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  • Writer's pictureJosh

Andrew Yang Goes Meta

"When they go low, we go so high that we are above the whole system looking down at it with contempt."

Andrew Yang has bitten the bullet and gone third-party, calling his movement the Forward Party.

My soft endorsement: While I'm skeptical about the long-term consequences of Universal Basic Income (Yang's main policy platform in the 2020 election), I like Andrew and I'd be happy for him to succeed. I think he'd be better than any major candidate we've had in the past 10 years.

His other platforms are unambiguously good (in my view), and I also find it fun that many amount to "better governance."

...little vague, maybe? But the main things he is talking about (aside from UBI) are kind of meta-critiques: ways to fix a broken political system rather than how he will work within the system to improve immigration, the economy, foreign policy, etc. I agree that the Left and the Right are essentially the same on most of the issues in the Overton Window (in practice if not in rhetoric), so in that sense I'm all for this. With another candidate, I'd be worried that this is some ploy to say nice buzz-words to get elected and then do whatever politically dubious thing they wanted to do anyway. But my impression of Yang is that he really means it when he says he wants grace, tolerance, and fact-based government, though it seems that (like a good Scout) he isn't committed to one version of this so early on.

So I guess I endorse the vague platform of the Forward Party on the assumption that I've correctly judged a politician's character. Let's see how it plays out in the coming years.

Do I think he'll succeed? The odds are definitely stacked against him, but he seems dedicated and tenacious, and he handles defeat with grace, so either way maybe he'll make a splash and change some minds. Sometimes the best third parties can hope for is shift one of the dominant parties in a good direction. I could see Democrats going for many of these ideas, and if they don't, maybe Republicans will "troll the libs" and employ some grace and tolerance out of spite.

Overall, I'm wishing Andrew the best. At this moment, if you gave me the choices of Trump, Biden, Sanders, Clinton, Cruz, Rubio, Harris, Pence, Warren, Bush, other Bush, that third Bush, Bloomberg, Klobuchar, Carson, Paul, or Yang, I'd smash that Yang button so hard. (And then I'd put someone else in 2nd place because we would be doing Ranked Choice Voting.)

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