F&L: Andrew Yang and the Yang Gang

There’s a media blackout in force on the Yang campaign; we don’t notice it because there’s another rather more obvious one around Bernie Sanders and a third working against Tulsi Gabbard.  But Yang is different; he’s no party rebel and doesn’t hang out with third-world dictators.  Instead, he’s a genius — not merely smart, but a genius — who wants us to live our lives more rationally.  And he’s willing to be president in order to make that happen.

You can see why I like him already; I can tell.

Andrew Yang isn’t a career politician; he’s a Juris Doctor, a millionaire, and a skilled executive.  Whereas other candidates (notably Buttigieg) are affiliated with the secretive McKinsey Group, Yang has taught there; he’s an innovator in organization and interpersonal relations.  His unconventional campaign reflects this: it’s largely planned and run online.

In contrast to the other candidates, Yang is not particularly charismatic.  He’s likable (unlike Warren, Klobuchar, or Sanders), but he doesn’t have the sort of magnetic personality that draws the attention of everyone else in the room.  Recognizing this, he plays to his strengths, working crowds in small venues, holding interminable question-and-answer sessions, and lecturing small groups on the issues.  Where a Klobuchar attendee might leave fired up, those leaving a Yang function are often thoughtful and quiet.  One might think his campaign goal is to educate enough voters individually that they’ll arrive independently at the inevitable conclusion that he’s the best candidate.

The Not Fake News 2020 Scorecard doesn’t go into much detail about Yang’s positions, and there’s a reason.  He wrote a thick book on them entitled “The War On Normal People”; it’s compelling and entirely reasonable.  Unlike most campaign books, this one is well worth a read even if you don’t plan to vote for Yang; heck, it’s worth the time if you’re a Trump loyalist.  Even Illinois Nazis could benefit.  It’s that good.

Most of Yang’s policies focus around the concept of Universal Basic Income.  Yang wants to provide every citizen over the age of 18 with the option to accept $1000 per month, with no strings attached; this would be paid for initially with a corporate Value-Added Tax (novel and highly effective) and eventually would become largely self-funding.  His plan to end homelessness is to put people in housing; his ideas on drugs are to treat addiction while removing the root causes of individual despair.  It sounds like simple common sense when he explains it.

And that, it must be said, is Yang’s true genius:  He can take the toughest problems, walk you through their solutions, and let you draw your own conclusions which inevitably coincide with his.  Listening to this man makes you smarter.

Having said that, I’m compelled to ask the automatic follow-up question:  Is that enough?  Does that qualify him for the presidency?  Does it make him electable?

Honestly, I would pay a large sum to watch Yang duel with Trump on a debate stage.  The contrast would be painful; think Elon Musk meets George Wallace.  I must confess, my desire for such an unequal matchup may be swaying my judgment, but I don’t think so:  I think Yang would trounce Trump handily, and with barely a struggle.  He’s that rare candidate who is a true outsider; he’s got no dirty laundry and an honest interest in fixing the world.  Add to this that he’s smart enough to get the job done.

It’s true that he’d need the right Vice President, someone with both legislative experience and foreign policy chops.  There’s several out there to choose from; so long as he doesn’t select an Eagleton, we’re fine.

Bottom line?  I’d vote for this man in a heartbeat.

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