Robert Hampton, American Renaissance, March 14, 2019
Many internet nationalists have a new favorite candidate for president: Democrat Andrew Yang.
Mr. Yang, a businessman of Chinese origin, has won media attention with his universal basic income (UBI) plan to give all adult Americans under 65 $1,000 a month, his enthusiasm for Medicare for all, and his warnings that automation will eliminate many working-class jobs. He is also worried about the problems of working-class whites, such as the opioid epidemic, and has even tweeted about white population decline: “Deaths now outnumber births among white people in more than half the states in the country. Much of this is low birth rates and white men dying from substance abuse and suicide. Our life expectancy has declined for 2 years. We need to do much more.”
Mr. Yang supports strong border security and immigration enforcement. He also wants to challenge Big Tech’s immense power and specifically to fight tech censorship. He would regulate large social media platforms as public utilities to ensure that they protect free speech.
Mr. Yang has very little name recognition compared to the top Democrat candidates, but that is understandable for someone who has just entered politics. He gets only one percent of Democrat support in the latest poll, but his scrappy campaign has netted over 65,000 donors, which puts him over the threshold to enter the Democratic presidential debates. With a spot on the debate stage, Mr. Yang will certainly rise in the polls.
Dissident memesters have taken a liking to Mr. Yang’s message, particularly on Universal Basic Income, and have spread Yang propaganda on Twitter. They’ve even made a popular hashtag for the Democrat, #YangGang. Journalists have noticed this enthusiasm and warned about his “meme problem.” The Democrat candidate has issued a disavowal:
I denounce and disavow hatred, bigotry, racism, white nationalism, anti-Semitism and the alt-right in all its many forms. Full stop. For anyone with this agenda, we do not want your support. We do not want your votes. You are not welcome in this campaign.
As one of the first Asian American candidates for President in our history and the son of immigrants, I see racism and white nationalism as a threat to the core ideals of what it means to be an American. I have two young children who will grow up in this country. I know what that means.
This has not dampened dissident memesters’ enthusiasm. They like him for two reasons: disappointment with President Trump and the hope that Mr. Yang could help whites.
Mr. Trump has certainly let down his followers. The wall has not been built, the President now believes America needs more immigrants, he’s abandoned his foreign policy promises, and his only legislative victories are tax cuts and criminal justice reform. President Trump’s supporters thought they voted for a nationalist, but all they got was a typical conservative.
The president has done some good things, such as the travel ban, better immigration enforcement, and an executive order to fund the wall. But his call for more legal immigration appears to have been too much. Several #YangGang memes mock Trump’s failures, and Mr. Yang is an attractive alternative because he offers his supporters $1,000 a month.
— Steppe Brahmin 🐉#YangGang (@SteppeBrahmin) March 6, 2019
— sotmaque (@sotomaque) March 6, 2019
— Faith J Goldy (@FaithGoldy) March 9, 2019
Some of this is nihilistic glee: America is doomed, so the only hope for a nationalist is to get a check from the government.
Mr. Yang touts UBI as a panacea. He claims it will solve the problem of increased automation that will put blue collar workers out of work, and it will save whites from opioid addiction. And the scheme would not favor non-whites; everyone would get the same amount
This is part of Mr. Yang’s eschewal of identity politics, which he calls a distraction: “I’m convinced that identity politics has just been set up to distract us from the money. Go get that money, then we can talk about whatever we want to talk about.” Mr. Yang opposes reparations, saying that UBI will do more to help non-white communities than race-based handouts.
Other Democrats promote minority identity politics. The New York Times approvingly reported on the Democratic field’s endorsement of “racially conscious legislation.” “I’m serious about taking an approach that would change policies and structures and make real investments in black communities,” Sen. Kamala Harris said, explaining why she favors reparations.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren also supports reparations, and other Democrat candidates have proposed “baby bonds” mainly for non-white children; some want to turn the post office into a banking system for non-whites.
Most Democratic presidential candidates insist that “racism” is one of the greatest threats to America, and many whooped up the Jussie Smollett hoax. On immigration, “abolish ICE” is the most popular position for Democratic candidates, and Beto O’Rourke even says he wants to tear down the border walls we already have. Julian Castro likes America’s demographic transformation because it is giving his party the “big blue wall” of Texas, Florida, and Arizona. Bernie Sanders and Kirsten Gillibrand used to warn about the problems of immigration, but now effectively support open borders.
The Democratic Party of 2019 is dominated by minority identity politics and the implicit desire to replace whites as quickly as possible. Mr. Yang is different. He is liberalism with a friendly face to whites. Of course, none of his policies would reverse white dispossession; they are soma for whites losing their country.
Mr. Yang is not a solution, but he is an amusing outlet for dissident discontent, and his explicit sympathy whites is a breath of fresh air. If Democrats actually wanted to appeal to whites and not paint them as the enemy of their great non-white coalition, they would sound like Mr. Yang. If he takes part in Democrat debates—and sticks to his platform—he will force Democrats to talk about white decline and tech censorship. No one else is talking about these things.
Who knows: Mr. Yang’s rising popularity might even remind Mr. Trump of the problems of the people he once stood up for.