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Is Andrew Yang the left’s Donald Trump, or something more special?

Yang’s use of his Social Media savvy to promote himself certainly recalls Trump. Unlike other candidates who churn out manufactured posts which clearly came from some poor, underpaid staffer, Yang interacts directly with his supporters.

Anna Slatz Montreal QC

Armed with a platform unlike any other candidate that has ever set foot on a nationally-broadcasted stage, well-versed in geoengineering, automation, and even political heritability, Yang is utterly unconcerned with either political establishment and their prescribed talking points. And shame on anyone who forgets that it was nothing less than that which propelled Donald Trump to the presidency.

While the media mafioso would prefer to pretend it was radicalization, as though swaths of white supremacists crawling form the sewers to cast their ballot for a like-minded candidate to represent their nefarious agenda at the White House, the reality is far less devilish. Joe and Jane America weren’t noxious racists, they were seeking to “drain the swamp.” They weren’t gasping in delight over thoughts of suffocating children at the border, they were hoping their voices would be heard in Washington. Both the Republicans and Democrats had anti-party firebrands in their 2012 lineups, with Bernie Sanders being the obvious representative from the other side. Sanders’ nomination was tossed out for the very pro-establishment Hillary Clinton only through the superdelegates system. Both Trump and Sanders appealed to the otherwise forgotten: Hard-working, barely getting by, marginalized by the establishment, anti-elitists.

The problem with them both? There were still significant swaths of the population they ostracized, and who absolutely hated them. Both candidates happily cut their losses and sought to gain stronger support in one demographic by dismissing another, often with great theatrics attached.

While Sanders is also running on the Democratic ticket this year, Yang is changing the dynamic entirely. His anti-establishment insolence is strengthened by his lack of interest in identity politics, his incredible breadth of knowledge, and his focus on policies aimed at a new generation of voter with a new generation of problem.

In other words: He might just be unstoppable.

Just some of Yang’s policies, available on his website.

The policy which got Yang noticed was his Freedom Dividend, a Universal Basic Income scheme which seeks to provide $1,000 per month to every American over the age of 18 regardless of their work status or income. This, Yang developed in response to increasing automation – the elimination of human-staffed jobs by technological advancements – and ineffective welfare programs. The Dividend would be an option to replace all other welfare programs — meaning an individual on any other income or social assistance would have to choose between their current program, or the Dividend. Yang purports that this would see permanent growth in the economy equal to 12.56-13% per year.

Yang recently promoted himself on Twitter through a contest – A mini “Freedom Dividend,” $1,000 per month to a Twitter user who followed him and retweeted his contest announcement by July 4th. A candidate for the new generation indeed.

And his use of his Social Media savvy to promote himself certainly recalls Trump. Unlike other candidates who churn out manufactured posts which clearly came from some poor, underpaid staffer, Yang interacts directly with his supporters. He live-tweeted through the 1st Democratic debates, making quick quips about “the Russians” when the moderators began having technical difficulties, and even exposing an embarrassing offer candidates are given to be provided with a stool to make them seem taller.

And what of his supporters? The red-capped, MAGA-screaming Trumpites propelled The Don into power, and they did so with a populist reverberation that closer recalled a rock concert. Yang’s supporters, who lovingly call themselves the #YangGang adorn themselves in blue hats embroidered with the word MATH, which Yang’s site explains comes from their celebration of numbers and facts.

In a recently published interview with Super Tutor TV, an educational channel on YouTube which helps students with college preparation, Yang also explained it was an acronym which could mean Make America Think Harder, but some of his supporters on Reddit also proposed Make American Truly Happy. When the hats launched in March, they sold out in less than 30 minutes.

Tonight, thanks to his massively successful fundraising efforts, Yang takes the primary debate stage alongside Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden. His Twitter snark and casual diner chit-chat, mediums where he excels, are being put to the test in front of an audience of millions, against seasoned establishment politicians who absolutely know he is a threat.

Why? Because Andrew Yang represents something of an über-candidate. There is nothing he is definitively not because there is nothing he needs to be but who he wants to be at this moment.

And that is a beautiful thing.

Even if it is just for this moment.

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