With Ted Cruz’s less-than-stellar performance in Indiana and his official(ly awkward) exit from the 2016 Presidential race, America is forced to face the facts: Hillary Clinton will face off against Donald Trump for the White House this November. Each election cycle is a polarizing process to some degree; every day Americans overdramatize the impending doom that will befall upon the country should the other candidate take office. (Surprise! The sky still hasn’t fallen… yet.)
However, 2016 will forever stand out to me as arguably the most theatric race of recent years — and we have social media to thank for it. Candidates have outlined their policy plans and personal opinions to the world, tweet by tweet. Whether people agree with their sentiments, are horrified or a combination of both, one fact remains true across the board: Americans continually eat that shit up.
The de facto rule of “the more ridiculous, the better” has proven to be a winning marketing strategy for Trump’s campaign. Every retweet or shared post (whether positive or negative) worked to fully cement Trump as the Republication candidate long before any debate or primary took place.
This is not album of the year. This is album of the life.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 26, 2016
Mark Zuckerberg invest 1 billion dollars into Kanye West ideas
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 14, 2016
I’m this generation's Disney… I want to bring dope shit to the world…
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 15, 2016
My tweets are a form of contemporary art only compromised by people trying to tell me what to tweet and not to tweet…
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) March 14, 2016
Let’s not get it twisted, however. Just as great business ideas are just improved versions of older ones on a larger scale, Trump absolutely borrowed this branding technique; and it came straight out of the Kanye West playbook.
Alright, I’m gonna let you finish (not really) but hear me out. Back in 2012 when Trump tweeted all 30 of these absurd things, no one really paid attention. One could even argue that dropping shade at Obama would get him far less publicity at the time then commenting on “real” issues, like why Robert Pattinson shouldn’t get back together with Kristin Stewart. Americans were far too enthralled (for better or worse) by the all sorts of crazy coming out of West’s mouth. People were shocked. They were horrified. Some may have laughed a little bit. Regardless, no matter his commentary or outrageous behavior, people still opened their ears (and wallets) eventually cementing him as a fixture of cultural American society. This is something Donald wants and desperately needed to win the nomination.
While we’re all left to come to grips with the reality of the situation, Donald will try to post his way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, one ridiculously racist tweet at a time. If he’s successful, maybe he could write ‘Ye a check for that $53 million he needs so badly. After years of buying into West’s theatrics (literally), America was ready for a political circus of unprecedented proportions. Without Kanye’s grooming, we’d never have devoured the Trumpisms of 2015 and 2016. Sit on that.