It’s telling of the true extent of the stranger-than-fiction world in which we’re currently living that Kanye West’s declaration that he’s planning to run for president is at most the third stupidest thing to have happened in the last seven days. Never one to do anything by half measures, though, West announced that his presidency will be inspired by Black Panther. Buckle up.
Regarding what shape said influences will take, West had this to say:
“I’m gonna use the framework of Wakanda right now because it’s the best explanation of what our design group is going to feel like in the White House… That is a positive idea: you got Kanye West, one of the most powerful humans; I’m not saying the most because you got a lot of alien level superpowers and it’s only collectively that we can set it free.”
To fully invoke Wakanda’s ruling structure would require the alteration of the US’s system of government from a presidential republic to either an absolute or constitutional monarchy, where power is passed along hereditary lines unless overthrown by external forces. West’s declaration of himself as “one of the most powerful humans” presumably suggests his presidency would be structurally sound enough that it couldn’t be toppled by any outside challenger.
He also stated this:
“…like in the movie in Wakanda when the king went to visit that lead scientist to have the shoes wrap around her shoes. Just the amount of innovation that can happen, the amount of innovation in medicine – like big pharma – we are going to work, innovate, together. This is not going to be some Nipsey Hussle being murdered, they’re doing a documentary, we have so many soldiers that die for our freedom, our freedom of information, that there is a cure for AIDS out there, there is going to be a mix of big pharma and holistic.”
The American health system is fundamentally broken to the extent that medical care is perceived by many as a merit-derived luxury rather than a basic human right, although there has to be some middle ground between pharmaceutical giants trading human lives for gargantuan profits and potentially dangerous pseudoscience utilized untested and unproven. Wakanda certainly has a high quality of life for its citizens, but that was largely achieved by its policy of isolationism and hoarding of a valuable resource, also making the nation indirectly complicit in historical atrocities that its intervention could have prevented.
A rapper turned entrepreneur running for president off the back of one of the best Marvel movies seems like a highly unlikely starting point. However, Black Panther or not, many folks’ disbelief that someone dealing with evident mental health issues and who is wholly unsuitable for the nation’s highest office could possibly dupe the requisite number of people into voting for him is largely how the current situation came about.