One of the contenders in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race has announced his exit from the party.
After unsuccessful campaigns for president and New York City mayor, tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang announced on Monday that he has decided to no longer be a member of the Democratic Party.
“The right thing”
The Daily Wire reported that he has changed his registration to “independent.”
Among the reasons cited for his change is an increasing distaste for the “polarization” of America’s current two-party system as well as his belief that he could bring about greater change from outside of the system than by remaining within it.
His revelation came in the form of a blog post to his own website, beginning with a recollection of his support for Democrats from the Clinton years to the most recent presidential election. Throughout his adult life, and particularly after becoming more involved during the Trump administration, he made a number of important connections among active Democratic politicians and activists, he wrote.
Nevertheless, Yang concluded: “I’m confident that no longer being a Democrat is the right thing.”
He went on to complain that the system is “stuck” and has “constrained” those seeking to legitimately bring about positive change.
“I can be even more honest”
“Now that I’m not a member of one party or another, I feel like I can be even more honest about both the system and the people in it,” Yang wrote.
Further explaining his decision, he wrote that he had always felt like an “odd fit” within the Democratic Party, describing himself as more “practical” than “ideological” and decrying the “performative” nature of political “theater” within the two-party political system.
Beyond merely announcing his personal decision, Yang offered a few solutions that he believed would help remedy the situation, notably shifting election to “open primaries” and “ranked-choice voting,” which he believes would offer voters more choice.
While his decision attracted an outpouring of support on social media, it also brought out mockery and verbal attacks from others, apparently bolstering his point about bitterness and ruthlessness among the political class.
It remains to be seen whether Yang will launch a political campaign as an independent or if he is correct in predicting that he will have a greater impact on the system from the outside. His frank assessment does appear to be encouraging a more robust national conversation, however, which might be an important first step.