Commentary, Not Satire
Yang’s exit from the Democratic 2020 Presidential race felt deeply personal to me.
I mean, I can’t say that I didn’t see it coming at all. He had lower chances of winning than Bernie, Biden, or Warren, but his persistence and contrarian ways of refreshing the stale political field fueled me with hope and I wanted to be a part of this.
He inspired me to take up a whole new genre that I’ve never tried before and helped me find a much larger audience for my writings.
I have met more friends through the Yang Gang than I ever have throughout my entire life.
He encouraged me to think that harder about the capitalism vs. socialism dichotomy and warned that neither of them will prepare America for the future. Instead of flattering or kissing ass to the elites of the DNC for prominence and gain, he exposed it, spoke out against its blatant corruption, and insisted that the power be directly put back into the hands of the people where it belongs.
Instead of spewing out platitudes like the typical politician, he got to work and wrote 150+ practical, refreshing, and future-oriented policies that actually made sense to the everyday American and reached even the apolitical ones who were fed up with the state of politics right now and all the bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo.
But as the cynical side of me suspected, logic and future-oriented thinking never has won in America anyway.
He spoke to many disengaged and jaded people like me, who have always cared about solving problems — like corruption in healthcare, bloated bureaucracy, elites who care more about demonizing skeptical free-thinkers than offering pragmatic solutions, and an economy that is going to leave so many people behind with the rise of automation — but didn’t trust the Democrats or Republicans to forge a new path forward.
Just as I suspected, the DNC showed its true colors.
Errors in reporting have been going on for months —consistently leaving Andrew Yang off of graphics, calling him “John Yang,” using a picture of Geoff Yang’s face in a chart, and smearing him as a “Libertarian Trojan Horse” and “alt-right white supremacist.”
I’d even go far to say that there was unadulterated hatred for him because he disrupted the status quo by proposing bold solutions that would enable people to gain more power (Democracy dollars, ranked choice voting, data as a property right — to name a few).
I never expected Yang to create a utopia and I know that no matter who wins or loses, ordinary people will still have to struggle, work jobs they hate, and die — that’s a given, but Yang strikes me as someone who’s a problem-solver and an authentic, trustworthy man who won’t put up with elitists pocketing tax dollars, throwing money at problems that are less important than bolstering the economy, or the bloated bureaucracy that hurts more people than it helps.
Suffering can never be obliterated, but at least it can be alleviated and Yang believed down to the core that life can be lived (and sleep does not have to be reserved as a luxury for the privileged) as opposed to merely existing as a cog in a machine that’s about to combust.
But for now, the neverending corruption and dire problems constitute a dystopian nightmare that’s already coming true and that reality has already begun to eat its way up the socioeconomic ladder with so many hardworking middle-class and even upper middle-class people falling behind, due to reasons beyond their control, which they couldn’t have prevented.
So what is next?
Yang may be out of the race, but the movement is a testament to greater changes to come.
Dedicated people of the Yang Gang are pledging to use the next four years to equip the campaign with more resources and strategize for a 2024 campaign.
Data-driven researchers and artists alike are doing all they can to bring more fulfillment into their lives AND bring Universal Basic Income to the forefront of American politics.
The work hasn’t ended — it has only begun and in its earliest stages, we’ve seen what has been possible.
Yang has proven he does have influence and staying power (after all, he has outlasted people like Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Beto O’Rourke, and Cory Booker), and the Yang Gang certainly isn’t just for 2020 but for life.
I know that Yang will be back and return to make America think harder on things that matter.