Here’s my latest column from Real Clear Politics, which looks at the cultural phenomenon of Kanye West’s political flirtation with Donald Trump and asks whether we really know what it means yet — or whether it is really over (like the mainstream media tells us it is).
‘Kanye, we hardly knew ye’
By Frank Miele
There are some powerful forces that come to Earth to change and shape our lives in mysterious ways and are gone almost as quickly as they came. The thousand days of John Kennedy’s presidency were known as that brief shining moment of Camelot. When he was taken from us, the cry went out: Johnny, we hardly knew ye.”
Kennedy was like a comet burning across the sky of our shared destiny, and we all thought he was gone too soon. But of all the bright comets that have seared the American political heavens, Kanye West certainly burned out the quickest. Or so it seems.
It was just two months ago when Kanye was hailed by many conservative pundits, including this one, as a prophet of the new black experience — a Moses who would lead his people out of the serfdom of the Democratic plantation. Of course, it was all expressed in hyperbole — the language of the modern political culture. No one really thought Kanye (or Ye as he prefers to be known) could single-handedly part the blue sea of black voters just by wearing a red MAGA hat, but cultural icons have a sway that can’t quite be explained. Just ask Oprah!
So it did seem like the potential was there for a significant shift in black voters, especially when Kanye met in the Oval Office last month with his political idol, President Donald J. Trump, and hugged him while expounding on the virtues of being your own man.
But then Kanye pulled up short at the end of October, threw away his MAGA hat, and dissed his erstwhile hero. Or did he? On Oct. 30, he tweeted the following:
“My eyes are now wide open and now realize I’ve been used to spread messages I don’t believe in. I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!”
This was widely interpreted in the mainstream media as a rebuke of Trump, but the one thing that was missing from the outspoken rapper’s unpredictable Twitter feed was anything that conclusively stated a newfound opposition to Donald Trump.
Read the rest at Real Clear Politics, and please leave your comments here and there!