The presidential campaigns of Deez Nuts, Waka Flocka Flame and Kanye West are highlighting the exasperation many Americans feel about politics today.
These campaigns are also in keeping with a new trend in politics: Campaigns for the spectacle, rather than the substance.
Deez Nuts, whose real name is Brady Olsen, is a 15-year-old from Iowa.
Olsen is ineligible for the presidency, but that didn’t stop him from filling out the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Committee in July.
It began as a joke born out of frustration with the two-party political system in the U.S. Then Deez Nuts began to appear in the polls in a significant way. Reaching poll numbers of 9 percent in North Carolina, 8 percent in Minnesota, and 7 percent in Iowa, according to NY Daily News.
He’s just one of several “joke” campaigns such as Cap’n Crunch, who is topping him in the polls as of late.
Rapper Waka Flocka Flame, real name Juaquin James Malphur, has also thrown his hat in the ring for the presidency.
Like Deez Nuts, he doesn’t meet the minimum age requirement, but that hasn’t stopped him from collaborating with Rolling Stone for two campaign videos.
It’s hard to take Flame seriously since he hasn’t elaborated on any of his ideas outside of legalizing marijuana and banning dogs from restaurants.
He doesn’t seem to be polling anywhere though, and while there’s something to be said for the entertainment value of a rapper’s presidency or campaign, Flame seems content with keeping his campaign an unfounded novelty.
Then there’s Kanye West, who announced his 2020 presidential campaign at the VMAs on Sunday, Aug 30. During the same speech, however, he informed audience members that he “rolled up a little something” before the awards show began.
At this point it’s nearly impossible to tell how serious West is, but he certainly sounded impassioned during his acceptance speech.
The era of novelty campaigns is upon us. It’s easy to point to Donald Trump as the ultimate presidential candidate troll, but Deez Nuts certainly raised the bar where joke campaigns are concerned.
Flame’s and West’s campaigns are still in their developing stages but perhaps we can look forward to a Flame, Nuts, West cabinet in the future.