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20 Jul, 2020 12:09

Conservatism may have found an unlikely savior in Kanye West, even if he doesn’t take the White House this fall

Conservatism may have found an unlikely savior in Kanye West, even if he doesn’t take the White House this fall

Rap superstar Kanye West seems determined to run for president. Whether he succeeds or fails, his bravery and outspokenness may turn a new generation to conservative thought.

To say that Kanye West is a polarizing figure is an understatement. Even among conservatives such as myself, it’s hard to really get a read on him. Some people seem to think that there shouldn’t be any worship of a celebrity, whereas others see him as a blessing in disguise. I think the latter.

I believe conservatism as a political philosophy is in trouble because conservatives are losing the culture war.  

Generally speaking, conservatives do not do very well when it comes to culture, because many don’t have the mindset to have an effect. A lot of artists get immersed in a “screw you, got mine” school of thought when it comes to their art and its success, complete political pandering or self-absorbed nonsense.  

Kanye seems to understand something. Aside from a self-awareness that he is one of the greatest rappers to walk the planet, he understands the importance of community. He’s also honest about the things that harm the black community and the family structure. Take his recent speech on abortion for example. Was it a nuanced observation, taking the science into account and made with spellbinding reason? No, it was an emotional tale of how life is a precious thing, which is more impactful. 

There are other subjects that Kanye has talked about, such as the importance of Christianity and his disdain for cancel culture. Though “The Wakanda Management Model” sounds weird, there is a strange method to the madness. Same with his party being “The Birthday Party” with the logic of “if we win it’s everyone’s birthday.” It’s a theme of celebration. He uses the fictional country of Wakanda as a pop culture reference of something to aim for in regards to innovation. Being that I’m a fan of Black Panther myself – the Christopher Priest run on the comic is a must-read – I can get behind it if for no other reason than nostalgia.

However, whether or not Kanye West actually wins the US presidency is completely irrelevant. His entrance into the political sphere is a massive boon, because it cracks two barriers: the black vote and the cultural element. 

Conservatives have struggled to gain black voters for ages, to a point where it seemed like many thought it was a lost cause. It’s rather stupid to give the idea up. Conservatives generally promote the elements that the black community sees as a positive, such as a strong sense of responsibility, traditional family structure and belief in God. However, there has been this long-held perception that, because of an opposition to welfare and government handouts, Conservatives are anti-black (which makes no sense, considering the ‘welfare queen’ from the Reagan era was a white woman). 

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Kanye is able to break that, because he stands as an example of someone who believes in these things, but isn’t what you’d consider a stuffed shirt. He did it all his way, by rapping and being a part of what some would call the black sub-culture. But instead of giving the finger to conservatives, he embraced Donald Trump as an important figure. He speaks highly of Christianity, which many conservatives practise. In a sense, he acts as a bridge, so black people can see it’s not a racial philosophy. It’s a human one, that doesn’t require you to act like Gordon Gekko. 

The second element, the culture, is even more important. To be frank, conservatives have no plans past Donald Trump. They are completely clueless as to what needs to happen after Trump is out of office, especially if he loses to Joe Biden or if a Democrat wins in 2024. Hollywood will still have a monopoly on entertainment with a massive left-leaning bent, comic books will be overrun by SJWs and people will be wondering why Steven Crowder’s ‘Doctor Trump’ parody didn’t change things. 

Foolishly wondering, I might add. 

Kanye’s effect on culture may be hard to completely predict, but there is a possibility that many more artists may take a second look at coming out as conservative. Or even at least anti-leftist or anti-SJW. As much as I love Glen Danzig or Joey Ramone, their breaking from the pack took place years after their prime popularity. Kanye is a massive star breaking from the rest of pop culture and saying that you don’t have to be a Democrat. Not many artists have those kinds of stones. 

I see Kanye West as a potential catalyst for change. His model could end up being one for conservatives to follow for the future. Maybe what we need are fewer suits and ties, and more sneakers and blue jeans. Less uptight stiffness, more relaxed, fun mindsets. 

In a sense, Kanye’s cool factor and willingness to stand up for his beliefs may make many re-evaluate how to take on culture, or if they should question whether the default should always be Democrat because of skin color or artistic talent.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.