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Why @AndrewYang’s campaign is brilliant: a thread, with predictions at the end. #YangGang #Yang2020 @scottsantens

After 2016, I felt disenfranchised. All the emotional energy I put into the Sanders campaign — and then Clinton — felt wasted.
So in ‘17 and ‘18, I started looking into what went wrong. I had become a boilerplate social justice progressive up until that point. My gut told me that we had been blindsided by Trump because we fundamentally misread the room.
So I started paying attention to political outsiders who challenged liberal and conservative orthodoxies.

Finally, in 2018, I read an interview with Yang. He had decided to run for President on UBI. At the time, his website was threadbare — he seemed like an intriguing blip.
But I couldn’t get him out of my head. Yang’s message cut to the core of the Trump phenomenon with a mixture of math and empathy. No one was talking about the automation story. No one else believed that we could defeat reactionaries like Trump by instituting UBI.
UBI was a new idea for me, but it gelled with my new take on liberal values: we’ve become balkanized by identity; by race, class, gender. UBI cuts through all that like Alexander’s sword. It says, “We’re all human. We’re all Americans. We belong here, and to each other.” Radical.
In Rolling Stone’s coverage, they mention that 4channers and alt-right trolls discovered Yang early. That’s correct — because he’s a deradicalizer. By targeting the internet, Yang went after the politically homeless, the deplorables, and showed them something better.
That’s why @joerogan was so important to Yang catching on. Rogan is a way station between the seedy underworld of the internet and the sunnier corners of social and traditional media. Lots of young people, especially young men, listen to Rogan.
Yang went after disaffected young men and gave them a positive cause to fight for, a narrative unlike what they’d heard from the Dems, the GOP, or the hornet’s nest of online reactionaries. Yang started from the fringe because he knew they needed to hear it most.
Then the traditional campaign really kicked in. And traditional media seemed hellbent on pushing Yang out — they didn’t like that he had been on podcasts, that he hadn’t asked their permission nor their forgiveness.
After the second debate, the #YangMediaBlackout was in full effect. Something needed to be done. So Yang and his team came up with #YangsDebateSurprise as a way to call their bluff, to make Yang the center of their story, to invite scorn — but to put the campaign in control.
Now Yang has positioned himself as the honest to God Anti-Trump: he’s bold, he’s fun, he’s outrageous, but he’s also smart and empathetic. The #YangGang is the Anti-MAGA, spreading data snd compassion, matching the candidate’s tone.
And when Yang has the opportunity to speak directly to racial issues, as in the case of the SNL cast member, he chooses forgiveness and makes a point that racial slurs are othering — they chip away at American and to human identity.
So after Yang deradicalized a bunch of right-wing internet trolls and flipped them into UBI proponents, now he has repudiated #CancelCulture, which will help detoxify the left. This will keep him in the social media conversation even longer than #YangsDebateSurprise.
Moreover, the attitude of forgiveness won over a bunch of #NeverTrumpers like David French, because it felt awfully Christian in tone. There’s a bunch of conservatives who hate Trump and want moral leadership. Yang just showed it to then.
I don’t think all this was cooly calculated. Yang and his team are learning as they go. But they are being smart, and playing the game unlike anyone else in the race.

Now, a prediction or two, as promised.
At the fourth debate in October, Yang will address the criticisms of his giveaway, and use the opportunity to introduce the @IncomeMarch later that month — with powerful black leaders in attendance, including Al Sharpton.
It’s no secret that every Dem wants Sharpton’s approval. Yang is the only candidate on the debate with a UBI plan — and that will overwhelmingly benefit PoC as well as fulfill MLK’s mission.

Dems need the black vote. Yang can win it with UBI — he’s already set the board.
At @IncomeMarch, leaders from #BlackLivesMatter and other organizations will say that now is the time for a #FreedomDividend.

And Yang will be the only viable candidate (all due respect to Williamson) standing in solidarity with them.

Who’s laughing now, Pete?
So in Ohio on the debate stage, Yang will move into an aggressive position for the first time. Now he’s the star and he has the moral high ground. He can and should call every single candidate on the mat to explain why they don’t MLK’s fight for UBI should be won.
Suddenly, Yang won’t be the weird Internet guy with a white male fanbase.

He’ll be the high water mark for social justice policy, backed by a broad coalition of supporters.

And I think he’ll win the whole damn thing.

#Yang2020 #YangGang #SecureTheBag
P.S. Hey #YangGang, have a look at this documentary I edited and co-produced. It’s on the festival circuit now!

It’s about why electricity is a human right, and we tell the story in a way I think @AndrewYang would dig, with lots of #math and empathy:

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