Just Get the Inevitable Madness over With: Trump Should Hire KanyePhoto by Drew Angerer/Getty Politics Features Donald Trump
After another disastrous week for Donald Trump, ABC for some reason invited senior Trump adviser and likely Robert Mercer AI robot prototype Kellyanne Conway on its morning news show This Week. In that interview, Conway was asked now that the Honorable Omarosa Manigault-Newman has left the White House, how many black people currently worked in the West Wing. Conway, unsurprisingly, defaulted to Ben Carson, whom she bafflingly claimed Trump works with “every day.” Then when the host pointed out to her that Carson was a member of the Cabinet and not on the White House staff, Conway mentioned a man named “Ja’Ron,” who she said is “very involved with Jared Kushner and President Trump on prison reform.” That would be Ja’Ron Smith, the administration’s Director of Urban Affairs and Revitalization, who actually works not in the White House but in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, a building adjacent to the White House and home to the Vice President and his office.
That’s right: Kellyanne Conway couldn’t name a single black person who works for Trump in the White House. Which means Trump will probably announce a new hire sometime soon. And he should one-hundred percent hire Kanye West.
I’m not kidding about this. It’s well past time that we accept our fate and just kick back and enjoy watching this vaudevillian slapstick of a government spin out like one of those flying contraptions of yore. It’s what we deserve: not one but two paranoid, race-baiting megalomaniacs in there. Hell, we don’t even deserve to enjoy it, but we might as well push for the most drama possible, which will mean the best Twitter imaginable.
However, in researching to back up my absurd premise for this article, I found West and Trump are eerily similar, and I find my premise absurd no longer. Sad!
Really, though: Check this out.
Let’s start nowhere in particular. Trump famously said that he could shoot a man in the middle of Fifth Avenue and not lose voters. West seems to be among them: On Jimmy Kimmel Live last week, the rapper and self-proclaimed “God” equated the nature of his support for Trump to support for a murderer: “My cousin is locked up for murder. I love him — he still did a bad thing, but I still love him.”
Ye has also compared the wave of anti-Trump sentiment — or possibly support for Hillary Clinton, it’s unclear and really doesn’t matter — to committing suicide:
The narcissism parallels are pretty self-evident, but they both think Trump is one of their favorite people: “They all eat, they all love me, they all kiss my ass,” Trump reportedly told journalist Timothy O’Brien. “And then they all leave and say, ‘Isn’t he horrible.’ But I’m the king.” And in a TMZ interview, West said Trump is one of “rap’s favorite people.” He also said in that interview that slavery was a choice.
They also both love Kanye.
“I’m like a vessel,” Kanye told the Fader in an interview, “and God has chosen me to be the voice and the connector.”
“I am your voice,” Trump said in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. “I alone can fix it.”
They’re both dragon energy, apparently.
At one concert, West—who once said he would’ve voted for Trump—told the black people in his audience to “stop focusing on racism.” Kanye has at times revealed what appears to be his own brand of racism.
“He is a player,” West said of Trump on that recent Kimmel appearance, after which he received a round of applause.
“You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything,” Trump once said of himself, after which he got elected president.
No, Obama didn’t really say that. That’s just a video that offers a terrifying glimpse at one possible future of fake media in the age of AI. Obama, however, does have a history of insulting Trump—and his roast of the self-declared billionaire at the 2011 White House correspondents’ dinner is rumored to have inspired Trump’s run.
Just like Trump, by the way.
West isn’t blind to the parallels of their popularity, and has even spoken to them in a political context: “The fact that [Trump] won, it proves something…. Remember when I said I was gonna run for President? I had people that was close to me, friends of mine, making memes, talking shit, now it’s like, oh, that was proven that that could have happened.” And the two already know each other.
But in the same VMA speech where West declared his candidacy, he also denounced Washington: “I hate politics. I’m not a politician at all. I care about the truth and I just care about human beings.”
Trump also likes to make the populist argument that he’s “not a politician.”
Hey, who said it, Yeezy or Trump? “I took the Confederate flag and made it my flag. It’s my flag now.”
Or this: “Every media outlet, I don’t care who you are… respect it as such. SNL, all you writers. Lorne Michaels. Respect it as such…. when you write your headlines for your tabloids… where you try to make me look like a maniac.”
(Here’s a helpful hint. That quote continues: ”….or an animal, because you’re afraid of inter-racial relationships. Because you’re afraid of the future.”)
But seriously, the two share a paranoid megalomaniac’s knee-jerk disdain for any type of criticism. West once reamed Kimmel in a since-deleted tweet, calling the talk show host a “manipulative media motherfucker.” West’s wife, Kim Kardashian, softened that tweet by reading it on-air for Kimmel’s birthday edition of his “Mean Tweets” segment.
Melania Trump publicly defended her husband’s “grab them by the pussy” remarks as “locker room talk.”
As Ta-Nehisi Coates put it in his controversial piece in response to West’s weird and surprising string of tweets supporting Trump this spring, “The planks of Trumpism are clear — the better banning of Muslims, the improved scapegoating of Latinos, the endorsement of racist conspiracy, the denialism of science, the cheering of economic charlatans, the urging on of barbarian cops and barbarian bosses, the cheering of torture, and the condemnation of whole countries. The pain of these policies is not equally distributed. Indeed the rule of Donald Trump is predicated on the infliction of maximum misery on West’s most ardent parishioners, the portions of America, the muck, that made the god Kanye possible.”
And indeed, both men hide behind blackness in bad faith. Trump boasts tellingly and repeatedly of the record African American unemployment under his administration—much of which is, yes, thanks to Obama. Trump has often cynically and awfully treated the black community as monolithic. One time when soliciting the black vote, he asked African Americans “What the hell do you have to lose?” And West for his part has claimed that if he’d voted for Trump, he would have been “kicked out of the black community because blacks are only supposed to have a monolithic thought, we can only be Democrats.”
Back to Kimmel, if you’ll allow it. The talk show host recently pushed West on his condemnation of President George W. Bush’s racism and seemingly contradictory stance on Trump: “There are families being torn apart at the border of this country. There are literally families being torn apart as a result of what this president is doing. Whether we like his personality or not, his actions are what matter. You so famously, and so powerfully said, ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people.’ What makes you think that Donald Trump does or any people at all?”
West sat in silence for several seconds and Kimmel cut away to a break.
Speaking of race-baiting, they’re both obsessed with the violence in Chicago (Kanye’s hometown), and both of them get it wrong. West once claimed Chicago was “the murder capital of the world,” when it’s not even the murder capital of the United States. West’s ignorance is not merely deep, but also dangerous. We need no list of the many times Trump has vilified that city — often incorrectly — but in a policy realm, the two might converge on this issue: Trump has threatened to “send in the feds” to Chicago reduce the “carnage” in the city.
Of his opposition, West has said, “You can’t bully me, liberals can’t bully me, the news can’t bully me because at that point if I’m afraid I’m no longer Ye. I actually quite enjoy when people are mad at me about certain things.” Trump, of course, thrives on antipathy. You could make an argument that it fueled his entire campaign.
Look: Art is the opposite of politics, and you might make the argument that we should keep the two separate. But the White House today also seems diametrically opposed to politics, and in a certain light, the unrelenting, baffling consistency of this farce unquestionably rises to the level of art. It’s high time we consummated this thing. Do it, Trump. Bring on Yeezy.