Andrew Yang is making a mockery out of the New York City mayoral contest, after making a mockery of the democratic primaries, and after being an unwanted clown in Georgia during the presidential election.
Andrew Yang is an unqualified buffoon who has no business running for any elected office, but this being America, not only is he pulling in money and backers, he has a band of delusional followers who support him in the hopes he will win something, anything.
We have seen versions of Andrew Yang before. Seemingly lovable losers who are outsiders with big ideas, big promises, and unrelated experience that they weaponize into the reason why they should be elected.
Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, Cynthia Nixon, Arnold Swarztenegger, Al Franken, Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, most and all those clownish southern former football coaches, judges, and pedophiles who fool nobody but their dumb constituents.
Andrew Yang took an historical opportunity and wasted it with stunning foolishness and minstrelsy.
To see him on the debate stage was a beautiful affirmation of the strength of the democratic party’s big tent of inclusivity. He stood proud as an Asian man running for president and showed himself to be concerned about the party and country. The moderators severely limited his time and failed to allow him equal time to tell america who he was and what he stood for beyond universal basic income.
But in interviews in the campaign trail Andrew was exposed as having little to no grasp of complex issues and of being unable or unwilling to learn the necessary detail all candidates are expected to know.
Andrew Yang’s biggest moments were him promising Universal Basic Income to Americans. It wasn’t original, but it was the first time many first-time voters heard it and they were excited. If only Andrew Yang were worthy of their excitement.
Because soon after, the frat-boy, class clown, empty suit, bought-and-paid-for pseudo-politician reared its all too familiar ugly head and Andrew Yang’s political career tanked.
There was the picture of Andrew squirting whipped cream into folk’s mouth. Andrew crowd surfing. And, recently, Andrew answering questions with increasingly baffling and or tone deaf answers:
Favorite subway stop? “Times Square” (crooked face emoji)
On Georgia: “I helped Democrats win seats” (eyeball emoji)
On favorite Jay-Z song: “Uh, well, uh, Numb/Encore (the duet with Linkin Park) (eye roll & stunned eyes emoji).
The thing is, Andrew Yang was thought to be smart enough to not fall for such lame media tricks and tactics. But he wasn’t during the presidential primaries and he isn’t during the mayoral race.
Andrew Yang isn’t a tech genius, an advanced thinker, a revolutionary outsider, or even a political savant. He is none of those things because he has chosen a different disappointing and well-trodden route, much to the disappointment of some of his earlier non-white followers.
Andrew Yang has cozied up to white supremacists, police and their unions, and far left democrats who so dislike the Democratic Party, they horseshoe and support republican policy positions.
Yang has absolutely tanked on questions about how police should respond -“ give mental health warnings” and on abuse “there should be shelters” – with answers that are baffling and show an alarming lack of forethought, sense, or understanding of complex issues every city deals with, but which are significantly bigger and more complex in New York City.
A look at the crowds Andrew Yang draws shows almost all white people, and then a smattering of people who appear to be Asian. What is missing are the heart and soul of the Democratic Party: Black women specifically and other people of color. To not be able to attract Black, brown, and other POC in New York City will be Yang’s undoing and, frankly, it should be since he is more interested in courting far leftist whites-only voters.
And by the looks of it, he doesn’t care and he doesn’t intend to court the valuable voters who will ultimately break him and his candidacy just as they did during the presidential campaign.
None of Andrew Yang’s positions or blind spots should surprise anyone, seeing as he comes from the tech industry — the same industry that had to be publicly humiliated and called on the carpet for not hiring Black people. The same industry that makes racist tech, awful service bots, and that created platforms that to this day cater to white supremacists while penalizing Black voices for defending ourselves.
Andrew Yang is a product of an industry that caters to young white males and so it is not surprising to see who follows him and who he caters to.
Fortunately, New York City is a diverse city that has multiple strong candidates in the race. The dynamic Maya Wiley, former counsel to Mayor de Blasio, former NYC Sanitation Department Commissioner and leader in the polls, Kathryn Garcia, and Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams.
“The city does ranked choice voting where voters rank up to five candidates. The candidates are eliminated one by one starting with the one with the least first-place votes and their voters are allocated to the remaining candidates and then the process repeats until there is one candidate left who is then declared the winner.” (Thanks to New Yorker Rich B. for the explanation).
While it does not appear Andrew Yang will win, the money he is gathering as he steers his campaign further and further into extreme left and extreme right positions ensures that he will be a factor once voting begins.
It is too bad, too, because Yang could have been so much more had he learned to appreciate the party, the party’s strength, and the party’s actual positions instead of turning into another democrat in name only. America needs Asian politicians and it is long past time that major cities, political parties, and key government roles are seen as opportunities for Asian Americans. Andrew Yang had the opportunity to represent so much of the hope America promotes and the dreams of so many people.
During this month when we celebrate Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and when we’re reminded of the history of people who’ve worked and given their lives – and had lives and land taken- who’ve served in all the wars, and who even now are subject to racism due to a global pandemic having nothing to do with the community, it would have been glorious to see an Asian man ascend to such heights.
That day needs to come, not only in NYC, but in cities and towns everywhere, and all throughout government, but especially the senate, Supreme Court, military, and other prestigious positions.
Andrew Yang can look to Vice President Kamala Harris, Tammy Duckworth, Elaine Chao, Mazie Hirono, and Ted Lieu, among many others, for examples of how to run effective and winning campaigns, how to govern, and how to appeal to the big tent party.
Failing to learn from his failed presidential campaign, it looks like Andrew Yang’s mayoral candidacy is poised to end the way his presidential candidacy did: with a soft whimper, a quiet loss, and a missed opportunity to capitalize on his historical candidacy.
He is still young so he has plenty of time to learn and grow. And he has time to mentor other young Asian candidates who proudly watched him on stage with the top politicians and represent himself and his community admirably and with honor.
But for right now, Andrew Yang is not the mayor New York City needs.
© 2021 by Myron J. Clifton. All Rights Reserved.
Myron J. Clifton is slightly older than fifty, lives in Sacramento, California, and is an avid Bay Area sports fan. He likes comic books, telling stories about his late mom to his beloved daughter Leah, and talking to his friends.
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