At this stage in Kanye West’s presidential campaign, it’s already been established that he’s not the most canny political operator. Having missed the deadlines for most states, he’s only named on the ballot in 12 (Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah and Vermont), which means it’s now all but impossible for him to become President.
However, this hasn’t stopped Kanye from ploughing a further $2.1 million of his own money into the campaign in the last month alone, while only raising a desultory amount in donations. This latest revelation comes from NY Mag journalist Ben Jacobs, who analysed the Federal Election commission and posted his findings on Twitter.
According to Jacobs: “Of the money Kanye West’s presidential campaign raised, $1,582 came in unitemised contributions of under $200. He received two itemised contributions, one of $1,000 and a second of $200.” In total, Jacobs wrote, “West has loaned his campaign $9.76 million and contributed $2.11 million to it. His campaign has raised $17,635 from donors.”
People are often keen to depict Kanye’s behaviour as the arrogance of a narcissistic celebrity, but it’s worth considering it in the context of his struggles with bipolar disorder. As his wife Kim Kardashian West wrote in an impassioned open letter in July, “He is a brilliant but complicated person, who on top of the pressures of being an artist and a Black man [has] experienced the painful loss of his mother, and has to deal with the pressure and isolation that is heightened by his bipolar disorder.”
She continued: “Living with bipolar disorder does not diminish or invalidate his dreams and his creative ideas, no matter how big or unobtainable they may feel to some. That is part of his genius and as we have all witnessed, many of his big dreams have come true.”
It looks as though this particularly big dream, however, will not come to fruition. So what will America be missing out on?
Kanye’s policy platform is a ragtag mixture of good and bad ideas, and both left and right-wing positions. For example, he’s against capital punishment, but also against abortion. He wants to build a sustainable economy and reduce student debt, but he’s also against the welfare state. He has expressed support for illegal immigrants, but has also condemned “woke” culture, which is usually a pretty failsafe indicator of a socially conservative worldview.
For now, I guess we’ll just have to make do with the next Yeezy collection.