Kanye West is finally, probably following through on his long-teased desire to run for the President of the United States, as he announced on July 4. Obviously, it takes a little more than a tweet to actually run for President but, well, we’re in sort of an interesting situation in the U.S. right now and West’s presidential bid is a long way from the weirdest thing happening in politics right now. What is interesting is how deeply West is tying his campaign to his faith, which has become a far more explicit part of his creative output in recent years, with his most recent Jesus Is King album and the Sunday Services that have been a fixture of his public life lately.
We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States ??! #2020VISION
— ye (@kanyewest) July 5, 2020
In a lengthy conversation with Forbes, West used the nation of Wakanda from Black Panther as a model for what he saw for his political vision. “It’s the best explanation of what our design group is going to feel like in the White House,” he told the outlet.
“God just gave me the clarity and said it’s time,” West said about his decision to run. Such statements are pretty common among politicians, who often invoke some level of divine guidance to their campaign. West said he’d see a win as an appointment, though he hedged a little on when that appointment might be. “Let’s see if the appointing is at 2020 or if it’s 2024 — because God appoints the president,” West told Forbes. “If I win in 2020 then it was God’s appointment. If I win in 2024 then that was God’s appointment.”
West has supported President Donald Trump in the past but says Trump has lost his vote (he called the administration a “mess”) though he says that “Trump is the closest president we’ve had in years to allowing God to still be part of the conversation.” To that end, West says he will run as an independent and even called on Joe Biden to drop out. “It’s God’s country,” West said. “We are doing everything in service to God, nobody but God no more. I am in service of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ, and I put everything I get on the line to serve God.”
Among the policies he floated, West addressed a few platforms that would be pretty attractive to the conservative Christians that make up much of Trump’s base. For example, West says he supports reinstating prayer in public schools and wants to champion pro-life causes.
“That was a plan by the Devil — to have our kids committing suicide at an all-time high by removing God, to have murders in Chicago at an all-time high because the human beings working for the Devil removed God and prayer from the schools,” West told Forbes. “That means more drugs, more murders, more suicide.”
West says he’s “pro-life because I’m following the word of the Bible,” which he says also means he’s against the death penalty — a view he shares with his wife Kim Kardashian-West, who has tirelessly championed justice reform over the last few years.
When asked about the racial justice protests that have broken out across the country in the wake of the killings of Black men and women like George Floyd, Ahamud Arbery and Brionna Taylor, West broke out into rhyme, saying “Well, God has already started the healing/This conversation alone is healing and revealing/We all need to start praying and kneeling.”
But West brought up some controversial — even dangerous — ideas when asked about the coronavirus, saying he believed a vaccine might be the “mark of the Beast.”
“It’s so many of our children that are being vaccinated and paralyzed …So when they say the way we’re going to fix COVID is with a vaccine, I’m extremely cautious,” West said. “That’s the mark of the beast. They want to put chips inside of us, they want to do all kinds of things, to make it where we can’t cross the gates of heaven. I’m sorry when I say they, the humans that have the Devil inside them. And the sad thing is that, the saddest thing is that we all won’t make it to heaven, that there’ll be some of us that do not make it. Next question.”