Election 2024: Between a Rock and Yeezus

[Note: Thanks to all of you commenters for creating the only original content on this site for the past four days while I was in the hospital (see this morning’s Discussion Post for further info on that). I am home now and will resume creating original content of my own on Friday morning. But until then, enjoy this guest piece by the great Larry Schweikart on the potential for a 2024 presidential matchup between The Rock and Kanye West.]

Guest piece by Larry Schweikart

As some of you know, more than a year ago I was asked—assuming Trump won reelection—who would be his successor in 2024. I guess I stunned the host when I answered “Kanye West.” And I then added, “I guess his opponent would have to be a similar type celebrity, say Dwayne The Rock Johnson.”

So far, Kanye has not inspired confidence in his political abilities. He started his independent run so late as to miss out on key states such as Florida and Texas; his team staggered into the Wisconsin offices to register 17 seconds too late and were denied; and DemoKKKrat legal, but dirty, tricks kept him off the Arizona ballot. In short, these are the traits of a pure amateur and an unserious candidate. That is not to say he can’t reform himself and build a machine for 2024, but it is to say that he looked like the early days of the New Orleans Saints when fans wore bags over their heads (instead of masks).

Kanye may have said he would be president, but he has a long way to go to make that happen, not the least of which would be to convince millions of conservatives he isn’t crazy and can stay on his meds. But the bigger story here is The Rock, because his endorsement of Joe Biden “could be” a step into the 2024 ring.

Just as I thought Kanye would be formidable for a host of reasons, so too is The Rock a candidate not to be dismissed if he chooses to make a serious run.

The shifts in the American political structure since 2008 are stunning to anyone really paying attention. This is about far more than Donald Trump and Barack Obama. What has occurred is nothing less than a transformation of the American electorate and how they view leaders.

Obama opened the door. He wasn’t a full blown celebrity like Trump—who had no political or military experience when he declared (making him the first in history to do so). Obama, however, had served both in state office and in the U.S. Senate . . . more or less. His lack of time actually present in the chambers was remarkable, and his penchant for not sponsoring any meaningful legislation fit right with his presidency. That is to say, he was a lazy pol. With a 2/3 majority of each house, all he and the Democrats did in two years was a seedy “stimulus” bill and Obamacare. What is even more remarkable is that while passing these two great white elephants, Obama managed to unelect over 1,200 national, state, and local Democrats. He almost single-handedly cleaned out the last remaining “moderate” pro-life Democrats in the House. Not that we shed any tears for any of this, only that given all the power, political capital, and good will he had, Obama probably did less in eight years than Calvin Coolidge did in five.

But you have to give him credit: Obama was probably the first true “celebrity” president. He learned how to use his “first black president” label to maximum extent for campaign purposes, so much so that Hillary Clinton—the anointed “first woman president”—fell by the wayside.

Donald Trump, however, took the celebrity element to a whole new level. Trump ran a campaign in which he scarcely needed to do ads. Virtually all his advertising was handled free by the media, even if the coverage was often critical. Trump could get 100 reporters to cover a rally; Hillary had to coax aging rock and rollers like Bruce Springsteen to do benefit concerts for her.

We have seen repeatedly in races for the U.S. Senate (Jim Renacci in the 2018 Ohio race, for example) or the House where unknown candidates spend most of their time and virtually all of their money getting that precious name recognition. We caught a glimpse of the power of celebrity in the 1994 House races where an NFL wide receiver (Steve Largent), a former star quarterback at the University of Oklahoma (J.C. Watts) and a former rock star (Sonny Bono) all won their races, as did a well-known and popular Phoenix-area disc jockey (J. D. Hayworth).  While clearly celebrity status only gets you part of the way, it is an important leg up on the competition.

The Trump model suggests that the approach to a candidacy may be changing. American demographics and education suggests that celebrity status will become more important than ever. While virtually anyone under 40 knows who Kanye or The Rock are, few can name the vice president of the United States or their senator. When it comes to getting out the vote, a celebrity will have powerful advantages.

Which brings me back to Kanye and The Rock. Celebrity is important, but it is not sufficient to win, especially at the presidential level. Donald Trump had learned more about business, finance, and trade in three decades as a builder than most of the members of Congress have in a lifetime of voting on pork projects. Both Kanye and The Rock are smart businessmen. Kanye has had a number of successful clothing ventures, and, like Trump, has had some failures, including a restaurant chain. (Restaurants seem to be one of the biggest sources of failures for athletes and celebrities. Think “Planet Hollywood.”) The Rock, on the other hand, has taken a wrestling career and merely become the #1 box office star in Hollywood—at least until it closed due to the China Virus. In part, he did that by keeping his mouth shut about politics, and thereby attracted an audience from both parties. Now, however, he has drawn a line.

The challenges moving forward are these: for Kanye, he must begin a long and dedicated effort to show that politics is not a hobby, but a God-directed purpose. Many of his supporters, especially those of the Christian community, desperately want him to succeed now. But he cannot ever again undertake such an amateurish, half-baked, lightweight “campaign” as what he launched in 2020. If he can right himself by, say, 2023 and has developed a strong track record of public appearances without a meltdown, sound policy proposals, and the ability to move among crowds of middle-aged white people who are repelled by rap music and still make a connection, then he has a future. Indeed, I could envision a certain Donald Trump endorsing him . . . if he pulls it together the way Trump, after 2012, pulled his political act together.

As for The Rock, he is formidable. Should he take politics seriously, he can likely get most of what he wants. He has a winning smile, a reputation for toughness in and out of the ring, a (so far) stable family history, a good personal story, and sex appeal. Conservatives should not discount him any more than liberals should blow off a reformed and dedicated Kanye. In a race between the two, it would absolutely be a tossup.

 

Larry Schweikart is the co-author with Michael Allen of the New York Times #1 bestseller, A Patriot’s History of the United States, author of Reagan: the American President, and founder of the Wild World of History curriculum website for homeschoolers and educators with a full US and World History curriculum for grades 9-12 that includes teacher guides, student workbooks, maps/charts, tests, and videos accompanying every unit (www.wildworldofhistory.com).

 

That is all.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is the only real conservative alternative to Drudge, and deserves to become everyone’s go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

 

11 thoughts on “Election 2024: Between a Rock and Yeezus

  1. Jimmy MacAfee - October 1, 2020

    If Dwayne Johnson wanted to be President, he should have endorsed President Trump, not CreepyFingerJoe, the man with marks on his wrist which look suspiciously like he’s been intubated. There will be plenty of people lining up to follow President Trump on the Republican side, but the Demonscat side has a shallow bench.

    Is The Pebble taking advantage of that? What he’s saying, however, is that he doesn’t expect Creepy Joe to win, because 2024 would be the Party of Harris, who would be Presidunce a short while after MindlessJoe blows a fuse or his lid.

    1. Jimmy MacAfee - October 1, 2020

      My posts keep getting interrupted by an ad, and I don’t think they’re part of the site. Espionage.

      Anyway, if someone expected QuidPro to win, they wouldn’t be talking about 2024.

    2. Jimmy MacAfee - October 1, 2020

      So The Pebble may not be supporting President Trump, but he’s surreptitiously sabotaging Cheatin’Plagiarizin’Joe.

      1. Jimmy MacAfee - October 1, 2020

        Conclusion: The Pebble won’t run in 2024, unless he knows something about the failure of the current Demoncrap ticket.

  2. jack johnson - October 1, 2020

    The press….”hey Rock do you or have you ever taken steroids?” …..game over.

    1. Jimmy MacAfee - October 1, 2020

      Hey, he could run for Governor of California!

  3. Jimmy MacAfee - October 1, 2020

    Judge “Judy” Sullivan will run for POTUS in 2024 – he had a bet with Judge Joe Brown, and Brown lost, also losing a prized rifle of historic value. So after the bet, Sullivan started hiding his legal decisions, now limiting the rebroadcast of his patently insane rantings in the current Flynn saga. While he hides his decisions, he has a team of cosmetologists and others to make him look good, since his decisions make him look like an ass.

    Judge Brown and Sullivan had a beauty contest, and with his team of beauty experts, Sullivan’s more impressive and well-coifed set of chops won the jury. It ws helpful that he – like Longshanks’ son in Braveheart – has a team of mirror-holders walking around him to show him how his robes look and to help him with his royal posture..

    While he hides his decisions, he simultaneously has videographers who take videos of him doing everything under and over the sun, even of him rendering a smelly judgment on the porcelain throne, and while trimming his nosehair, butthair and earhair. Videographers who save His Eminence, for posterity, every burp and fart of this Most (self) Important Majestic Monstrosity.

    So Dwayne Johnson? Pffff. Nolo Contendre; his ego can’t touch the Self-proclaimed Judge Above All (District Court) Judges.

    To Judge “Judy” Sullivan: here’s a glass of water: walk on it. Your Majestic Foolishness.

  4. Not Sure - October 1, 2020

    Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho and the Time Masheen in 2024.
    Plants crave electrolytes because Dr. Lexus at St. God’s Memorial Hospital told me so.
    Yes we can! Forward to the hybrid Zimbabwe/Cuba/Venezuela/North Korea workers utopia.

  5. Gregg - October 2, 2020

    Interesting article and Larry makes some good points/comparisons. But West and Rock are entertainers first and businessmen second.

    IMO, both have many more negatives than positives, and while both are successful entertainers, they appeal to a niche audience. In other words, I don’t believe they have mass appeal or are even known by the majority of Americans.

    Consider this, look at the way Trump has been accused of being unstable. If West were to gain any real traction, his mental history, as alluded to by Schweikart, will certainly become an issue as ANY conservative who gains traction in the polls becomes an instant target of the MSM (D). Look at the recent history of the numerous fine people seeking the GOP nomination and how they were ganged up on and totally destroyed by the left’s bullhorn: Sara Palin, Michelle Backman, Herman Cain, and others, often with the help of the establishment RINOS like Ace and Mutt.

    I just don’t see either of these people being anything other than fringe candidates who will grab some headlines and occupy some media driven speculation. Even now, Perot has more chance of winning in 2024 than either of these two.

    While Perot had appeal (of about 20% of the electorate which served to split the conservative vote twice), neither he nor West or the Rock has the stamina, or discipline of President Trump and they certainly do not have the ability to withstand any of endless media scrutiny that Trump has endured.

    The other factor to be considered: Trump’s candidacy came during a perfect storm of massive dissatisfaction of eight years of the empty suit’s economic and other malaise, an insufferable hag who was and is not popular and a truly demented and compromised opponent this year. With four more years of successful Trump MAGA/KAG accomplishments, what exactly are West and Rock going to run on or against? The electorate will not feel an urgency to bring in another ‘outsider’ to fix things.

    My guess is the majority will be looking to find a seasoned and known candidate who will look to bring a certain amount of (perceived) calm to the presidency after eight years of turmoil – the majority will want Trump’s policies but not the emotionally exhausting frustration of all the Dem/media driven nonsense. Sadly, that may well create another Bush type GOP nominee in 2024.

    And surely the Dems will find a much more appealing and centrist appearing candidate in 2024. The Clintons, Sanders, and Bidens of the old guard will be gone, ‘the One’ will probably be working behind the scenes (how much influence he will have depends on the outcome of the ‘Obamagate’ scandal) but he will not be the overt face of the Dem Party.

    1. Jimmy MacAfee - October 2, 2020

      Satire aside, I think if The Pebble was going to run for office, it’s gonna be to challenge the idiot running California into the ground.

      I don’t see Mr. West running for anything. He has a good life (now) and doesn’t need the bitter experience of running for office. For one thing, every misstep he’s ever made will be leaked out via the Intel community, which has decided for itself who will be a candidate and who will not be. Which is why Tulsi Gabbard was kept out of the debates – (she wasn’t on their “acceptable” list.)
      They only want idiots who can maneuver things in the direction they choose, or who act as foils.

      I wish Mr. West well. The Pebble can go throw himself in a pond and see if he skips, for all I care.

      1. Gregg - October 2, 2020

        Agree about your take on CA.

        And clearly someone or some group who actually runs the DC swamp chooses who is and who is not acceptable to become president regardless of which Republicrat party they belong.

        That is why President Trump has been the target of all the vitriol that the MSMDNCRNC has thrown at him. He is a true outsider and cannot be controlled by the DC Club. His independence and the fact that he doesn’t need them is something they cannot abide.

        And Sanders, despite calliing himself an “indepentent”, is not an “outsider” He is an unelectable wacko radical and that is the reason why he was sandbagged twice by the Walking Eagle/btfsplk establishment. They have no real problem with many of his positions; they just saw him as a sure loser and a drag on the down-ballot races.

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