It may seem superficial--after all, who really cares what a celebrity thinks about politics?--but Kanye West's unaired rant on the season premiere of "Saturday Night Live" is an abject lesson in how the political and cultural left will treat anyone (even someone as famous as Kanye) who dares to defy their monopoly on "cool."
"They bullied me backstage and said 'Don't go out there with that [Make America Great Again] hat on," he said after the cameras cut away. "They bullied me!"
Kanye West, it would seem is someone who could not be bullied, yet he still feels as though he isn't totally free to express his beliefs.
"I think the universe has balance," he added. "90% of news are [sic] liberal, 90% of TV, LA, New York, writes, rappers, musicians, so it's easy to make it seem like it's so, so, so one-sided."
He's right, of course, and he's experiencing firsthand why 90% of writers, rappers, and musicians are liberal: There is overwhelming pressure on them to conform.
West himself discussed this pressure in an appearance on "Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel" in early August.
"Just as a musician, African-American, guy out in Hollywood; everyone around me tried to pick my candidate for me and told me every time I said that I liked Trump I couldn't say that out loud or my career would be over, I'd get kicked out of the black community because blacks, we're supposed to have monolithic thought and we can only be Democrats," he explained. "I said it right before I went to the [mental] hospital [in November of 2016] and I expressed myself, and when I came out I had lost my confidence, so I didn't have the confidence to take on the world and the possible backlash.
"It took me a year and a half to have the confidence to stand up and put on the hat no matter what the consequences were, and what it represented to me is not about policies--because I'm not a politician like that--but it represented overcoming fear and doing what you felt, no matter what anyone says and saying 'You can't bully me. Liberals can't bully me. News can't bully me. The hip hop community can't bully me,' because at that point, if I'm afraid to be me, I'm no longer 'Ye. That's what makes 'Ye."
That freedom of political expression is what makes an individual an individual, no matter if he is a famous rapper or not. Yet there is something about the modern political left that always seeks to suppress this freedom; that simply can't accept a differing opinion.
Every conservative has heard at one point or another, on Facebook, at work, or at the dinner table, "Oh come on, you can't seriously support Trump." An opposing viewpoint, then, isn't merely a disagreement, it's unacceptable.
And it's especially unacceptable in the news and entertainment business, where even someone as powerful as Kanye West can be made to feel as though he shouldn't dare to oppose liberal orthodoxy.
That he does and that he is so open about the left's attempts at bullying him into silence are significant, because both reflect liberalism's ultimate frailty as a political philosophy--if it's no longer seen as the only cool and acceptable philosophy, it's unable to stand on its own.
In that sense, then, Kanye West is far more important to conservatism than a mere celebrity endorsement; he is liberalism's admission that it's unable to win hearts and minds without people like Kanye West blindly advocating for it.