Race for the White House 2016: Chance We Can Believe In
In a political climate where scare tactics and bullying seem to trump (pun intended?) authentic discourse, hope wanes. And TBQH, we didn’t want to talk about it. The easy thing to do in times like these is shrink back in ignorance, but since when are the easy thing and the right thing the same? (Subtle “The Fray” reference ICYMI).
For this reason, Upwrite Magazine wants to officially go on record endorsing the only candidate we feel comfortable supporting. A man whose character outweighs his qualifications. A figure whose charisma and charm are second only to his humility. A person who entertains us, keeps us hopeful, and frankly, makes us freaking giddy.
We are pleased to announce our official endorsement of Chance the Rapper for president in 2016. (This is his part, nobody else speak). Here are just a few of the reasons why we’re completely charmed by Lil Chano from 79th:
He speak to God in public.
We aren’t totally convinced that if either of the “typical” candidates were to swear on the Bible on Inauguration Day in January, they wouldn’t be struck down by lightening for even going near the Good Book. A Chancelor Bennett presidency would involve corporate prayer, nods to truly inclusive religious liberty, and big-tent revival style singing in the Rose Garden. His latest mixtape, Coloring Book, brings joy to the world without the artifice and obligation that public life as a person of faith entails. Chance wants to talk to you about his faith, not because he’s invested in your buy-in as much as he just wants to talk about his faith. Can you even imagine how that would change the scripted-sounding evangelical narrative in this country? We can. And it’s beautiful.
He doesn’t make songs for free, he makes them for freedom.
True freedom is a concept that seems to elude this debt-ridden, click-bait infested era of Americanism. We’re overworked and disillusioned; our goals are out of reach or unintelligible; our emotional wounds require layers of interpretation and there are a significant portion of us walking around with legitimate PTSD. But sources have told us that Moses and Chance have the same Myers-Briggs personality type. He’s not about profit. He’s not not about profit. He’s about splitting the Red Sea open and letting the pyramids build themselves (which they did, and it’s terrifying, as we all know, but that’s another story) while we claim our victory and a spiritual inheritance like none ever seen before. See, doesn’t that sound amazing?
He been this way since Arthur was anteater.
Any sly reference to our favorite after-school cartoon (which one or both of us ashamedly continued watching through high school) wins our votes. For nostalgia’s sake, amirite?
He’s pre-currency, post-language.
We can’t prove this, but we’re pretty sure that lyric means Chance plans to audit the Fed.
He will field our questions. He will feel our pain.
Our country is coming apart at the seams. We don’t need a bureaucrat or a business person as much as we need a beau ideal. Chance knows that, in his own words, "the people’s champ must be everything the people can’t be." He’s spoken out on police violence and racial relations, advocating for others to see the complexity and depth of the issue. And it’s not just talk: Chance is a part of the anti-violence initiative My Brother’s Keeper, selected even to brief President Obama on the success of MBK at the White House this year. He’s constantly sponsoring events, encouraging donations, and cultivating his ties to the Chicago community. He takes hurting, and healing, seriously. It’s not a stretch to believe that this man wouldn’t rest without getting aid to Aleppo.
He met Kanye West, he’s never going to fail.
We’ve spoken out in defense of Kanye West before, and we will never stop. Kanye’s oft-mocked plan to run for political office in 2020 might already be doomed due to the nature of his contentious relationship with … most of America, but a Kanye West fan is a Chance the Rapper fan (says a survey of Ashley, Kate and our friend Claire), and there’s no reason Chano shouldn’t rock the vote with the help of his number one mentor.
He might give Satan a swirlie.
“The devil is alive, I feel him breathing,” Kanye noted not so long ago. While evil prowls and nukes stay pointed, Chance is not looking for opportunities to ignore what’s ugly. But with his particularly empowered brand of joy, he might be the rare individual able to stare down Hate and Malice and call them by their names. And we’ll take his poetic stylings over the barrage of bludgeoning rhetoric we’ve heard this election cycle, any day.
He’s just having fun with it.
Chance embodies one of our favorite Pinterest quotes (what’s more millennial than that?): If you don’t like the movie, walk out. He has danced in the ashes of the record company establishment, with a suspender askew and a gigantic smile on his face. While music critics and industry watchers have commented on how well he represents the unshackled joy of technologically-enabled millennials, we have yet to see anyone make the connection to the way Chance’s delightful shrug toward THEY mimics the way this generation in particular throws shade at the traditional two-party system. Chance knew the record game was rigged, so he decided to play by his own rules. We are so down with that.
As far as running mates go, we’d suggest Chance’s cousin Nicole (for gender inclusivity but also because of her BOMB VOCALS), Adam Jones (Center Field, Baltimore Orioles), or billionaire basketball team owner and Shark Tank investor, Mark Cuban.
We are ready for our miracle. Are you?