Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang has officially decided to abandon the Democratic party calling it “the right thing” to do.
Yang made the announcement on Monday that he will become an independent amid historic infighting amongst the Democrats. Yang called the decision to make the switch a “strangely emotional experience.”
The former Democrat recalled his history with the Democratic party – dating back to registering with the party at 20 years old in 1995, amid then-President Clinton’s push for reelection over former Republican Sen. Bob Dole.
“Throughout my twenties I remained a staunch Democrat, though like many others I was drawn primarily to national races,” Yang wrote. “I co-hosted a small fundraiser for John Kerry’s campaign at a bar when I was 29 – I think we raised maybe $3,000. I thrilled to Barack Obama’s victory in 2008 and, to a lesser extent, his re-election in 2012.”
“In 2016, I donated to Bernie Sanders’ campaign – everything he said struck me as true – but then voted for Hillary Clinton against Trump,” he also wrote, saying he took former President Trump’s election “as a red flag and call to action.”
Yang recalled his campaigning as a Democrat and for President Biden, as well as the Democrat friends he made around the country and on stage as a primary opponent, noting he has been a Democrat his “entire adult life.”
“And yet, I’m confident that no longer being a Democrat is the right thing,” Yang wrote.
Although leaving the Democratic Party, Yang encouraged his supporters to not change their affiliation to be an independent as he did, claiming doing so would “disenfranchise” someone if they “live in the 83% of the country that is very blue or very red.”
Simultaneously, Yang wrote that the country “is stuck in part because polarization is getting worse than ever.”
“My goal is to do as much as I can to advance our society. There are phenomenal public servants doing great work every day – but our system is stuck. It is stuck in part because polarization is getting worse than ever. Many of the people I know are doing all of the good they can – but their impact is constrained. Now that I’m not a member of one party or another, I feel like I can be even more honest about both the system and the people in it.”
“The key reform that is necessary to help unlock our system is a combination of open primaries and ranked choice voting, which will give voters more genuine choice and our system more dynamism. It will also prevent the spoiler effect that so many Democrats are concerned about, which is a byproduct of a two party system with a binary contest and simple plurality voting.”
“I believe I can reach people who are outside the system more effectively. I feel more . . . independent.”
“Breaking up with the Democratic Party feels like the right thing to do because I believe I can have a greater impact this way,” Yang concluded.
Author: Scott Fitzpatrick