Kanye West 2020: Now Is Your Time Kanye, Not Later

Somehow the biggest news to come of Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards show was the surprise announcement by rapper Kanye West that he planned to run for President in the year 2020. West, whose first real politically notorious action was declaring on a Public Service Announcement that then-President Bush “did not care about black people” in response to the botched federal rescue efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, is probably one of the most famous people in the world.

Married to reality T.V. star Kim Khardashian and highly respected in industry musical circles as a creative and technical genius long before his controversial persona earned him worldwide infamy, to put it nicely, Kanye West is probably one of the few celebrity candidates who could mount a serious challenge for the Presidency. But why wait until 2020?

Personally, I have been suggesting that rapper/mogul Jay-Z is well situated to actually make a run for President. At the age of 45, Jay-Z (real name Shawn Corey Carter) is even better recognized and respected than Kanye West. His wife, fellow entertainer Beyoncé, is a much more well thought of individual than Kim Khardashian–considered at least talented in her own right and famous not simply by the token of being famous. Indeed, it had been my thought for some time that the close relationship between the Obama family and the Carter family might be a kind of protégé situation which would grow into an inevitable political career for Jay-Z.

It seems almost obvious that Jay-Z would receive a very high percentage of the Obama Coalition right off of the bat. Perhaps more than our current Commander-in-Chief, Jay-Z would not have the immediate political baggage arising from having been a “community organizer”, associate of known rabble rousers and domestic terrorists, part-time constitutional professor, or former editor of the Harvard Law Review (the only one to have never published any legal opinion). In fact, there would be no questions regarding Jay-Z’s American Citizenship or academic background whatsoever!

A hint to Jay-Z: There is still time!

Kanye West, on the other hand, would have a difficult uphill struggle against the nuances of his perception within the electorate. Unlike Jay-Z much of West’s publicity has been a direct result of a litany of controversial interviews, actions, and boundary pushing artistic choices.  For every fan of his work you can find a person who has been rubbed the wrong way by something he has done.  West has been an outspoken cultural critic, often lashing out in what can only be described as narcissistic rants against his perceived position as an “outsider”. Whether this is his long-time complaints of not being taken seriously in the fashion world, or lamenting the racial divide in America, West has not made it very easy for himself to pivot into a role as a public servant.

Which is not to say it cannot be done. Certainly over the next five years West could put a lot of effort into reforming his rough image and finely attune himself to the processes and machinations of the political lifestyle.

My advice, however, is for West to go for 2016. There are a number of reasons, which I will detail.

  1. 2016 is the race Kanye West is in the best position to win. No matter who wins in 2016, in 2020 he would be facing an incumbent president. This is a perilous proposition in the best of scenarios.
  2. If a Democrat wins he would be in the doubly precarious situation of possibly running as a primary challenger to an incumbent president. This would basically be a pointless and futile effort.
  3. While Kim and Kanye have shown support for Hillary Clinton, it may be increasingly apparent to them (as it has become for many of us) that Clinton’s position in the race is becoming weaker and weaker as questions abound about her email practices during her time as Secretary of State.
  4. The #BlackLivesMatter movement would no doubt galvanize around Kanye West and help propel his campaign as a built-in grassroots organization from day one. It is unlikely that #BLM will be a sustainable organized movement for another five years and is very likely at its apex now.
  5. A quick survey of media immediately following West’s announcement on Sunday was highly condescending and dismissive. A meme was started which took certain bits of West’s speech and turned it into a parody of Seinfeld–specifically the stand-up routine that preceeded most episodes of the iconic television show. West could no doubt use this to fuel what will be a grueling and grinding experience. If given 5 years to taunt and put-down West’s ambition to run for president I can only begin to imagine what every satirical show, comedian and writer will heap in West’s direction. It would be better to get in front of it now and join the 2016 race rather than take 5 years of abuse.
  6. On the other hand, CNN, as well as the Democratic National Committee, gave Kanye West his due and respected his announcement. This is a good sign that he would not be shuttered by the media or the DNC from the word go.
  7. Kanye West and wife Kim Khardashian are themselves probably at the apex of their possible fame. There is no way two of the most highly recognized celebrities on the planet are going to become even more famous in the next 5 years. Worst case scenario, things start to go downhill. West is not likely to be able to pull a presidential-race-as-comeback-attempt off as a simultaneous event. Better to hit while the iron remains hot.

The presidential race of 2016 may prove to be the most wide open of my lifetime, and Kanye West is only a few years older than me.  If he seriously wants to win and make an impact on this country, his time is NOW rather than leaving it up to chance who gets to take the country in another direction first and risking the possibility of being shut out of the race due to the sitting incumbent.


[NY Daily News][The Hill Talk][E! Online][CNN]

August THE HILL TALK Digest

Trump and Bush family have had a long complicated relationship

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Republican Presidential Candidate Profile: Lindsey Graham

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Recent crimes fueling immigration debate

Recent crimes fueling immigration debate

Separate recent incidents involving illegal immigrants who had been previously deported are fueling the larger debate, most recently sparked by republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s highly insensitive comments in his announcement speech. A six-time-deported illegal immigrant is charged in the felony hit-and-run of an Arizona mother and her two young children. The man allegedly admitted […] 

The Case For Self-Deportation

Sahil Kapur of Bloomberg recently published an article, borderline taunting the baseline argument of supporters of wide-ranging immigration amnesty, titled “The Big Question Republican Foes of Illegal Immigration Won’t Answer“.

We’re not going to be deporting 11 million people in any kind of short period of time. It really isn’t practical,” said Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a conservative advocacy group devoted to reducing immigration. “You can’t put all the toothpaste back in the tube.” [Emphasis mine]

While this comment within the article is made by someone from the right, this is actually the premise, repeated at rote to the point it has become accepted gospel, that proponents of amnesty for illegally present aliens within the United States rely upon to force the idea that “something must be done“.

Certainly a few things could be done now, without a change whatsoever within the existing framework of law. I recognize that administrations on both sides of the aisle have failed to live up to their responsibility, but here are the things that could be done to start to effect change:

It is Illegal To Bring Illegal Aliens Into US under current Laws
It is unlawful for any person to bring aliens into the United States. Fine: $3,000 for each alien (Sec. 273. [8 U.S.C. 1323])

It is Illegal To Harbor Illegal Immigrants. It is unlawful to bring in or harbor illegal aliens. Fine: $3,000 for each alien. (Sec. 273. [8 U.S.C. 1323] )

It is Illegal To Employ, Recruit, or Refer Illegal Aliens for Jobs. It is unlawful for a person or other entity- to employ or recruit or refer for a fee an illegal alien in the United States. Commercial advantage or private financial gain offender can be fined under title 18, US code, imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both. …Any person who, during any 12-month period, knowingly hires for employment at least 10 individuals with actual knowledge that the individuals are aliens described in sub paragraph (B) shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both. (Sec. 274A. [8 U.S.C. 1324a] )

It is Illegal To Forge Documents for Illegal Immigrants or violate Identity Theft Laws. It is unlawful for any person or entity knowingly- to forge documents. Legal documents must be presented when entering the US. ( Sec. 274C. [8 U.S.C. 1324c] )…Fine: not less than $250 and not more than $2,000 for each document that is the subject of a violation….Previous violation: not less than $2,000 and not more than $5,000 for each document that is the subject of a violation.

US Laws Declare it is Illegal To Aid or Abet Illegal Immigrants. It is unlawful for anyone to aid or assist aliens to enter the United States. Penalty: fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both. ( Sec. 277. [8 U.S.C. 1327] )

Look at the uproar caused by Mitt Romney’s referral to “Self-Deportation”, saying:

“…if people are not able to have a card, and have through an E-Verify system determine that they are here illegally, then they’re going to find they can’t get work here. And if people don’t get work here, they’re going to self-deport to a place where they can get work.”

So, in a reversal of all logic, this statement was seen as a major gaffe. The suggestion that enforcing actual laws, the very laws outlined above, was somehow a callous “horrific” suggestion. This one statement was post-mortem blamed for Romney losing the “hispanic vote” and in turn the election.

If equal amounts of attention are paid to enforcement via attacking industries and employers that literally everyone knows are profiteering on illegal immigration, this would put pressure on the 11 million much faster than trying to marshall the resources to blanket deport. E-Verify should be universally required and harshly enforced. Every single employer who is caught should be punished to the full extent off the law, and serial offenders sued out of existence.

The left try to use the concept of human compassion to win an argument which law and order should have long put to rest.

[Politico][CBS News][Washington Post]



Political profiteering off of Charleston tragedy

To paraphrase former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, “Never let a horrible tragedy go to waste. What I mean by that is spinning the narrative to accomplish things you couldn’t do before”.

The nonstop political opportunism that has been piling on in the wake of the tragic Charleston shooting shows no signs of abating any time soon.

First, the calls for additional gun control from President Obama, and candidates Hillary Clinton and Mark O’Malley. O’Malley went so far as to call for an assault weapons ban, quite probably oblivious to the fact assault weapons had nothing whatsoever to do with the Charleston shooting.

President Obama has been repeatedly rebuked on his attempts at gun control, most recently when a trial balloon on banning .223 ammunition was blown out of the sky.

Also, because of the targeting of African-Americans, the ongoing debate about the nature of race relations in America was further energized. President Obama used an appearance on a popular comedic podcast to say the “N” word and that we “are not cured” of racism.

Hillary, desperate to prove her bonafides on the matter, said that race remains a deep fault line in America:

“It’s tempting to dismiss a tragedy like this as an isolated incident, to believe that in today’s America bigotry is largely behind us, that institutionalized racism no longer exists,” Clinton said. “But despite our best efforts and our highest hopes, America’s long struggle with race is far from finished.”

“And news reports about poverty and crime and discrimination evoke sympathy, even empathy, but too rarely do they spur us to action or prompt us to question our own assumptions and privilege.”

The attempts to politically profiteer off of this tragedy are not limited to democrats. Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham reversed his previous defense of the presence of the Confederate flag on the South Carolina state capitol grounds, joining Governor Nikki Haley in calling for its removal.

Quite possibly the most cynical political points being scored off of this tragedy are being scored by Obama himself, as it was announced Monday that he would be providing the eulogy for slain pastor Rev. Clementa Pinckney.

This is the same Obama who did not provide a eulogy for slain Ambassador Christopher Stevens, nor for combat casualty Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, the first flag officer to die in combat since Vietnam. Or for any of the hundreds of military service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice under his command.

So, for those who have been of the opinion that Obama only cares about certain people, his choice to travel to Charleston serves as further evidence that in Obama’s world all folks are not created equal.

More likely, however, is the case that all the funerals that Obama has not attended, nor eulogized, did not make quite the same quality and quantity of political hay. If his travel to Charleston can help “move the ball forward” on his agenda on multiple fronts and can serve as a legacy-defining photo-op, then it is a small burden to bear.

It should come as no surprise that the latest high profile tragedy involving firearms would reinvigorate the anti-gun lobby. Likewise the professional race grievance industry, aided by the liberal media. Interestingly ironic is the fact the shooter’s manifesto claims that his animus was actually borne of this phenomenon: The cherry-picking of which events should be the focus of outrage and a nonstop barrage of media exposure and organized agitation.

On this topic everyone is silent.

[Reuters][The Hill][Business Insider][USA Today][ABC News]

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