- Andrew Yang could be the wild card at the first 2020 Democratic debate this week in Miami.
- His tendency for saying outlandish things and his bold policy platform could really make him stand out in a broad field of candidates.
- Yang has never held public office, and he’s running against many current members fo Congress. This could give him an edge in the sense he has nothing to lose.
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Andrew Yang’s eccentricity, audacious platform, and propensity for saying whatever is on his mind could make him the wild card at the first 2020 Democratic debate this week in Miami.
Yang, an entrepreneur, had a lot going against him when he announced his bid for the presidency in late 2017. But he’s quickly amassed an impressive online following and somehow qualified for the debate despite the fact nearly half the country doesn’t know who he is.
According to Morning Consult’s latest polling, Yang is in eighth place out of 24 candidates, placing him right behind Sen.Cory Booker of New Jersey and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas. That’s not a terrible place to be in a broad, diverse field of candidates.
When it comes down to it, Yang is under far less pressure than a lot of the other candidates, many of whom currently hold public office (or did) and could face consequences with constituents based on what they say and do along the campaign trail. This is one reason why some of the more mainstream candidates have been relatively cautious on the campaign trail so far and leaned toward centrist positions.
In other words, Yang has nothing to lose and everything to gain from finding a way to stand out on the debate stage. And he’s consistently proven he’s willing to do what it takes to set himself apart and get noticed – even if it’s completely out of the ordinary.
On Monday, for example, Yang appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and announced a contest for a 12-month $US1,000 monthly payment. In order to enter, Yang is asking people to retweet his announcement on the contest and follow him by July 4. The contest is meant to test out Yang’s basic universal income plan, which would see every American get $US1,000 per month.
Yang refers to this plan as the “Freedom Dividend,” and on his website states, “The most direct and concrete way for the government to improve your life is to send you a check for $US1,000 every month and let you spend it in whatever manner will benefit you the most.”
The tech entrepreneur also has a bold plan to combat climate change, which is poised to be a major topic at the debate in Florida – in many ways the frontlines of the climate crisis for the US – as some candidates have been fighting with the Democratic National Committee over its refusal to hold a climate-change-only debate.
Yang is the only 2020 candidate calling for federal money to be invested into researching geoengineering, or technology that would be used to reverse the impact of climate change.
“We should invest resources in large-scale geo-engineering measures like shoring up glaciers and reducing solar exposure to counteract the effects of climate change even as we reduce our emissions,” Yang said on his website. “Waiting around for the oceans to rise is not the American way.”
Yang is pitching himself as the true antidote to the status quo, rejecting the notion anti-establishment candidates like Sen.Bernie Sanders are the answer.
In a recent interview with The Atlantic, Yang said that candidates like Sanders are attempting to change the ingredients to the American “recipe” when really they just need to “start from scratch.”
“The recipe’s not working; this tastes like s–t,” Yang said. “Instead of saying, ‘I’m going to make this recipe less s—-y,’ it’s like, ‘You know what? Maybe I’m going to bake something else and stop trying to salvage this s—t-muffin!'”
With metaphors and rhetoric like this, Yang has the potential to turn some heads when he hits the debate stage in Miami.
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