Kanye’s big announcement leaves little hope for our generation

During the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night, Kanye West announced his plans to run for president in the 2020 election.

At first I thought it was a joke. After all, the entire show was one of the worst VMAs in history. Then I logged on to Twitter and my hopes for this generation slowly shattered. I saw the possibility of this unraveling within the next five years.

“Free Yeezy Boosts for everyone” and “We’ll have the prettiest First Lady in the world” tweets were refreshed onto my timeline.

I logged out.

I then checked Instagram and saw Kylie Jenner posted a “Kanye West for President” picture that got over one million likes.

Kanye running for president is something I’ll have to see to believe and if it does happen, it’s no surprise that he’ll have millions of supporters. What’s surprising and discouraging is why our generation stands so closely behind him.

It hit me. The youth doesn’t care about the economy. They don’t know the importance of healthcare or what foreign policy even is. I understand politics are not pretty and are extremely confusing. But why do people feel so comfortable turning their backs on issues that impact their everyday lives?

At UB, low voting turnouts are no surprise. In the 2015 Student Association election, 217 students – only 1 percent of UB’s undergraduate population – voted. Regardless of the fact that the leading party ran unopposed, it proves the student body doesn’t care whose hands have control over their money.

According to Civic Youth, the youth voting registration in 2014 was lower than ever before. Only 19.9 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted in the 2014 elections.

Civic Youth also reported that people who are contacted by campaigns are more likely to vote but each year less young people are being contacted. Maybe that’s because not all candidates declare their bid at the VMAs.

Kanye’s announcement was not only a shock – it gave young people the wrong message.

“I’m not no politician, bruh,” he said.

Thank you, Kanye for telling everyone it’s OK if you have zero knowledge or experience. With 21 Grammys, a $130 million net worth and a wife gracing all the tabloids, anything is possible.

Now I haven’t lost all hope in our generation. Whenever a serious topic goes viral, everyone on my timeline has something to say.

But that’s also the problem. People don’t take a stance unless the majority has already chosen a side or keep quiet until an issue directly affects them. I’m tired of the bandwagoning. Too many people on social media stated that if Kanye ran, they would “finally vote.”

I wish more people between the ages of 18 and 29 took advantage of their ability to implement intellectual views on social media. I sincerely hope to see voting registration go up within the next year for everyone’s sake.

And if you think North West will make a cute addition to the White House, I just hope that isn’t your reason for finally casting a ballot.

Gabriela Julia is the senior news editor and can be reached at gabriela.julia@ubspectrum.com.