Let’s establish that I harbor no illusions about Democratic
presidential hopeful Andrew Yang. He’s a leftist, albeit a technocratic one
that seemingly prefers to raise taxes and throw your money at poor people rather
than one who desires to grow the state into a womb-to-tomb nanny.
I don’t agree with the man on healthcare or energy policy,
abortion or the death penalty. But here’s the truth: he’s an honest, normal
Maybe I should qualify that a bit. There was nothing
particularly “normal” about him squirting whipped cream into the mouths of kneeling men, much to the horror of his
stunned campaign manager. What I mean by that term is that he’s not of the
Washington brand. He’s not a politician, he doesn’t fit in with the
establishment, and he thinks in a way that is far more mainstream American than
any of his competitors can hope to fake.
Bernie Sanders thinks he’s being relatable when he poses
with Ariana Grande. Elizabeth Warren thinks she’s being hip when she pauses to
open a beer on Instagram Live. Joe Biden thinks he’s – well, who really knows
what Joe Biden thinks. Cory Booker thinks he’s connecting by talking
incessantly about weed. None of them are right. To normal people they come off
rehearsed, fake, and cringy.
Yang’s authenticity isn’t gimmicky. He legitimately seems to
think and talk like most of us – people not bred in the halls of wealth and
power. And that’s precisely why, as all the other Democrat candidates gloated
over the impeachment of Donald Trump at their recent debate, crowing and
insulting every chance they got, Yang spoke about the topic as though he has
some basic idea of what is happening outside the beltway:
Don’t be misled by the lack of interrupting applause. The
audience at that debate are campaign surrogates, activists, and supporters.
What Yang was saying wasn’t going to appeal to them, and was never intended to.
It was aimed at people like you and me – people that don’t have time or money
to go attend a Democratic presidential debate on a random Thursday night.
After indicting a press that is far more hated than the
president they regularly drag, Yang actually said something meaningful:
“The more we act like Donald Trump is the cause of all of our problems, we lose trust that we can actually see what is going on in our communities and solve those problems.”
Yang went on to talk about the thousands of jobs,
manufacturing and otherwise, that the United States has lost in the recent
years leading up to Trump’s election, and pointed out, “We have to take every
opportunity to present a new, positive vision for the country, a new way
forward, to help beat him in 2020.”
How foreign was this concept to the
other full-time politicians on the stage, you ask? Front-runner Joe Biden cluelessly
followed up Yang’s prescient comments by admitting he would be fine cutting hundreds of thousands of blue-collar, oil and gas jobs
in order to get to a green economy. How do you suppose that clip is going to
play in the rural communities and union towns of the Rust Belt?
Watching this ham-fisted nomination
fight, it’s almost as though Democrats seem committed to re-electing President
Trump. And to this point, Andrew Yang is the only one normal enough to actually
see and understand that.