Seage: Yang is finished


Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / CC BY-SA

Democratic candidate Andrew Yang drops out of the 2020 presidential campaign.

Elisabeth Seage, Staff Writer

Andrew Yang was never going to win the nomination. This was apparent from the get-go of the entrepreneur-turned-politician’s campaign, which sported low polling numbers from the beginning to the end. While he did go viral online for some time, due to his devout fanbase who have dubbed themselves the “Yang Gang” spreading his message like prophecy, his message wasn’t “viral” with the voters. Finally, Yang decided to throw in the towel on Feb. 11 for the presidential nomination after the New Hampshire primaries.

Yang will be missed. Even though he polled low throughout his entire time in the race for the nomination, Andrew Yang was never a candidate to be ignored. In fact, despite maybe not being the most popular candidate across the party, he always brought something new to the stage every night. The entrepreneur started conversations that would have never been touched if he wasn’t on the stage and opened doors to new ideas and arguments. He was essential to the debates; he gave views and ideas that weren’t from a politician’s standpoint, but an outsider. He was one of the only candidates that didn’t have a career in politics.

That was also Yang’s curse. He was a multi-millionaire entrepreneur who, before he announced his candidacy in 2017, was unknown. How did he know what was best for the middle-class voter?

Yang’s most notable platform, and probably the first (and quite possibly the only) thing you knew about him, was his unique economic policy for universal basic income, or as its been labeled by many, his “free money” plan. Yang outlined early in his candidacy the Freedom Dividend, where every American citizen who is 18 years or older would receive a no-strings-attached stipend of $1,000 a month from a tax paid by the companies who owe the most from automation. It sounds amazing, right? Except, well, is that even possible in our current economy? Yang’s critics have always stemmed from this policy, and many have stated that it has liabilities that would harm rather than help Americans.

This election season has been an absolute whirlwind from the beginning. The Democratic field looks almost exactly like the Republican one in 2016, where anyone with enough money and credibility threw their name in the hat (Bloomberg and Steyer, anyone?). We began the campaign cycle with an incredibly diverse stage, being cited as the largest and most diverse race in American history. The stage is now what we didn’t want it to be: lacking diversity and lacking consistency. Each candidate is regurgitating the same ideas and then attacking the candidate to their left on the same idea. The debates are an absolute mess.

Hate him or love him, Andrew Yang was needed on the Democratic stage. He tied together the debates and brought fresh and new ideas to the table, no matter how controversial they were. Without him, the competition is lacking the diversity that the Democratic party so proudly advertises. This election cycle was built on new and radical ideas, but at this point, they are starting to look all the same.