OPINION: I used to love Kanye — here’s why I didn’t vote for him

I would’ve written in Kanye West for president in a heartbeat a few years ago, when I still wanted a pair of Yeezys — but in 2020, I can’t even support who he’s become as a person, much less as a presidential candidate. 


When West said at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards he would run for president in 2020, I brushed it off as an empty promise, much like his album release dates. In 2016, when he said he would’ve voted for Donald Trump shortly before storming off the stage of his Saint Pablo Tour and being hospitalized, I brushed it off as an isolated mental breakdown from which he would recover. 


But in 2018, when West told TMZ he thought 400 years of slavery sounded like a choice to him, I could no longer brush it off. My entire body cringed in disapproval, and I rescinded any support I had for him as a person.


Fast forward over a few controversies to 2020, and what I thought was an empty promise is now reality — months after the Federal Election Commission’s filing deadlines for several states, West announced his 2020 presidential candidacy anyway. He still managed to get on a few ballots, but for those he couldn’t, he tweeted an instructional video on how to write his name on your own ballot.


I cannot stress enough how bad an idea this is, or ever was. 


His campaign website, kanye2020.country, has the aesthetic of a mismatched Microsoft Word document. It features a religious poem about the future, some campaign ads, his Joe Rogan podcast episode, some overpriced merchandise and 10 parts of his presidential platform with accompanying Bible verses, in that order.  


Part one sets the tone by insisting we reinstate prayer in the classroom to somehow promote our Constitutional freedom of religion. But those Constitutional authors, who fled religious persecution from the British, wrote freedom of religion into the First Amendment so that one belief system wouldn’t be imposed by a government on its people. West’s demand that our children pray in their classrooms directly contradicts the freedom of religion he claims to promote. 


If you believe your vote doesn’t count, West actually agrees with you. 


“Let’s see if the appointing is at 2020 or if it’s 2024 — because God appoints the president,” West said in a Forbes interview last summer


Of course, no discussion of West’s policies would be complete without bringing up his stance on abortion. West said in a podcast interview with Nick Cannon that his political party, The Birthday Party, derives its name from kids having more birthdays, as West is unmistakably pro-life. 


“Planned Parenthood was set up and placed in minority communities to kill Black people,” West said. 


When Cannon asked how West would respond to those who claim he can’t speak on this as a man, West said, “I have to go to the Word. God says he knew you before you were in the womb.”


I hate to break it to you, Yeezy, but your personal religious beliefs are not a good enough reason to strip away the reproductive freedoms of countless people. They’re also not a good enough reason to deny medical science. 


“It’s so many of our children that are being vaccinated and paralyzed,” West said. “So when they say the way we’re going to fix COVID is with a vaccine, I’m extremely cautious. That’s the mark of the beast.”


Claims that vaccines have adverse effects on children have been medically discredited for years. The last thing we need during a global pandemic is another president who doesn’t believe in science, especially when it comes to vaccines.


I understand not wanting to vote for either Trump or Joe Biden, but this election has never been about what we wanted. It’s been about what we’ve needed since 2016, a president who’s qualified — and despite what Mr. West believes, God does not appoint the president, humans do.


Learn from my mistakes as a former fan and don’t brush off West’s problematic nature as a joke. America can’t handle another celebrity president who doesn’t believe in science or understand how our government works. If you haven’t already, don’t write in West for president — if you have, don’t do it again in 2024. 


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