I’m serious. Read the whole thing. Stop what you’re doing; it’ll only take 5 minutes. It’s for your own good.
Last night at the 2015 MTV VMAs, Kanye West announced that he will be running for president of the United States in 2020.
Here is the full speech:
After West finally finished his 10 minute-long rant, which was supposed to be an acceptance speech for the 2015 Video Vanguard Award, I naturally went straight to Twitter, expecting to find tweets along the lines of “lmao this clown” or “haha presidency, good one” or “ok Yeezus that’s enough sit down now.”
I found some of these types of responses (Grace Fitz gives me life), but as anyone can see, the overwhelming majority of tweets that were sent out into the www were coming from young viewers like myself a) taking West seriously, and b) pledging their vote.
BUT HOLD ON— a) and b) are not the problem. In fact, it doesn’t matter whether or not people think Kanye West would make a good president, or whether or not he’s serious about running for office in 2020. What matters is how people on Twitter– future voters– responded: Blindly and ignorantly, with an utter disregard for the tremendous responsibility that comes with casting a vote.
Today’s 17+ year-olds will be able to vote in the 2016 election. Today’s 13+ year-olds will be able to vote in 2020.
An unsettling number of those viewers who took West’s announcement seriously instantly took to the Twittersphere to share that they were ready to cast their vote. Like, are you f*cking kidding me? I mean pardon my french, but you must be out of your mind. Don’t you care about his platform? What about his beliefs on all the different major topics, like healthcare, the economy, taxes, foreign relations, immigration, student debt, minimum wage, education, etc.? You may know the words to every one of his songs since The College Dropout inside and out, but politically, you know jack squat about this man.
Oh and don’t let him mainpulate your awesome squishy brain with that 10-minute stint about ‘we are millenials’ and ‘listen to the kids.’ That speech was designed to appeal to all of us young people, to make us nod our heads and think yeahhhh bruhhhh! And pllleeassee dont be naïve enough to believe that any part of that speech wasn’t pre-scripted and very well-rehearsed.
When you boil this issue down, fried up greasy Kanye residue does not line the bottom of the problem pan. We do.
I already know that many of the young people who were tweeting in support of #KanyeForPresident will defend themselves with the classic “we were just joking” argument. “Relaxxx,” they’ll say. “Don’t take it so seriously.”
And that’s when I’ll throw a f*cking lamp at the wall.
Excuse me, but my suffrage is not a f*cking joke. (And niether is yours.)
Here’s a fun fact for ya: There are people in other countries around the world fighting wars to try to get governments like ours. The United States of America is a Republic-/Democracy-thingy (depending on which of my high school history teachers you ask), and one of the perks of being an adult citizen in such a ‘Repubocracy’ is getting the right to vote every four years to elect a new president or re-elect the incumbent.
So let’s get something straight: People around the world pour blood to try to gain that independence. At one time, we did too. And to this day, men and women of the armed forces continue to put their life on the line to defend that right– not just the right to vote, but the right to have a voice. It’s the right to have a say in how “the man” runs your life.
In the world we live in, suffrage is a privlege, not a right. F*cking act like it.
I will vote for the first time in 2016. And I can promise that when I step into that booth, I will share a silent moment with all the women and men around the world today who are still waiting for the day when they too will have the advantage that I am about to seize.
Our right to vote is not only an incredible privlege, but a tremendous responsibility. I won’t apologize for getting my tits in a knot over my peers treating Kanye West’s announcement that he’s running for president like he’s dropping a new EP. The next generation of voters needs to wake up and realize that we are grown ups now, and we need to start taking on our grown up responsibilities. Like reading CNN. Seriously, just go “Like” them on Facebook. That’s the perfect place to start. In fact…
2 Things To Do RIGHT NOW
- Get informed: “Like” CNN politics on Facebook and/or follow them on Twitter.
- Take action: Register to vote in the next election.
Dear Twittersphere/future voters,
If you’re going to take Kanye West’s declaration seriously, don’t respond as if it were a joke. Let this stint of his motivate you to take the initiative to go educate yourself on the upcoming presidential election of 2016. Read about politics. Be a responsible voter.
Don’t let Kanye West manipulate you. You and your squishy brain deserve better. Please feel free to share this article with others who need to be reminded of that.
Here is a census ananlysis on youth voter turnout in 2012: https://www.census.gov/prod/2014pubs/p20-573.pdf
Here is the website for “Rock the Vote,” whose mission is to build political power for young people: http://www.rockthevote.com/