A long time ago, you may remember that hip hop superstar, Cardi B (born Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar) began to make a “stank” over the reality of her taxable income. Surely, the transition from being a stripper and hustler, allegedly robbing and assaulting clients, to a multi-millionaire rapper, wife and mother was nothing short of a shock to the system. This came to media attention when Cardi, in her series of selfie video blogs, addressed the issue of not knowing where half her money was going. Admittedly, if I went from scamming the government and collecting benefits to hiring a financial manager, I’d probably become a financial conservative pretty quickly as well.
That was back in 2018; otherwise known as Mid-Term Season. It didn’t take long before the newly self-aware Cardi B to be co-opted by political opportunists. However, Cardi isn’t the most broadly appealing, articulate or capable human being, so it was clear she wasn’t going to be snatched up by the tip-top of the Democratic totem pole.
So, enter Bernie Sanders and “the Squad.” They managed to manipulate the former taxation-lamenting rapper into embracing a tax policy that would seize even more of her money in exchange for some condescending press in which the socialist Senator would patronizingly build up Cardi’s potential to get into politics.
After a couple of tangential talk show appearances, where the spunky former-stripper twerked out some potential policies like getting rid of “rats and raccoons” in New York City, it seemed like the political dream was over.
In early 2020, Cardi B announced that she was so disillusioned by President Trump’s actions in Iraq/Iran that she would seek out Nigerian citizenship. It would seem, however, that as soon as a potential new foreign war was averted, she switched her goals to re-entering the political sphere.
Cardi B announced via Twitter that she felt if she continued her education and kept her head down, she could gather enough tact and know-how to be electable to Congress–and there is a part of me that welcomes it.
We have become so lax in our judgement over who is acceptable to be a politician based on what we believe in necessary for the current climate. That ideology didn’t start with Donald Trump, but his presidency was a revival of that way of thinking. We’ve accepted individuals into the House of Representatives, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Maxine Waters–among others–who would have had no business going any further than a local city council. So why not Cardi B?
In all likelihood, electing someone like Cardi B, who is more street-minded, less academic and articulate, who thinks less about gaining more fame than actually fixing elements of normal life that had always caused them frustration, would make her someone who actually does some good.
At this stage in American politics, I’m sure I’m not alone in believing that we could sacrifice a little bit of pseudo-intellectualism and posturing in favor of a bit more entertainment.