On Saturday, Kanye West announced on Twitter that he would be running for president in the 2020 election. It is hard to tell for sure if he is joking and this is all a publicity stunt or if he is serious. People were quick to point out that he had already missed the deadline to officially add his name to many states' ballots for the general election. Regardless, voters are still legally allowed to write in Kanye's name on their ballot, and there's a possibility that many young voters will do so.
After the tweet was posted, several news sites latched onto the story, sparking debates between voters. Supporters of Jo Jorgensen, the primary Libertarian candidate, flocked to the comments sections to promote her platforms and call on the media to give her the same air time and attention they've given to Kanye West's bid, which could very well be illegitimate. After all, Kanye has been buddy-buddy with Trump for years now, and could very well only be "running" in order to take votes away from Biden and ultimately get Trump re-elected.
What is clear in these comments is that too many people are split on who to vote for, and why. There has long been debate on whether the United States should even have other parties, seeing as no third-party candidate has ever stood a chance at winning the presidency. I fully understand that people want a candidate who will stand for what they believe in and that for some people, that candidate comes from a third party.
At the end of the day, though, the concept of having third-parties is more for show in the U.S. than for purposes of functionality.
For most people, especially in the younger generation, voting for Biden stings. We had our own hopes about how this election would turn out, and for most of us, this is not what we were hoping for. However, getting on a moral high horse is incredibly irresponsible, and not the answer to our frustration.
I love my generation, and the change that so many of us have been fighting for lately has shown me and the rest of the world how passionate we are.
On the other hand, we need to realize that our credibility will plummet if we let one another vote for Kanye as a joke, or because there's "no better option."
When your favored candidate doesn't move forward, you must pick yourself up and focus on the larger goal at hand, rather than retreat in anger and resignation.
Choosing to vote for someone who is not Biden in order to feel better about yourself is selfish. There is a privilege in being able to vote for someone who certainly will not win, and, in doing so, diverting a vote from someone who could make some sort of positive impact on our country. Trump's fan base will undoubtedly vote for him again this November, which leaves Jorgenson and write-in candidates such as Kanye to take away from Biden's votes.
I hope as much as anyone else that, in 2024, Americans won't have to choose between two creepy old men who seem mentally unwell to some extent.
Right now, though, we are living in an insanely crucial moment and the last thing America needs is another four years of Donald Trump — and a vote for anyone other than Joe Biden is, effectively, a vote for Trump.
If you choose to vote for Jorgensen, Kanye, or anyone else, you may console yourself when Trump wins by telling yourself that at least you voted for someone who wasn't him. What you don't see is that, while your day-to-day life may not change much if Trump is re-elected, and therefore you can just vote for whoever you want, there are millions of people out there whose livelihoods and safety are at stake.
No matter who you are, there is someone you know and care about who will suffer under Trump's bigotry, racism, homophobia, and general xenophobia every day for the next four years.
Take their interests into account.
Recognize that your vote will impact each and every person in your life.
In 2024, the situation will be different. But this moment is vital. There is no time — or vote — to spare.