Kanye West’s July 4th claim to run for president has caused an internet stir and left the punditocracy at odds, trying to determine the veracity and seriousness of the rapper’s intentions. Is Kanye West for real? Or is this merely a publicity stunt?… Or could it be, dare it to be said, a strategic move to split the vote?
Once buddies, united in the common goal “to make America great again,” Kanye West and Donald Trump are now purportedly adversaries in the race to the White House.
On America’s Independence day, the musician and entrepreneur dropped an ambiguous tweet that implied in no uncertain terms his intention to run in the 2020 US Elections.
“I am running for president of the United States“ said West in a bold tweet, which has received more than half a million retweets and comments and has been liked by 1.2 million people since July 4th, and that almost instantly received the backing of billionaire Elon Musk. The electric carmaker tweeted his response to West’s post immediately: “You have my full support!”
That this bombshell comes out of nowhere is an understatement. The understatement to end all understatements, leaving many scratching their heads. Why, only a few months ago, West was gushing over his chum, Trump, in an interview with GQ’s Will Wench. Even, implying his intention to vote for the “America first” president in November. “No, I’m definitely voting this time,” West said. “And we know who I’m voting on.”
The rapper – according to his own boasts over the years – never voted in his life. Voting for Trump therefore would have been a departure from practice. And yet: he’s taken it a step further now, putting himself in direct competition with the man he once fondly dubbed a father figure.
The timing of his announcement, more so than anything else – four months before the general election and, coincidentally, just in time for his album drop, no less – has prompted many to question his sincerity. Indeed, the experts don’t appear to be buying what he’s selling – at least, not yet.
It’s fair to say West’s supporters may well be chuffed about the idea of a West administration, but the wider public isn’t quite so. The opposite in fact as there’s a growing reductionist view, oscillating between suspicion and, in more extreme cases, outright derision. Then again, if the aim is publicity, then it’s a stroke of genius. After all, West is dominating the media narrative for nearly a fortnight. Success.
In an interview with Forbes reporter Randall Lane, who interviewed Kanye West right after the dramatic tweet that sent social media into a right tizzy, the mercurial California-based rapper made some rather outlandish and curious claims, not least in revealing the name of his party – the Birthday Party – and his idea to model his administration in the image of the fictional world depicted in the blockbuster movie, Black Panther.
So I spent four hours talking with @kanyewest yesterday, his first interview since his Fourth of July Tweet declaring he’s running for president in 2020. We covered a lot of ground….(1/x) https://t.co/ezzrl717lU
— Randall Lane (@RandallLane) July 8, 2020
West claimed that while “Trump is the closest president we’ve had in years to allowing God to still be part of the conversation,” his MAGA days were now over. That his support of Trump was all along merely an act of protest.
“One of the main reasons I wore the red hat as a protest to the segregation of votes in the Black community,” said West.
Although he then elaborated this reasoning further by suggesting that somehow interior design was at the root of the support as well, “other than the fact that I like Trump hotels and the saxophones in the lobby.”
Actress Debra Messing called West’s presidential bid a ploy to syphon votes away from Joe Biden, and consequently paving the way for a Trump victory. To this allegation of splitting the vote West said, “That is a form of racism and white supremacy and white control to say that all Black people need to be Democrat and to assume that me running is me splitting the vote.”
West went on to add that he felt threatened. “I was threatened as a celebrity into being in one party. I was threatened as a Black man into the Democratic party. And that’s what the Democrats are doing, emotionally, to my people. Threatening them to the point where this white man can tell a Black man if you don’t vote for me, you’re not Black.”
As filing deadlines in states such as Texas have already come and gone, and deadlines in key states such as Florida, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania etc. are fast looming on the horizon (admittedly, West has less than 30 days to make his final decision, when the deadline for most states will have passed), the likelihood of West running for president looks slim. Nevertheless, he’s managed to seize a captive audience. To what end, only time will tell.
Reckless Driving in the State of Virginia
The state of Virginia is strict in its enforcement of laws against reckless driving. According to section 46.2-852 of the Virginia Code, reckless driving is listed as a criminal offense. In addition, the Virginia Code categorizes all driving that endangers the life and property of others as reckless.
Several behaviors that motorists exhibit while behind the wheels can qualify as reckless driving in Virginia. “Reckless driving causes nearly a third of all deaths involving major car accidents, which are more than 13,000 each year,” explains attorney Karin Riley Porter. As a result, you can be charged by an officer and can be found guilty or not guilty by a judge.
Types of Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is in different forms and includes:
1. Driving a vehicle with a mechanical fault
Va. Code § 46.2-853 considers driving a vehicle with faulty brakes as a reckless driving offense. Therefore, if a driver cannot maintain proper vehicle control, the driver will be held liable for reckless driving. However, if a driver could prove that they didn’t have prior knowledge that the vehicle was faulty, it would be possible to avoid conviction.
2. Not giving out the right signals when required
Not giving out a signal while driving on Virginia road is an offense under section 46.2-860 of the Virginia Code. Motorists are required to start signaling 50 feet away from the place they would be turning where the speed limit is not above 35 mph. In situations where the speed limit is above 35 mph, drivers are required to signal 100 feet away from where they would take a turn.
3. Driving alongside another vehicle on a single lane road
In Virginia, driving two vehicles abreast on a one-lane road is considered a reckless driving offense. This rule, however, only applies to vehicles and has no implications on motorcycles and bikes. If found liable, the offender will face charges.
Different Virginia roads are subject to variable speed limits. A driver can face charges for reckless driving if they exceed the speed limit specified by law on each road network. According to the Va. Code §46.2-862, a driver can face convictions for reckless driving if they exceed the specified speed limit by 20 mph or drive above 80 mph.
5. Driving with an impaired view
Some drivers overload their cars or carry passengers who prevent them from seeing all sides of the road. Overloading is most common in trucks. If the passenger’s sitting position in any way obstructs the driver’s view, then the driver can be charged for reckless driving.
6. Racing on Public Property
Section 46.2-865 of the Virginia Code considers car racing on any property that is open to the members of the public without authorization as reckless driving. If found guilty, the state can withdraw the license of the driver for up to six months.
Penalties for Reckless Driving in Virginia
A reckless driving conviction may attract different penalties to the offender, some of which may include:
- A suspension of the driver’s license for six months or more
- Up to one-year jail term
- Fine amounting to $2,500
- Increase in auto insurance
- Ineligibility for car rentals
- Possibility of permanent seizure of vehicle if found guilty of unauthorized car racing
Reckless driving is a severe offense in Virginia. If you are charged with the crime and convicted, it can stay in your driving records for up to 11 years. However, with the help of an experienced Virginia traffic attorney, you can get a lesser charge for the offense.
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