In a shocking upset, Kanye 2020 turned out to be exactly as misguided as it always seemed.
Americans went to bed last night in state of tense uncertainty that we wished to end, but we've woken up to a finality that many of us are unwilling to face: Kanye West has conceded defeat in the presidential election.
The second most delusional narcissist in the race, Kanye launched his campaign brimming with blind ambition and some deeply offensive takes on Harriet Tubman, of all people. But when he finally ended the saga, it was without fanfare.
After celebrating his first ever presidential vote (for himself, of course), he delivered the sad news to his Twitter followers in the raw hours of Wednesday morning—when enough votes had been counted to confirm that he was not even close to getting a percentage of the vote in literally any state.
I will beat Biden off of write ins #2020VISION— ye (@ye) 1595701286.0
While early on in his campaign it had looked like there was a real and frightening potential for Kanye to become a so-called "spoiler" candidate—attracting enough voters away from a major-party candidate to tip the results—it doesn't look like that panned out.
Though he received a lot of support from Republican operatives—along with plenty of bad advice from the president's First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner—Kanye was not able to get on the ballot in the handful of states where his vote total might have made an appreciable difference. And his outsized confidence in his ability to attract write-in votes appears to have been misplaced.
Kanye put a lot of work into his campaign—including improperly using celebrity images and nearly trashing his marriage to Kim Kardashian West by tearfully sharing their private history with the issue of abortion, then implying that she had cheated on him... But ultimately, it wasn't enough to overcome the dominance of America's two-party system...or the general sense that he was still a Trump stooge who had lost his grip on reality.
Kanye Said Harriet Tubman "Never Freed Slaves" During His First Presidential Rally www.youtube.com
Which brings us to this morning. With just around 60,000 votes for West currently tallied across the 12 states where he was on the ballot—amounting to about 0.2-0.3% of the vote in states like Colorado, Tennessee, and Vermont—Kanye did the only rational thing...by declaring his candidacy for 2024.
His initial tweet, "WELP KANYE 2024," has since been deleted and reposted without the "WELP," putting it in line with the more formal tradition of a three-year-early declaration. Still, it makes substantially more sense than announcing a presidential bid four months before the election. So...good for him.
Of course, it would be foolish to discount the chances of a billionaire reality TV star, self-promoting entrepreneur, and previously failed third-party candidate becoming president. After all, that was Donald Trump back in 2015. But whatever Kanye's prospects are as a future presidential candidate, for the time being, he will go back to being a musician, fashion designer, and possible aspiring cult leader. We can only hope that the same will be true of Donald Trump, once the results make it clear that he has lost too.
KANYE 2024 https://t.co/Zm2pKcn12t— ye (@ye) 1604480690.0
For the time being, that looks unlikely. Donald Trump, who spent much of recent months railing against mail-in voting and downplaying the threat of the deadly coronavirus pandemic—the threat which motivated the surge in mail-in ballots—is now expressing shock and suspicion that more of his supporters didn't vote by mail, meaning that the remaining ballots lean overwhelmingly toward Joe Biden. We should not be holding out for a "WELP TRUMP 2024" tweet anytime soon.
But as the results and the legal battles of the 2020 election unfold in the coming days—with the entire nation holding its breath—maybe we can at least leave behind whatever anxiety we had about Kanye's involvement in the whole mess. We can go back to listening to Late Registration with some added amusement—looking back at the strangeness of his rushed and erratic campaign with the clarity of hindsight about the "2020 vision" that Kanye promised us.
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