kanye will take a slice of the traditional Democrat vote and reduce their chances of winning the 2020 US election.
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Kanye West appeals to young, black Democrats

Polling suggests Kanye is more popular with Democrats than Republicans.
America Democrats Election Kanye West Music Politics Republicans
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Context

Kanye has been very vocal in denouncing the Democrats as a party that does not act in black interests.

The Argument

In 2018, Ye launched his "Blexit" merchandise range. The term stands for the "black exit" campaign, which calls for black Democrats to leave the party. The rapper has been very vocal in his beliefs that Democrats "brainwash" black people. In a 2019 radio interview West described his views in more detail: "We’re [black Americans] brainwashed out here, bro. Come on, man. This is a free man talking. Democrats had us voting [for] Democrats with food stamps for years. What are you talking about? Guns in the Eighties, taking the fathers out the home, Plan B, lowering our votes, making us abort our children...Thou shall not kill." Polling statistics suggest that West's battle for the black vote may be working. A 2015 YouGov/Huffington Post poll of US adults showed that 25% of black Americans said they would consider voting for him. This was skewed towards Democrats, with 17% favourability amongst Democrats compared to 11% among Republicans. [1]

Counter arguments

Lots has changed since the 2015 YouGov/Huffington Post poll, which suggested West had a potential audience in black Democrats. As he has become increasingly reactionary, and unpredictable, his popularity has waned. This is especially true amongst Democrats who view his praise of President Trump with suspicion. More recent polls suggest that West is very unpopular with Democrat voters. A 2018 CNN poll found that 12% of Democrats viewed him favourably, compared to 67% who were unimpressed. Meanwhile, Republicans were evenly split at 35% to 35%. [2]

Premises

[P1] Kanye calls for black Democrats to leave the party [P2] Black voters are more inclined to vote for Kanye

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Black voters are more inclined to vote for one of the major parties

References

  1. https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/j9k0u1xox8/tabs_HP_Kanye_for_President_20150902.pdf
  2. https://edition.cnn.com/2018/05/11/politics/kanye-west-favorability/index.html
This page was last edited on Thursday, 29 Oct 2020 at 10:13 UTC

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