I was a huge Andrew Yang fan.
It was around this time about a year ago that Andrew Yang burst onto the political stage after an appearance on Joe Rogan’s show.
Yang Gang came at a time of extreme exhaustion with Donald Trump in the Dissident Right who had devoted 15 minutes of the 2019 State of the Union Address to anti-Semitism, declared the U.S. would stay in Syria to protect Israel, declared that the U.S. needed MORE legal immigration, lost the fight over the government shutdown over funding the border wall and was focused on overthrowing the government of Venezuela. At the time, the Republican Congress was preoccupied with accusing Rep. Ilhan Omar of anti-Semitism and declaring fighting anti-Semitism to be a U.S. national security interest. The border had also collapsed and illegal immigration was soaring toward its peak under Trump in May 2019.
In light of the dismal record of the Trump administration, many of us began to look at our options and consider the possibility of supporting Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard in 2020. Yang had gained notoriety after making a sympathetic comment about White men and was campaigning on his Freedom Dividend of $1,000 a month. Tulsi had just launched her campaign and accused Donald Trump of selling out to the neocons which predictably struck a chord with White Nationalists disgusted by Trump’s Zionism. The rise of Yang Gang on the Dissident Right was due to resignation to the fact that we had gotten nothing out of the Trump administration and that $1,000 a month was something concrete and better than nothing.
Andrew Yang was interesting in the sense that he was raising awareness about the Fourth Industrial Revolution which no one else was talking about rather than the same old polarizing culture war issues. He seemed like a friendly guy who was thinking about the problems of the future and offering solutions rather than a shrill leftist like Elizabeth Warren. It was possible for a few months to ignore the fact that Yang was running in the Democratic primary. The Yang Gang was unique in that it attracted disaffected populists, normies, progressives and moderates. This unusual coalition was highly fragile and failed to resonate with the Democratic base.
Elizabeth Warren was the candidate of woke liberals. Bernie Sanders remained the candidate of leftists who have their hearts set on socialism. Pete Buttigieg appealed to upper middle class professionals. Joe Biden appealed to blacks, moderates and older voters. Andrew Yang wasn’t woke enough to attract Warren supporters. He wasn’t revolutionary enough to appeal to Sanders supporters. He was too radical on economics for Buttigieg and Biden supporters. As a candidate, he also lacked the personality to break out and make a splash in the debates.
By June, I had lost interest in the Yang Gang on the eve of the Democratic debates. I watched as his populist support steadily evaporated on social media due to a series of statements on social issues and the attitude of the progressives who were running his campaign. Yang tried to win over Democrats by calling Trump a white supremacist and crying about gun control. After he foolishly supported Julian Castro’s position of decriminalizing illegal immigration and offering free health care to illegal aliens, his populist support cratered and never recovered. I’m not sure what happened over the next eight months because I tuned out last summer.
Personally, I think Yang was ill advised and was just pandering to the Democratic base because he was trying to win over those people. It seemed to me like he resonated far more with populists and Independent voters than with progressive Democrats. His campaign was going nowhere until he gained traction by appearing on Joe Rogan and Tucker Carlson’s shows. I think Yang would have gone much further running as an Independent candidate rather than a Democrat.
In the final analysis, I am grateful that Yang ran and raised awareness about the Fourth Industrial Revolution as well as support for Universal Basic Income. It was always likely that his campaign would end in defeat and all the divisive debates we had about the issue seem silly now that he has dropped out before a single vote was cast in the South. If Trump defeats Bernie Sanders and is reelected in November, I also have no doubt that Andrew Yang 2.0 will be back in 2024 when the issues he raised about the robot apocalypse in this campaign are far more mature.
The Yang Gang will ride again. Bet on it.
Note: Alabama votes on Super Tuesday. I still plan to vote for Tulsi. After she inevitably drops out, I will be monitoring the 2020 election.
Baked Alaska has never made a video which hasn’t become cringe: