Famous science fiction writer Kurt Vonnegut’s 1961 dystopian short story about a man who briefly rebels against a totalitarian ideology before being beaten by the system is the closest parallel to describing Kanye West’s public revelation that he’s a Trump supporter, but unlike Harrison Bergeron, the rap superstar might actually end up defeating the system that’s been suppressing his and everyone else’s thoughts for so long.
All of America is talking about Kanye West’s latest revelations on Twitter that he’s a Trump supporter, so vehement of one in fact that he even got the President to sign one of his famous MAGA hats for the rapper. It’s no secret that Kanye met with Trump shortly after the election and just before his now-infamous hospitalization at a psychiatric facility, but no one really knew just how much he believed in the MAGA cause until just recently when he finally returned to Twitter after over a year-long break. Kanye’s known for his “shock value”, and that’s probably part of the reason why his fans enjoy following him so much and have taken to crafting what can only be described as a “cult of personality” around him, but most of them were unprepared to find out that he supports Trump and were loath to accept it.
Tweeting Up A Trump Storm
Throughout the past week, Kanye’s been firing off philosophically deep tweets such as these:
“Demonization has metastasized. The psychological zombie effect. People demonize people and then they demonize anybody who sees anything positive in someone whose been demonized. We have freedom of speech but not freedom of thought. The thought police want to suppress freedom of thought.”
“Constantly bringing up the past keeps you stuck there. We live in a time where people don’t respect people for being themselves. People respect people for following the general trend and consensus. There was a time when slavery was the trend and apparently that time is still upon us. But now it’s a mentality. Self-victimization is a disease.”
“New ideas will no longer be condemned by the masses. We are on the frontier of massive change. Starting from breaking out of our mental prisons.”
“I’ve always had a desire to do things people wouldn’t even think to do. If your foresight is incredible, stay stubborn to your vision.”
“To be great is to be misunderstood.”
“I’m used to the heat of independent thoughts.”
And finally, the stream of tweets that blew up the internet:
“Free thinkers don’t fear retaliation for your thoughts. The traditional thinkers are only using thoughts and words but they are in a mental prison. You are free. You’ve already won. Feel energized. Move in love not fear. Be afraid of nothing. You don’t have to agree with Trump but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought. If your friend jumps off the bridge you don’t have to do the same. Ye being Ye is a fight for you to be you. For people in my life the idea of Trump is pretty much a 50-50 split but I don’t tell a Hillary supporter not to support Hillary. I love Hillary too. I love when people have their own ideas. You don’t have to be allowed anymore. Just be. Love who you want to love. That’s free thought. I’m not even political. I’m not a Democrat or a Republican.”
All of this was followed by Kanye himself wearing a MAGA hat and then showing another picture bragging about how Trump actually signed it for him, which in turn prompted the President to retweet two of the rapper’s messages about him.
The 21st-Century Harrison Bergeron
As Kanye’s fan base would put it, he’s “woke” (“enlightened about the truth around oneself”), though they’d of course be using it sarcastically because most of them hate Trump with a passion because that’s what the media and their favorite celebrities told them to think. Kanye finally figured out that the demonization of Trump is largely ad hominem and has little to do with the President’s actual policies, representing instead the suppression of the individual and his uniqueness like the rapper hinted at in his tweets. A global celebrity, previously worshipped by millions of the masses and catapulted to stardom partly because of his socio-political and previously leftist-/liberal-leaning commentary, has now rebelled against the same system that made him who he is, and it’s in this sense that he shares a lot in common with the subject of famous science fiction writer Kurt Vonnegut’s 1961 dystopian short story “Harrison Bergeron”.
The above hyperlinked text is very short and can be read by most people in ten or fifteen minutes, but for those who for whatever reason don’t have the time, the story’s all about a man who rebels against the totalitarian ideology that’s taken control of the world before being beaten by the system during the brief height of his liberated glory. The irony of all of this is that Harrison’s rebellion takes place on live TV but the brainwashed masses are unable to understand what they’re seeing, let alone remember it after the feed is cut following his assassination by the state, which is eerily similar to how the modern-day “sheep” of today are reacting. Their media “thought overlords” are filling their brains with previous reports about their one-time hero’s “eccentricities” which they used to adore but are now pressured to interpret in a new way when viewed in light of Kanye’s support for Trump.
Not only that, but there’s a clear narrative being spun by the Mainstream Media that Kanye might be suffering a “psychotic episode” like the one that he was supposedly hospitalized for in late 2016 shortly after his meeting with Trump, strongly suggesting that anyone – let alone a rich black man – is “clinically crazy” for supporting the President. To remind everyone, Kanye explicitly said that he doesn’t agree with everything that Trump does but likely sees a lot of himself in the American leader and his personal unreservedness in being unique in spite of what society thinks about him. Furthermore, a radio host who recently interviewed Kanye reported that the rapper wants to “deprogram” people, which would explain the zeal with which he’s “come out of the closet” and is trying to get people to challenge the long-standing dogmas that they’ve been indoctrinated into unquestionably believing.
He Fought The System And The System…Lost?
The whiplash, however, has been exceptionally fierce, with many of Kanye’s “friends” disowning him on social media, and untold numbers of his former “fans” unfollowing him after taking to Twitter to insult their erstwhile role model. Just like the system that made Harrison Bergeron ended up killing him shortly after his highly publicized rebellion, so too is the current one trying to do this to Kanye for the exact same reasons, though the outcome might be noticeably different this time around in real life. Unlike Harrison, Kanye’s life isn’t in danger for going against the grain, though he does risk ruining the career that he built up until this point, at least when it comes to rap, but at the same time, he’s demonstrated an impressive flexibility over the years with his talents and could still continue to live his luxurious lifestyle through the other revenue streams that he’s since established.
Another point is that his audience won’t ever forget what he did, which is drastically different than Harrison’s, and some people who never would have even countenanced paying Kanye a public compliment are now singing his praises and embracing him for his courage in confronting what he himself had just earlier decried as the “thought police”. The pushback that Kanye’s experiencing is actually positive for his mental-intellectual development because it confirms that his fears weren’t paranoia and that, as the saying goes, “the nail that stands up gets hammered down first”, or in other words, strong-willing people who aren’t afraid to iconoclastically challenge established orthodoxy are attacked by the brainwashed mob at the behest of the system that controls them. Being different and saying something that the masses have been indoctrinated into thinking is “unpopular”, “taboo”, or even “evil” (with popular euphemisms oftentimes unfairly being “fascist”, “racist”, or “white supremacists”) instantly results in coordinated suppression.
For once in his life, Kanye West feels like Donald Trump in the sense that he’s being attacked by an amorphous blob controlled by unseen “movers and shakers” who have a deep-seated interest in retaining the system through which they wield their “godlike” power, which is actually how the tens of millions of average Americans who voted for the President against what they were told by the Mainstream Media were “all odds” also felt. Interestingly, for as characteristically arrogant of a rap superstar as he is, Kanye’s “coming out” as a Trump supporter might actually be very humbling to him on a personal level, whether he shows it or not, and it also curiously makes the stereotypical Trump supporter somewhat interested in this public personality that they might have previously dismissed as a “dumb Democrat”. On top of all of this, he once again has Trump’s attention and another meeting – or perhaps an informal advisory role in the administration – can’t be precluded.
Therefore, while Kanye’s recent life experiences very closely parallel the rapid rise and fall of Harrison Bergeron when the sci-fi short story character briefly rebelled against the totalitarian ideology of the authoritarian system in which he lived prior to being destroyed by the very same forces that had suppressed him his entire life, the rapper might actually succeed where Kurt Vonnegut’s 1961 character failed due to the comparatively freer real-life conditions in which he’s operating.
Potentially hundreds of millions of Americans have just found out that one of the most well-known names in the country and a vital part (for better or for worse) of its pop culture has defied the social elite that he’s a part of and came out as a Trump supporter, thus shattering the Mainstream Media’s weaponized ad hominem infowar characterization of the President’s base as being nothing more than “uneducated racist rednecks” and possibly even earning himself a future informal but symbolically important advisory role in the administration.
Interwar communist philosopher Antonio Gramsci famously theorized that that the cultural revolution must precede the political one if the latter is to succeed and be indefinitely sustained, but the modern-day implementation of that concept seems to have been tweaked to include the former accompanying and/or succeeding the latter, with the curious episode of rap superstar Kanye West and the populist but media-hated President proving that cultural influences can have a disproportionate effect on politics.
The Mainstream Media and the massive number of people that it controls as a result of what Kanye rightly described as “the psychological zombie effect” will hate to hear what’s about to be said, but the “inconvenient” reality is that his “defection” from their ranks and unabashedly proud embracement of being framed as America’s new “black sheep” is the most convincing evidence yet that the “Trump Train” is roaring on despite what its enemies have tried so hard to make the world believe, and the Establishment’s control over free thought is therefore more tenuous than ever.
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.