Popularity is power. I'm pretty sure Trump didn't get elected for his competency. And with Kanye now running, the 2020 elections may turn into a battle of the reality stars.
Is trading the Clinton's for the Kardashian's the best we can do? And now that we find ourselves in this place where follower count and showmanship trumps all, how do we get off this ride?
It's unclear if Kanye is joking. Dude says some nutty shit, so he might be making noise for the memes. But he could run a full campaign for 2024. Is Kanye for president any crazier than Trump for president?
Is this the new status quo? Reality stars taking turns running the most powerful nation in history?
Maybe. But I think we can put capable leaders into power. And I don't think they have to be pulled from the pool of remaining Boomers running our kleptocracy.
But we need to realize that the game has changed. Thoughtful policy doesn't win in an election decided by headlines, memes and the Comedy Central Roast that's become our presidential debates. I think you need to do two things to win...
Being likable helps too. Even if half of the country hates you, as long as the other half are die-hards, you're good. I think this is mostly why Hillary-bot failed. One half wanted her behind bars and the other half were apathetic at best.
I'm not sure that Sleepy Joe is much of a step up in this regard. Is anyone excited about a Biden presidency? No, but a lot of Americans are stoked for another four years of Trump. Even if some other Americans wish he'd choke on a Big Mac.
Biden probably isn't going become an entertainer at the spry age of 77. But that doesn't mean he can't pick a running mate with pull.
Chamath thinks Oprah is the choice to make. If winning is the goal, it's hard to think of a better VP for Biden. Where Biden is bound to make a verbal gaffe if you put a mic in his face, Oprah owns a stage like no other. And with her following and platform, she'll have no problem getting eyeballs.
Maybe the question isn't how do we get the most competent leaders in office. In a system where popularity wins, intellectuals lose. So maybe the question is how do we get the most competent entertainers in office. And not just the most competent, but the most open-minded. The intellectuals might not win the role of CEO, but they can fill in the holes for a celebrity president that's open to influence.
Trump is not that celebrity. Neither is Kanye. But Oprah might be.
I don't think it's impossible for another charismatic Obama type to win, but they have to play the game. And the game is being played on the Internet. And I think it's easier to put a team of intellectuals around an entertainer than it is to turn an intellectual into an entertainer. But damn if I don't hope I'm wrong.
Thanks for reading. I'm trying to embrace the reality of there being power in followers myself. So it'd mean a lot if you smash that like and retweet button on the Twitter thread of this post 😀