What Kanye West’s ‘Redpilling’ Really Means

In 2016, many of us never thought Donald Trump could actually win the presidency. In 2018, many of us never thought that Kanye West would be Trump’s biggest celebrity supporter.

But we truly are living in the best timeline, where just about everything is possible.

The Internet has been abuzz with West’s sudden and unambiguous declarations of support for President Trump. Whether he’s tweeting pictures of his signed “MAGA” hat, or declaring that Trump is his “brother” and that they “are both dragon energy,” it is clear that the president has just found his newest—and greatest—celebrity supporter. President Trump has even responded directly to Kanye not once, but twice.

And that was on top of a spate of other tweets by Kanye on subjects other than Trump, talking about how free thinking is no longer allowed, how unpopular opinions are demonized, and the “thought police” are running rampant. This is what’s known on the Internet as “redpilling”—when someone finally opens their eyes to the cold hard truth about problems in our world, from the rampant speech-policing by the Left to problems with unfettered immigration, among many other ills.

Of course, the mainstream media was quick to respond with rapid-fire denunciations of West, with the attacks coming so quickly after his initial tweets that a world record was probably broken somewhere. The Washington Post published an article hilariously titled “Kanye West, Alt-Right Darling,” while other outlets claimed that West may be mentally unstable.

West’s outspoken support for the president raises multiple problems for the firmly entrenched left-wing media. The hip-hop icon, after all, represents two of the most left-leaning groups in America today: A-list celebrities and African-Americans.

While Trump definitely has no shortage of celebrity endorsements—including Dennis Rodman, Chuck Norris, Gary Busey, Hulk Hogan, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, and the late R. Lee Ermey—Kanye West just might be his most high-profile celebrity supporter yet.

West’s tweets and the subsequent backlash have also resulted in another top celebrity coming to his defense: His wife, Kim Kardashian. In response to the intense criticism of her husband’s wrongthink, she voiced support for Kanye expressing his personal opinions even despite their own disagreements over Trump. She also asked if free thinking is even allowed in America anymore, and slammed the media for the mental health accusations, saying “mental health is no joke.” In response to Kardashian’s defense of Kanye, Donald Trump, Jr. quoted one of her tweets and responded: “#ImWithHer.”

As I have said before, a number of incidents and various figures have represented a gradually-increasing size in the pro-Trump celebrity crowd—coupled with a decline in popular support for the ultra-leftism for which Hollywood has become known. Consider the tediousness of the overtly anti-Trump 2018 Oscars and how poorly it did in the ratings or the resounding success of Roseanne Barr’s new show where she plays an openly pro-Trump character.

This “coming out” of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian in support of free expression (even of unpopular opinions), and the former being explicitly pro-Trump, is the latest—and biggest—escalation in that ongoing saga. It is easily the biggest victory in the culture war since Trump defeated the NFL during the kneeling protests.

As the late Andrew Breitbart always said, “Politics is downstream from culture.” And few things are more pervasive than pop culture and celebrity culture, which dominate our television sets, our movie theaters, and social media. If more dominoes fall—and they will—then the Left’s iron grip on pop culture will be weakened. That surely would be the death knell for their movement’s hopes of stomping out all opposition. But it would also signal a renaissance of culture and art. For stultifying, one-sided opinion damages more than just our politics. It makes everything ugly, banal, and uninteresting.

The other element of this, of course, is the picture that the mainstream media is most terrified to have you see: popular Black Trump supporters. Just as Kanye’s celebrity status represents a threat to the Left’s cultural stranglehold on the country, his status as an African-American icon could threaten their electoral stranglehold on a key demographic.

The entire furor started with a tweet on April 21, in which Kanye praised a black female Trump supporter named Candace Owens. Owens runs a YouTube channel which she says exists to “prescribe red pills” for those who are “sick of the alt-left.” The channel, which appeals especially to black audiences, averages anywhere from 100,000 to 500,000 views per video, and has amassed over 6 million total views thus far. Owens frequently criticizes Black Lives Matter, as well as the Democratic Party’s failure to help the African-American community.

This is a spreading narrative and it’s been picked up by other black celebrities. Most recently, musician Chancelor Jonathan Bennett—better known as “Chance the Rapper”—tweeted to his more than 7 million followers: “Black people don’t have to be Democrats.”

The truth about the Democrats’ failures to protect the African-American community has already gained traction, with President Trump providing a perfect contrast as a viable alternative. As the president repeatedly points out, African-American unemployment is at an historic low under his administration, with reasons for the revived prosperity including his trade protectionism and reduced rates of immigration. Even America’s first-ever black billionaire, Robert Johnson, explicitly credited Trump for greater prosperity in the African-American community. Kanye even went directly after Barack Obama for his failure to handle gun violence in the black community, saying that “nothing in Chicago changed” despite Obama being in office for eight years.

If this disillusion with the Democratic Party among the black community is eventually promoted by more black celebrities, the Democrats would be in grave danger going into both 2018 and 2020. Dilbert creator and Trump supporter Scott Adams—who enjoyed additional exposure from Kanye sharing nine of his videos on Twitter—commented on this, saying: “Democrats are on the verge of losing African-American votes, and that would be game-over for the party.” He further pointed out that the Left’s panic is made clear by their “fake news attacks” on both him and Kanye, going for character assassination rather than responding to the ideas being promoted.

As if the collapse of the “Russia” conspiracy theory, the nearing denuclearization of North Korea, and the roaring economy weren’t enough to make the Left terrified of President Trump, they may soon find that perhaps their greatest weapon—pop culture—will soon slip through their fingers as well. If a more right-wing, pro-free speech, and pro-Trump pop culture gets larger and finds such high-profile leaders as Kanye, then the downstream result will be a much more prosperous America—the Left’s worst nightmare.

Photo credit:  TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.