Column: Andrew Yang is the Future of America

Braden Hajer, Copy Editor & Columnist

An Asian entrepreneur is running for president and wants to give you $1,000 a month for the rest of your life. Despite running as a complete outsider and initial nobody, 44-year-old Andrew Yang has risen among the ranks of the saturated democratic field, bypassing multiple sitting senators.

If you haven’t heard of him before, don’t be surprised; Yang has received less media coverage than any other candidate to a seemingly intentional degree. However, Yang is running one of the most innovative and brilliant campaigns seen in modern politics.

If you have heard of Yang, you’ve most likely also heard of his flagship proposal, the Freedom Dividend. This aforementioned $1,000-a-month program is neither new or unique to Yang, but he has brought it into the national conversation to a degree that initially seemed infeasible. Perhaps most incredible about the proposition is that Yang has provided an eloquent payment plan. Yes, a presidential candidate has provided a rock-solid way to pay for a big idea.

Yang appeals to those who are as terrified of the present as they are of the future. He is using his candidacy to raise awareness for some of the largest untouched issues we face today — namely, automation. For those who hate both what the world has become and what those in power are doing about it, Yang exists to provide something different: realism. A wealth tax would be ineffective. A federal jobs guarantee isn’t something many people would actually want to be a part of. Nuclear energy is the future. Where many candidates appeal to what the general public wants to believe is right, Yang sells himself on providing a new, data-driven vision for the country. To grasp the full scope of his policies (of which there are over 150), I implore you to visit his website at

The majority of the candidates have made much of their message what I call the Orange Man Bad approach. “You should vote for me because… Here, look at the bad things Trump has done!” Harris, Klobuchar, Booker, Biden and plenty of other candidates are infuriatingly centered on the bad orange man. Yang has made his stance very clear: when we talk about Trump, we’re losing. The fact of the matter is, your ability to tear down Trump for his plethora of catastrophic blunders will win you no votes and doesn’t get you anywhere. 

Yang lets his message speak for itself. By primarily providing a better path forward, he understands that he will naturally get voters from Trump. His relatively high bipartisan support is unsurprising; Twitter is filled with posts of lifelong Republicans joining the “Yang Gang,” his passionate online base.

Yang is at the forefront of the next evolution of American politics. Truth be told, he is by far the most progressive candidate. To me, progressivism demands an ability for progress. Sanders’ blatantly anti-capitalist message will get him nowhere when he’s the president of the entire country and not just his base. Warren has done very little to suggest she has a plan to reduce the hyper-polarization of the populace. 

Meanwhile, one of Yang’s primary slogans is “Not Left, Not Right, Forward.” When at the October debates the candidates were asked to describe an unlikely or surprising friendship, many candidates described relationships with republican politicians. This approach failed to consider that forming relationships with the people in Congress is, to an extent, part of the job. Yang got to the heart of the question and described a friendship he had formed with a Trump-voting truck driver, sending a clear message; Yang wants to be the president of all, not just the Left.

As America slowly tears itself apart along party lines, the need for a unifying force in Washington has become exceedingly apparent. Yang is proof that the two sides can come together. Our problems can be solved with some ingenuity and strong leadership. We aren’t democrats or republicans, we’re people. After all, one of Yang’s other core slogans is Humanity First.