The story of the night is that #YangGang is cancelled.
Just three days ago, I dropped out of the #YangGang because Andrew Yang’s position on immigration is just too liberal. Yang did tremendous and irreparable damage to his populist support tonight by 1.) coming out in favor of free healthcare for illegal aliens and 2.) even worse supporting Julian Castro’s ridiculous gambit to decriminalize illegal immigration. He was only asked two questions in the debate and used his second answer to say that he considers Russia our “greatest geopolitical threat” because “they hacked our democracy.” He pretty much disappeared on the stage tonight after using his first answer to introduce the Freedom Dividend. It was all downhill from there.
I’m not sure what the hell he was thinking. It is highly likely that Yang’s populist support will now either shift to Tulsi Gabbard after this debate or simply go back to supporting no one or a third party candidate in the 2020 election. The people who are angry and disillusioned with Trump aren’t going back to him after this debate. I will stress though that millions of Democratic-leaning normies were turning in for the first time. Most of those people don’t care about illegal immigration as much as we do. This was a bad debate performance from Yang. It was objectively bad across the board, but he will likely still pick up some supporters who are hearing about the $1,000 a month for the first time.
I’m officially going with Tracey/Walls Dissolve The USA in 2020 now!
Taking care of our basic needs first will allow us to better focus on solving the big problems of our time like climate change. That’s why we need to pass the #FreedomDividend and get the economic boot off the throats of millions of Americans. pic.twitter.com/4Vfst8Nw7l— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) June 28, 2019
Most searched candidates over the last two hours, via @GoogleTrends:— Axios (@axios) June 28, 2019
1. Marianne Williamson – 10 (indexed)
2. Kamala – 6
2. Pete – 6
2. Biden – 6
5. Sanders – 3
5. Swalwell – 3
5. Yang – 3
8. Hickenlooper – 2
8. Gillibrand – 2
Bennet – data not available pic.twitter.com/rSkT6mCj7u
I’m riding with #YangGang tonight.
As we saw last night, it is clear that all of these Democratic candidates are not equally bad. While I strongly disagree with Andrew Yang on immigration and other social issues, I strongly support him on Universal Basic Income, Humane Capitalism and Medicare for All. We also agree on democracy dollars, infrastructure investment and avoiding stupid regime change wars.
I agree with Yang’s message on the impending robot apocalypse and the impact that is going to have on White America. Regardless of what happens to Yang’s campaign, the inevitable reckoning is coming. The only question is whether we are going to start dealing with it now or later. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris aren’t going to even acknowledge the issue unless they are forced to do so.
It sucks that we can’t put these other issues aside for the moment to address that single problem. Unfortunately, we have to go through this stupid primary and deal with our polarized electorate. Yang has calculated that he has to win the support of the Left to win the primary before he even has a shot at moving on to the general election. He is probably right about that. In 2016, Trump ran on his own MAGA agenda and then basically signed off on the conservative agenda to win the nomination.
My attitude for now is that I am back on the fence. I’m just going to watch the primary and see what happens. I hope that either Yang or Gabbard wins the primary because I share the most common ground with those two candidates and we would have a shot of at least getting something (no regime change wars with Tulsi, $1,000 a month with Yang) should Blompf lose to either of them in the 2020 election. In contrast, it would just be a total loss if someone like Joe Biden won the nomination.
Hopefully, Yang will perform well tonight and in the best case scenario he wins the Democratic nomination and moves to the center by moderating his position on immigration in the general election. I’m expecting him to get hit with the predictable gotcha question tonight by the MSNBC moderators: why do you have all these Alt-Right, White Nationalist and Neo-Nazi supporters?
Andrew Yang will be around for at least the next few debates. We should learn a lot tonight though about his potential as a candidate. Yang’s current low poll numbers are primarily the result of having near zero name recognition. This will be his big introduction to the national stage. In less than an hour, millions of normies will hear for the first time the message of $1,000 a month or mainstream conservatism.
Note: Comments are open through the evening for live reactions.