Kanye West told fellow rapper TI that he doesn’t agree with half of what Trump says. When asked by TI what the half is that he agrees with, Kanye responds:
“The ability to do what no one said you can do, to do the impossible.”
Kanye announced at the MTV music video awards in 2015 he is going to run for President. No doubt he’s heard the snickers ever since. In 2009, Obama called him a jackass for, yes, acting like a jackass. Obama also humorously informed Donald Trump a few years after that at a White House Correspondents Dinner that he was never going to become President. Obama continued to laugh at the idea. But Donald Trump, a non-politician who never ran for anything but President of the United States, is now President of the United States.
Kanye, a highly successful rapper who millions would aspire to be, has no overarching stated goal going forward but to become President of the United States. He has now been inspired by Donald Trump that he, a fellow non-politician, can become President. More important, perhaps, he sees it can be done without first serving as a Congressman, Dog Catcher, Senator or Governor, paying his dues in an unfulfilling stepping stone role as he works toward his true objective. In fact, Kanye probably sees that a successful businessman like himself working his way up a political ladder is perhaps the worst strategy for pursuing his dream, thanks to Donald Trump.
It is the power of inspiration: the psychological power to imagine impossible things: that America can be made Great Again, that anyone can become President, that North and South Korea can be re-united, that Saudi Arabia and Israel can be friends.
It is the power of positive thinking. And the only way to stop this power is to fill the head and mouth with negativism. Some would call that hate. Hate and fear. Kanye, however, has chosen to love.
I think the most exciting thing I’ve seen recently from Kanye is him tweeting quotes from Thomas Sowell. If Kanye is going to become my President someday, I’d like him to read and listen to smart people. The man is definitely liberating his mind, and has a willingness to get out of a mental cage others wish to keep him in. This makes him threatening to others. The great complaint against him, and the one that seems to hurt him the most, is that in doing so, in wearing the MAGA hat, he is hurting others. His response – to love his detractors – is perfect. Kanye didn’t hurt a soul by wearing the hat. It’s a phony, indefensible charge.
Kanye rightly responds that he meant no harm to anyone, and that the freedom to wear it was a liberating thing. “I’ve gotta be me,” is how Frank Sinatra would have put it.
It reminds me of my own born again, salvation experience. The Catholic Church was designed to protect me from spiritual frauds, of whom there are many. Every organization, even the mother Church, has its frauds. They also have their thought police – sometimes real, sometimes imagined. But, for myself, staying constrained within approved Catholic structures at a time when I was experiencing a spiritual birth was like experiencing Seattle Mariner baseball under the Kingdome back then. The dome is nice when you keep out the rain and cold. But in doing so, you also keep out the warmth, the sunshine, and the scent of sea air. And sometimes, especially in the mid 1980’s in Seattle, let’s face it, the other team is playing the game better. It’s good to aspire to better ways of doing things, as Seattle itself learned when it replaced the Kingdome with Safeco Field (it’s still too cold in April at night, however).
To stop the free thinker from wandering out of the cage, labels are applied: Trump: he’s a “racist”. Thomas Sowell? He’s an Uncle Tom. Jordan Peterson (rumored to be another mind Kanye is now intrigued by) is “alt-right” (nope). Scott Adams (another new Kanye favorite): he’s just a cartoonist, and “Trump apologist”, and now…a men’s rights supporter(??). Stick on a label, and you can marginalize those you fear.
Me? Former editor and contributor of a scientific and non political news site,? I’m a science denier. Being white, I am indelibly stained with privilege. Being male, same thing.
All of these labels are bulls***. If they don’t frighten you to stay in your place, and walk out of the mental cage, then the next step is going to be a “choose between us and them” moment. Man is a social animal. Political factions can be like church denominations, filled with good friends and associations. Scott Adams, like Alan Dershowitz, has lost many friends and much income for merely not hating Donald Trump. Ben Shapiro, on the other hand, took a big financial hit for not loving Donald Trump at Breitbart.
Us or Them. Choose.
Don’t do it, Kanye. Don’t choose. You don’t have to join us. Be. As for myself, I never set out to become a Protestant, or a “Former Catholic”: I set out to be the best Christian I could be. Protestant was a label other placed on me for convenience. So, Kanye…you don’t have to accept the label as Trumper, Uncle Tom, or Right wing Republican. Be who you are. And thank you for affirming our humanity. Thank you for loving us. You don’t have to believe all the things we believe. There is no creed among myself and those you are studying. We are all Americans. We didn’t divide into races and genders. We were merely labeled as such by talking heads and political scientists who observe and label us like rats in a cage. But all we have this in common under this democracy is that we are all Americans. That is the label the experts can assign to Kanye, Donald Trump, and myself. We are Americans.
Make America Great Again.