Andrew Yang says he’s ‘breaking up with the Democratic Party’ to have bigger impactOctober 5, 2021
Andrew Yang says he isn’t a Democrat anymore.
The losing NYC mayoral and presidential candidate announced Monday that he changed his voter registration to independent because he hopes to have a bigger impact on the political dialogue from outside the Democratic Party.
“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, a tech entrepreneur, wrote in a blog post on his website.
Andrew Yang (Theodore Parisienne/)
Yang, who’s been a Democrat since first registering to vote in 1995, said he still mostly agrees with the party’s liberal stances. But he feels constrained by the need to always toe the party line.
“I believe I can reach people who are outside the system more effectively,” he wrote. “I feel more . . . independent.”
Yang insisted he admires and respects many of the Democratic rivals he challenged in the presidential and mayoral primaries.
Still, he admitted to being frustrated at the ugliness of campaigning.
“I’ve seen politicians publicly eviscerate each other and then act collegial or friendly backstage a few minutes later,” he said. “A lot of it is theatre.”
Yang suggested he has no immediate plans to run for elected office and would invest a lot of energy into reforming the political system, citing the need to expand ranked-choice voting and open up primaries to all voters.
Yang was a virtual unknown when burst out of the pack in the crowded Democratic presidential primary field to grab a large and devoted following.
Along with his affable personality and self-effacing ways, Yang’s signature issue was providing Americans with a universal basic income.
Some political observers scoffed at the cash giveaway as pie-in-the-sky pablum. But both former President Trump and President Biden embraced direct payments as an effective way to jump-start the pandemic-stricken economy.
Yang led polls for months in the Democratic NYC mayoral primary but fell to a distant fourth place when the votes were counted.
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