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Kanye West releases first presidential campaign ad

By | Published on Tuesday 13 October 2020

Kanye West

With three weeks to go until the US presidential election, Kanye West has released his first campaign advert. Yeah, you thought he’d forgotten about all that, didn’t you? What with his focus in recent weeks being mainly on that grand plan to overhaul every record contract ever written.

Who knows, maybe he did forget about his political ambitions for a while. But apparently he’s now back to pretending that he has even a minute chance of being named the new President of the USA next month.

In the minute-long video, West talks about fulfilling “America’s destiny” and building community with a plan to “revive our nation’s commitment to faith”. Though beyond that, the message is pretty light on policy. There’s a bit where it cuts to a shot of a spacecraft as he says that Americans “are called to a greater purpose than ourselves”, so I guess he maybe wants to colonise other planets. He doesn’t actually say that though. He doesn’t really say anything.

“America”, he begins. “What is America’s destiny? What is best for our nation, our people, what is just, true justice? We have to think about all these things together as a people, to contemplate our future, to live up to our dream, we must have vision. We as a people will revive our nation’s commitment to faith, to what our constitution calls the ‘free exercise of religion’, including of course prayer”.

“Through prayer, faith can be restored. We as a people are called to a greater purpose than ourselves. We are not only a beacon to the world but we should be servants to each other, to encourage each other, to help each other, to lift up each other, our fellow Americans, that we may all prosper together”.

“We have to act on faith, with the sure knowledge that we are pursuing the right goals and doing the right things. We will build a stronger country by building stronger families. Families are the building blocks of a society, of a nation. By turning to faith we will be the kind of nation, the kind of people God intends us to be”.

So that’s all nice. Though, three weeks away from polling closing, and with many people already sending off their postal votes, you kind of want to know a bit more about what a new leader would actually do in office. Still, as there is zero chance of West becoming President – not least because he’s only on the ballot in a handful of states – it doesn’t really matter.

Still, West’s campaign website does go into a bit more detail about some policies. Although you have to scroll past quite a lot of expensive merch before you get to that bit. That the merch flogging comes first perhaps tells you more about West’s campaign bid than reading any actual policies would.

There is the conspiracy theory, of course, that West is in cahoots with Donald Trump to try to capture votes that would otherwise have gone to Joe Biden. And West’s ambiguous message of community and being nice to people isn’t going to dissuade anyway from that opinion.

I mean, it seems unlikely such chatter is going to grab the votes of those drawn to Trump’s campaign mantra of insults, division and claiming to be impervious to disease. West denies that he has any intention of aiding the Trump campaign though, insisting his only aim is to take up his seat in the White House.

On the plus side, with the US election now very close indeed, we will soon know for certain whether the world is facing another four years of President Trump based on a clear election triumph, or another four years of President Trump just because he refuses to leave the building.