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United States: Andrew Yang steps down from presidential candidacy

Andrew Yang. Picture credit to: Inquisitr

Andrew Yang, the United States presidential candidate for the 2020 elections who most notoriously pushed (his own version of) a basic income policy to public debate in the country, has dropped out of the campaign for the Democratic Party setup. This has been reported in several news outlets, some of which had allegedly been deliberately underreporting his activities as candidate. On this issue, Scott Santens, a prominent basic income activist, has written on social media (Facebook):

Amazing how the #YangMediaBlackout ended the moment Yang dropped out of the race. Suddenly every media outlet is falling over themselves to cover the candidate they worked so hard for so long to hide. Congrats. You got the outcome you wanted. But this fight is far from over. The #YangGang has awakened.

Thank you to all of you for everything you’ve done, pouring your heart and soul into this campaign which has become a movement. The Yang Gang is incredible and important and we will change the world. I hope you all will continue fighting for the economic justice we all so desperately need.

Fear is a weapon used against us to keep us in line, but hope is a shield.

(…)

It will take the effort we’ve all put in for Andrew Yang and more. It will even require us running for office. Everyone in the YG who runs for office, we will need to support as we have Andrew. What happens next is up to us.

One of my main takeaways from this campaign is every one of us is now equipped for life with the skills to forge a new path. Democracy requires active not passive engagement, and the we just learned everything we need to know. Those tools are now ours to wield. Watch out world.

The Yang Gang is only getting started.

Andrew Yang himself has also written a message on this occasion (transcript from a post by Michael Howard, another long-time basic income activist):

Thank you for your incredible support these past months. You all have uplifted me and inspired me and Evelyn and this campaign at every turn. Your passion and energy. Your donations and hundreds of thousands of hours of calling and volunteering. Your enthusiasm, dedication and commitment.

We have accomplished so much together. We have brought a message of Humanity First and a vision of an economy and society that works for us and our families to millions of our fellow Americans.

We went from a mailing list that started with just my Gmail contact list to receiving donations from over 430,000 people and support from millions more across the country.

One of the things I’m most proud of — we gave $1,000 a month for a year to 13 families across the country.

We highlighted the real problems in our communities as our economy is being transformed before our eyes by technology and automation. We stood on the debate stage and shifted our national conversation to include the fourth industrial revolution, a topic no one wanted to touch.

Our signature proposal, Universal Basic Income, has become part of the mainstream conversation. We increased the popular support for Universal Basic Income to 66% of Democrats and 72% among voters 18-34.

And without a doubt, we accelerated the eradication of poverty in our society by years, perhaps even generations.

And that is thanks to all of YOU!

Though thousands of voters came out for our campaign tonight in New Hampshire, it is not the outcome we fought so hard for. It is bitterly disappointing for many of us.

But it should not be.

Every single day I’ve had supporters say to me:

“Your campaign helped me out of a depression. Thank you.”

“Working on this campaign has made me a better human being.”

“I met my significant other because of you.”

“Your campaign brought my family together. Your campaign got me excited about politics for the first time.”

These are all things that people have said to me in the past days. I’m incredibly proud of this campaign. We have touched and improved millions of lives and moved this country we love so much in the right direction.

And while there is great work left to be done, I am the MATH guy. And it is clear tonight from the numbers that we are not going to win this race. I am not someone who wants to accept donations and support in a race that we will not win.

And so tonight, I am suspending my campaign for president.

This is not an easy decision. Endings are hard and I’ve always intended to stay in this race until the very end. But I have been convinced that the message of this campaign will not be strengthened by my staying in this race any longer.

Endings are hard. But this is not an ending.

This is a beginning.

This is the starting line. This campaign has awakened something fundamental in this country and ourselves.

We’ve outlasted over a dozen senators, governors, and members of Congress and become the most exciting force in this entire race.

The Yang Gang has fundamentally shifted the direction of this country and transformed our politics, and we are only continuing to grow.

My goal when I first started was always to solve the problems that got Donald Trump elected. And I know in order to do that, I will support whoever is the Democratic nominee. That said, I hope this campaign can be a message, and word of caution, to all of my Democratic colleagues.

Donald Trump is not the cause of all of our problems. He is a symptom. We must cure the disease that got him elected, and in order to do that we must address the real problems that affect our people and offer solutions to actually solve them.

Those solutions are bold, and many think they are crazy. But I hope my campaign has made it a little less crazy to think we can lead our country to eradicate poverty. In fact, five candidates in this field have already supported it or expressed openness to supporting Universal Basic Income.

I stand before you today and say that while we did not win this election, we are just getting started.

This is the beginning.

This movement is the future of American politics.

This movement is the future of the Democratic party.

This wave is just beginning and it will continue to build until we rewrite the rules of this economy to work for us, the people of this country.

Thank you to each and every person who made this campaign possible, I love and appreciate you. Being your candidate has been the privilege of my life. We will continue to do the work and move this country forward.

Thank you all. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

– Andrew

More information at:

Nick Statt, “Andrew Yang has withdrawn from the 2020 presidential race“, The Verge, February 11th 2020

Daniel Strauss, “Andrew Yang drops out of 2020 presidential race“, The Guardian, February 12th 2020

Jeff Yang, “Thank you, Andrew Yang“, CNN, February 12th 2020

About Andre Coelho

André Coelho has written 357 articles.

Activist. Engineer. Musician. For the more beautiful world our hearts know it's possible.

The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.

2 comments

  • David Duke

    I feel Andrew Yang was the only person who ran during my lifetime that had answers to the questions.

  • I hope the idea of basic income will now slowly spread around the globe. Yang has done a good job to make the idea more known and popular. Hope it will become more important in the politics of the future.

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