Yang Is Out: Back to Bernie
So the announcement just came out: Andrew Yang has dropped out of the Democratic primary.
Yang was one of the most visionary presidential candidates we have seen in a long time. He spoke directly to the issues affecting working class Americans today. While most progressives hearken back to success under the New Deal as a way forward, Yang went a step forward and imagined new programs, such as the Freedom Dividend, in a more Twenty-First Century context.
That said, it was an uphill battle, and the Democratic Party is not very fond of outsiders. Bernie Sanders himself learned that in 2016. Outsiders have a hard time, but they have this unusual trait of actually wanting the Democratic Party to be kind of party that it claims to be. They aren’t embarrassed by the economic wins of Roosevelt or Johnson. They support these programs because they know that they support the people of this country, particularly the ones who have been dealt really bad hands.
This is why I am going back to endorsing Bernie Sanders. While I thought Yang had more creativity in his platform, Bernie himself has one of the more ambitious plans for this country that we’ve seen in decades. Beyond that, his character is almost beyond question. He can’t be bought. He won’t be bought. When I look around in the Democratic Party in which I have participated for about fourteen years now, I realize how depressingly rare that it for our candidates.
Moreover, a Bernie presidency is much more likely to be one that includes Andrew Yang and gets his vision closer to reality. While Bernie prefers a jobs guarantee over UBI, he’s proved throughout his career that he is not beyond compromise or adjustment. He does what he must for the good of the people, and he tries again if he didn’t get everything he wanted.
When I initially endorsed Yang, I described it as a choice between the greater of two goods. Bernie is that other good candidate, that other great candidate. I want a president who will operate in good faith, restore our commercial prospects, and bring ethics back to governance. That’s why I will cast my vote for Bernie Sanders this March.