To say that recent events in Washington have taken a turn for the bizarre would be an understatement. In an unprecedented move, President Trump invited rap star Kanye West to the White House, along with other prominent guests. But rather than a mere exercise in celebrity politics, Friday’s event shook the entire media landscape.
Everyone knows that Kanye West adopts a take-no-prisoner attitude. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that his version of celebrity politics appeared somewhat unhinged. What was surprising was that President Trump gave him the world’s biggest platform. Prior rants from the rapper were easy for people to dismiss as typical “Kanye-isms.”
But the White House is an entirely different matter. And in a ten-minute stream of consciousness, Kanye West dove into a disjointed monologue about various societal issues. As reported by several mainstream sources, President Trump appeared speechless. If he wanted celebrity politics, he certainly got the motherload.
In fairness, West raised several great points about the underpinnings of society. But it’s no doubt that several conservatives are questioning the supposed benefit of this cameo appearance. It’s not everyday that you hear the word “motherf—er” used in front of POTUS inside the White House.
Celebrity Politics has Gone Too Far
I’m not entirely sure how the meeting was set up. Likely, this was a get together months in the making. Or perhaps, Trump’s team requested it to shift momentum for the upcoming midterm elections.
But what I can’t help but notice are the optics behind this latest burst of celebrity politics. Less than a week prior to the Trump-Kanye “summit,” pop star Taylor Swift made an uncharacteristic political appeal. Swift urged people in Tennessee to register to vote, and to support Democrat Phil Bredesen.
She also sharply criticized Republican Marsha Blackburn for her allegedly anti-female agenda. Reporters later asked President Trump what he felt about the move, to which he replied that he likes Swift’s music about 25% less.
The simpletons among us are raising the pitchforks for their “side.” It’s Democrats versus Republicans, the “educated” left versus the “backward” right. But haven’t we seen this charade before?
Of course we have! Back when Taylor Swift was a country bumpkin and America’s sweetheart, she had an infamous run-in with Kanye West. That turned the entire country against West, to which former President Barack Obama stated that West was “a jackass.”
Years later, Swift and West became friends, until a creative dispute pitted the two against each other. This time, the public called out Swift for being disingenuous, which eventually inspired material for her darker album, “Reputation.”
Now, we’re treated to Kanye West versus Taylor Swift yet again! This time, it’s on the world stage, pitting one ideology against the other. It’s also the culmination of celebrity politics and its growing leverage.
But don’t you see the bigger picture? This has nothing to do with actual politics. We’re being served a modern-day minstrel show. The end result is already decided.