Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

Cardi B performing in 2019 at the Openair Frauenfeld in Switzerland. Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.


No, this is not a joke or a drill. No, I’m not a stan. Uncertain times just call for uncertain measures.

Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, aka Cardi B, would not necessarily be the worst option for President of the United States. In fact, she might just be right up there, battling with the best of the Bidens and the Sanders’ and the Warren – well, not her anymore.

It’s not as asinine a notion as one would immediately think. B’s always been active when it comes to political commentary and speaking up about the failings of the government. And she’d be strutting into the race armed with an impressive knowledge of the American political system, governance, and the history of the office she’d be running for. She’s even taken down conservative political commentators like Tomi Lahren and Mindy Robinson. And focusing on the faults of the opposition instead of championing your own beliefs, isn’t that what being a Democrat is all about?

Yes, B has a tendency to run her mouth on occasion. But so do many other world leaders. And being outspoken is definitely an important skill to have to rep for an entire nation. Also, imagine how entertaining it would be to have B in long french-tip nails and a leopard-print pantsuit, going “awhff” and expertly shutting down jabs in a Presidential Debate. Her ability to handle critique is evidenced by her entire discography.

Okay, B doesn’t necessarily have the “image” that you’d expect of a world leader. She joined a gang when she was 16 and started stripping when she was 19. And those acts are right below Nixon’s Watergate and Clinton’s Interngate. However, she has the kind of “started from the bottom” image that could easily pull in large crowds of working class and less financially stable voters. Her life spent trying to escape poverty and struggling to rise above her upbringing gives her an inspirational storyline, the kind they usually make cheesy biopics out of. She knows what working class Americans want, having spoken up about minimum wage, student debt, and even *gasp*, climate change. Although, I don’t think there’s much that can be done about her views of the poh-leeceses.

Fine, B has quite the scandalous relationship with profanity and a general lack of “sophistication” when she speaks. But…actually, no, that might be a problem.

The biggest thing standing in B’s way would be a general lack of acceptance. The American public would be largely unwilling to accept the fact that the woman who turned the coronavirus into a viral (pun unintended) meme and hit song could ever be worthy of office. That is, the part of the American public that even has a goddamn clue who she is. But, keep in mind, it’s that influence that got her video rant about the Coronavirus over 27 million views (and counting), as opposed to the daily White House live updates that garner over 100,000 views at best. If anyone can take us through the Coronavirus, it just might be Cardi B. Try not to let that scare you.

The presidential campaign is, when it comes down to it, a popularity contest. And, with her over 61 million Instagram followers, 10 million Twitter followers, and 12 million subscribers on YouTube, B easily outpaces most of her competition in terms of following and clout. The TYLT even ran a poll ascertaining whether she should run, and almost 27% voters agreed that she should give it a shot (73% voters did think that she should “stick to music,” but we won’t talk about that).

She’s committed to promoting political awareness among the lesser privileged and the youth of America, both her biggest markets should she decide to run. She’s considered a modern musical icon and would be able to bring a lot of young voters to the booths, more than the current candidates, most of whom classify strictly as “old, white, passé.” She’s also bilingual and has Dominican and Trinidadian heritage, which would garner the votes of the immigrant population, already frustrated with having to potentially use their spare toilet paper to fortify the Wall.

Her mere presence would shift the narrative from “Could a woman be President?” to “Could Cardi B be President?” And once you realize that she, possibly, maybe, surprisingly, stands a chance, the sexist conversation would grind to a halt. She has the relatability of a Warren, the ubiquitous reach of a Clinton, and, mind you, the support and friendship of one Bernie Sanders, who she’s had political discussions with. In fact, People for Bernie even created a mock campaign sign for her, ensuring her the votes of the Bernie Bros.

What separates B from her celebrity contemporaries is that she doesn’t simply try to be a part of the political conversation because she feels like she needs to. She tries because she wants to. She truly cares about her country and its governance and shows a desire to grow and work on her flaws. Behind all the “okurrr” and “awhn” toting, there’s a semblance of brilliance. You just have to look deep… no, deeper, beyond the ample bosom and illegal butt injections.

But B’s practical. She’s spoken about her political aspirations in the past, but is smart enough to know that her lack of a college education could be a detriment. She’s mentioned how she wants to go back to school, pick up some knowledge points, and then start a political career by running for Congress. Now if only everyone had the foresight to work their way up to the big leagues…

No matter what you (and everyone else) think and what you (and everyone else) say, you can’t deny, there’s a certain charisma to B’s cadence. Like a true millennial influencer, she draws you in and convinces you to at least give what she’s selling a chance. She may be a little too raw for such high aspirations at present (and a tad bit late for the 2020 run), but one image makeover and artful montage later, she just might be what we need to…make America great again (I apologize).

But what do I know? I’m from India, it’s not like I can vote. Maybe I’ll just leave it to the American population to decide whether they want to vote for a former reality TV star with a lack of social tact. Oh, wait…

Ahad Sanwari is a graduate student in NYU’s Magazine and Digital Storytelling program.


Other Stories in Special Report: Shutdown: The Coronavirus

The Spirit of Little Haiti

Savannah Daniels October 14, 2020

Small business owners hope for future relief

Courtney Guarino October 2, 2020

Brooklyn Book Festival held virtually

Chuyan Jiang September 28, 2020

NYC Restaurant owners worry about maintaining business during winter 

Isabel Beer September 27, 2020

The pandemic is causing mental health struggles for many Latinos

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 24, 2020

Politically divided family can agree on one thing, rallies are bad during a pandemic

Michelle Diaz September 23, 2020

New Yorkers are vulnerable to mental issues due to pandemic

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 23, 2020

Healthcare professionals struggle with Trump’s decisions during pandemic

Tori Luecking September 23, 2020

Some Americans Say “Not So Fast” on Operation Warp Speed

James Pothen September 23, 2020

Trump voters unfazed by morality of Trump’s Covid response

Norah Hogan September 22, 2020

Trump rallies continue, despite the rising Covid-19 death toll

Isabel Beer September 22, 2020

Latinos weigh in on President Trump’s management of the pandemic

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 21, 2020

Fast track vaccine causes fear

Kaity Assaf September 21, 2020

It’s business as usual at McSorley’s Old Ale House

Tori Luecking September 20, 2020

Trump defiance to hold indoor rallies amidst COVID-19 sparks polarized responses 

Courtney Guarino September 20, 2020

NYC Cafes and restaurants try and survive the pandemic

Isabel Beer September 19, 2020

A typical afternoon at Shade Bar NYC

Kaity Assaf September 19, 2020

West Village staple, Caffe Reggio, remains open for outdoor dining in the wake of coronavirus restrictions 

Norah Hogan September 19, 2020

Fort Greene’s Dino adds outdoor dining to keep business flowing

Courtney Guarino September 19, 2020

COVID-19 hampers Fashion Week for photographers

Daniel Karel September 18, 2020

On the heels of revelation that Trump downplayed the covid threat, voters question rallies resuming

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 16, 2020

Overburdened mothers in Pakistan are relieved as schools reopens

Quratulain Tejani September 13, 2020

Students from different parts of the world struggle as schools reopen during a pandemic

Chuyan Jiang September 12, 2020

Special needs students face learning obstacles during Covid-19

Courtney Guarino September 12, 2020

Back to school – COVID-19 style 

Isabel Beer September 12, 2020

The new normal for school life is abnormal in Michigan

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 11, 2020

California School District Parents and Teachers Clash About Return to School

Norah Hogan September 10, 2020

A tribute to the mask pioneers

Bohao Liu July 11, 2020

Air pollution in China rebounds to pre-COVID level

Hannah Zhang July 11, 2020

ICE takes aim at international students

Maria Abreu July 10, 2020

Chinese students trapped by new ICE policy

Zishu Sherry Qin July 10, 2020

New ICE policy adds more turmoil to the lives of international students

Shiyu Xu July 10, 2020

Lawsuits follow ICE policy barring international students who are taking online classes

Joanna Lin Su July 10, 2020

Economists say the US needs a bold, generous fiscal response. Congress is likely to disappoint. 

Ahmed Mohamed July 9, 2020

Overseas Singaporeans have pandemic obstacles to voting

Yifan Yu July 9, 2020

Proximity sensors and hygiene stations are the “new normal”

Joanna Lin Su July 9, 2020

 Tour ticket vendors miss the hustle and bustle of Times Square

Narkwor Kwabla July 8, 2020

Dengue outbreak could be a greater threat than covid in Singapore

Yifan Yu July 8, 2020

Corporate bankruptcy: ‘A story that’s not going away’

Gaurav Sharma July 7, 2020

Beijing reopens as the second wave of coronavirus dies down

Hannah Zhang July 6, 2020

Masks or no masks?

Bohao Liu July 5, 2020

Varsity Flu

Madeline Gunderson July 3, 2020

Rail travel in China is popular during the pandemic and filled with safety measures

Bohao Liu July 3, 2020

Brazilian international student caught in US travel ban.

Marina Guimaraes July 3, 2020

MTA faces crisis following COVID shutdown

Daniel Girma July 2, 2020

Easter Market goes back to its roots

Kyla Milberger July 2, 2020

China’s Airline Industry Aims to Lure Back Passengers with Unlimited Flight Pass

Zishu Sherry Qin July 1, 2020

US corporate debt soars during coronavirus outbreak

Gaurav Sharma June 30, 2020

In Singapore, gay pride goes online

Yifan Yu June 29, 2020

The Hair Room reopens

Shiyu Xu June 29, 2020