Kanye reminds us how the West was wrong
It's a little over 100 days before the US presidential election and, just when you thought US politics couldn't get any crazier, along comes Kanye West.
West, a 43-year-old billionaire rapper, held his first "rally" in his campaign for the presidency at the weekend.
It was a nauseating spectacle even for Americans now immune to Donald Trump's rambling conspiracies and easily busted lies.
West - with a bulletproof vest and "2020" shaved in his hair - harangued the small crowd with appeals to God and an anti-abortion crusade.
His policies? Better acoustics and $1 million for women to have babies.
In some ways I'm actually glad West has nominated.
Why? Because a public rejection of that type of nonsense politics - and of Trump and other celebrities who care only about fame - proves democracy works.
No matter how glitzy the campaign, a majority of voters will eventually push back against a toxic amateurism that can only erode civil society.
Put bluntly, it's a rejection of two variants of mob rule posing as democracy in a social media age: "idiocrasy" - government run by popular idiots - and "kakistocracy": government run by popular amateurs despite being unqualified and unscrupulous.
How do we know? Because US opinion polls - long revealing public disapproval of Trump exceeding his approval by 15 points - have been so consistent.
Critically, voters are especially angry at the President's handling of COVID-19, race relations and, his one-time strength, the economy.
Unbelievably, some still insist - or at least wish - the polls are wrong, just as they were in 2016.
Well, the polls weren't wrong in 2016.
Indeed, the last three opinion polls before election day - UPI, YouGov and Washington Post - pegged Hillary Clinton at 49 per cent, and Trump at between 45 and 46.
The final result? Clinton beat Trump on the popular vote, 48.2 to 46.1 - well within the margin of error.
So how did Clinton lose?
Trump's ultra-narrow victory in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin gave him the 46 Electoral College votes he needed for victory.
Had just 15,000 people instead voted for Clinton in each of those three states, she would be president today.
Does anyone really believe Trump hasn't lost the support of at least 45,000 Americans?
Other facts make Trump's defeat almost certain.
No candidate who's never attained at least 50 per cent approval - Trump has never cracked 50 - has gone on to win.
And no candidate with 50 per cent approval during an "incumbent" election cycle - like 2020 - has gone on to lose.
Just last week, Fox News pegged Joe Biden's approval at 53 points.
The truly interesting point is that so much of this pushback isn't from Democrats or Independents, but from old-school Republicans sickened as the Grand Old Party of Lincoln, Eisenhower and Reagan is hijacked by an amoral demagogue now leading a race-baiting cult.
So what will a Biden presidency look like?
First, Trump - who this week refused to automatically accept the will of the people - will have to be levered out of the White House on January 20.
Second, a Biden administration will see the US resume its place as the leader of the democratic world.
It will restore American dignity in the G8 and G20, it will re-engage with the UN and the WHO, and it will support and not insult allies like Australia, the UK and Germany.
It will also return to free trade (and lift America, and the world, out of recession), and it will, in Biden's own words, return a "duty to care" to government.
That means a return to well-funded health, education and retirement services.
Above all, it will mean an end to the scorning of science and immutable facts - at least until the next celebrity wannabe comes along.
Originally published as Kanye reminds us how the West was wrong