How Andrew Yang is Changing Politics

By Mateo Vega, Reporter

Andrew Yang has changed politics forever.

If you do not know who Andrew Yang is, he is, according to many, the single most interesting democratic candidate running for the presidential nomination.

He is an Asian-American businessman running as a Democratic candidate with such fascinating ideas that it’s hard to not be at least interested in what he has to say.

But how has he changed politics?

Yang officially qualified for the Dec. 19 debates, joining the floor with six other hopefuls, which is worth taking notice.

Andrew Yang supporters rally in California. Photograph Courtesy of via @AndrewYang on Twitter

It is extraordinary to realize that this almost-unknown businessman has the chance to stand on stage with well-known political figures such as Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden, while other major political figures like Corey Booker and Kamala Harris do not.

This changes politics because it, in a way, goes back to the older days of America, where any person could run for and potentially win the presidency.

It means that the “electability” of somebody, anybody, really, is growing again.

Nobody really expects Yang to win; his polling numbers are still single-digits and his campaign is not raising nearly as much money as someone like Bernie Sanders, who recently broke a record for the most individual donors.

Nonetheless, Yang is still taking a real hold of the polls for somebody who came from nowhere. Yang is able to take a serious grasp of things by strongly seizing the social media space.

This is not to say that the other candidates are not using social media effectively, but the significant media bias from TV against Yang means that he has to take another approach.

He uses a strategy that President Trump used when he was running in 2016: using social media enough that the TV media has to cover it, but he even furthers it by going after the establishment.

Social media has become more powerful than TV, so by doing anything on social media, the mainstream TV executives have to cover it.

In taking this approach, Yang is able to get a little more media time, but TV stations still treat him as lesser than other candidates.

To fight this, Yang took very evasive measures: he called for a boycott of MSNBC, the major “left” news organization of the nation.

Yang initiated this boycott because of the significant media bias against him that the hosts of the debates gave him. 

Even after the boycott by the “Yang Gang,” Yang still made the debate floor and raised $750,000 in a single day.

Andrew Yang talks with Donald Glover. Photograph Courtesy of  @AndrewYang via Twitter

With this happening, the media bias against Yang is going to have to finally cease and provide him with more time on the debate floor than the seven minutes he got at the last debate since there are fewer people on the floor this round.

His idea for a freedom dividend, which is giving every legal adult $1,000 every month, sounds crazy on paper, but to his supporters and those who listen to him, his ideas do not sound crazy and seem even attainable.

Even more, Yang has ideas for medicare for all and term limits for Supreme Court justices.

With this strategy of learning how to use the media and by making such bold and exciting, different policy promises, Yang is drastically changing the political space.

The more that he can force the establishment to debate on his terms and ideas, the greater chances he will have at the polls.

This kind of persistence Yang displays makes him a really interesting candidate to watch and is certainly making a change in how politicians and the establishment will continue into the new year and far beyond.