Mental illness affects many Americans. According to John Hopkins, 26% of American adults have a mental disorder. These disorders can range from depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, PTSD, to schizophrenia. Most conditions can be treatable with therapy and medications. However, American culture has been incredibly behind in embracing mental illness as one would a physical ailment.
Growing up in the ’80s, I remember that talking about things like mental disorders was taboo. Even a simple discussion about depression was not a mainstream conversation. We were told to “buck up” and think happy thoughts as if that would solve the issue. “You do not want that in your health file,” was often repeated.
It has only been in the 2000s that we, as a culture, have begun to look at mental disorders as not taboo but imminently treatable. We have started to embrace that chemistry and experiences can cause mental illness. Through that understanding, we have also learned to recognize when someone is off their treatments.
People not treated for their mental illness are not in charge of their own lives. Patients with mental disorders spend much of their time fighting the disease and can make poor life choices. Taking advantage of a person with a mental illness during one of their episodes is not only unethical, but it can also be illegal.
Kanye West has decided to run for president. That in and of its self is not a big deal. If a person has the money, the signatures, and the desire, then it is our right to do so. Full disclosure, I believe our long-standing two-party system is failing America in large parts. Kanye’s history of bi-polar diagnosis is not and should not be a disqualifier in and of itself as long as he is taking his medication and adhering to treatment.
Kanye, however, is not taking his medications per his wife, Kim Kardashian West.
During Kanye’s initial presidential launch, he was suffering from a full display of his bipolar disorder. Later that night, Kanye took to Twitter to say that Kim was trying to get a doctor to “lock him up.” Without medication, bipolar disorder can leave a patient running between manic episodes that can last days on end, going from extreme highs to extreme lows.
People who have bipolar disorder are known to show poor judgment and engage in risky behavior, both physically and financially. During untreated manic episodes, a person can become psychotic with hallucinations and delusions along with anxiety and ADHD flare-ups. Treatment is key to keeping the illness under control.
GOP operatives and the Trump campaign have decided to “help” Kanye’s presidential run.
It is worth mentioning that the GOP did not help Joe Walsh, for example, to run against Trump. Trump has condemned every person running against him, except Kanye.
Mark Jacoby has been hired to help with the signature gathering for West. August 7th, Illinois rejected West’s bid to be on the ballot due to over 1900 signatures that were rejected. Wisconsin signatures are being challenged for fraudulent signatures such as Mickey Mouse, Bernie Sanders, and Kanye West’s name showing up multiple times. Six people have signed an affidavit stating they were tricked into signing.
Jacoby is known for his signature-gathering. Jacoby was arrested for voter fraud and subsequent guilty please to a misdemeanor in connection to the case.
Lane Ruhland, an attorney from Madison Wisconsin who has worked as legal counsel for the Republican Party of Wisconsin, dropped off West’s signatures for filing. Ruhland has also worked representing the Trump campaign.
The West campaign has connections to the Trump administration in Vermont, a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association, and GOP attorney general in Colorado.
With only a few months to the election, candidates should be concentrating on their campaigns. West has been in the Dominican Republic with his wife and children. Kim is urging West to give up the presidential bid and focus on their family and his treatment.
While Kanye is in the Dominican Republic, GOP operatives are getting signatures and filing in states. West will not be a viable candidate in all states. He has missed deadlines in many or cannot come up with the required signatures.
We have a man in a mental health crisis, a marriage in crisis, running for president, and talking to Education Secretary Betsy Devos about opening a school. All of these are a clear indication of a man not in control of himself or his life.
It is clear that the GOP and Trump campaign affiliates are taking advantage of a sick man. They are not worried about the consequences of this to his family or his welfare.
Kim took to Twitter about her husband. Kim has been silent and protective of her family. She finally felt she needed to speak out.
“People who are unaware or far from removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual themselves have to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try,” she wrote.
To be clear, West cannot win the election. He will not qualify or be eligible in all states, and the GOP is counting on that. Kayne made a statement that he was running to siphon off the “Black Vote” from Joe Biden.
We can discuss the integrity of our elections. We can talk about how parties should not be running side campaigns to siphon off small groups of numbers to hurt their competitors. Nevertheless, that is not the issue here. Can a man not in control of himself be held to blame? A man who is so disorganized that he cannot even coordinate the signature-gathering on his own? A man that he needs the incumbent president’s friends and party to get on a few states?
We should not be mad at Kanye. He is sick and is untreated. We should look at the party and the top of that party’s ticket for taking advantage of a sick man.
President Trump has stated he knows nothing. His campaign says they know nothing. The GOP? No one is talking. The next question to ask is simple. When was the last time a party helped another person run against their candidate? On official filings, West’s party is The Birthday Party.
Kim Kardashian West is trying to save her marriage. She is trying to protect her children. She is trying to protect her husband. The GOP is taking advantage of a sick man.
I am angry for her. I am angry for her children. I am angry for Kanye.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1–800–273-TALK (8255)
SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline: 1–877–726–4727