Did you know that Kanye West is a hero of the libertarian movement? There’s one Kanye quote, at least, that free market lovers have received as gospel: “There is no true freedom without economic freedom,” a nugget the rapper deposited on his Twitter feed in February 2016 and deleted at some point after. Google it, and you’ll find an approving story in the conservative Washington Examiner, multiple giddy Reddit threads–one on /r/Libertarian and another on /r/Anarcho_Capitalism, libertarianism’s more radical cousin–and a blog post on a website called The Libertarian Republic. Kanye’s aphorism isn’t exactly a direct endorsement for mass deregulation, though people on the right have apparently taken it that way–your interpretation probably hinges on your personal definition of the word “freedom.” (Socialists talk about economic freedom too, after all.) But who knows: the guy met with Donald Trump, after all. Maybe he really is a closet Fountainhead fanatic.
In any case, it’s still extremely strange to gaze upon the following photo, which crossed my Twitter feed this afternoon via Vice politics writer Eve Peyser. In case it’s been a while since you’ve seen or thought about her (who could blame you), this is former Hewlett-Packard CEO and unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, holding a printout of the very same Kanye West quote.
Turning Point USA, by the way, is a nonprofit aimed at drafting young people into the conservative movement. Whatever Kanye meant by his original tweet, it’s hard to imagine he imagined it turning into propaganda for Republican college sophomores in blazers and bowties.