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Why Berners attack #YangGang with reductive takes on UBI (“it’s just 1k a month,” etc.)

As Bernie’s coalition has evolved, it’s become dogmatic. Ideology is king. M4A, FJG, GND — these aren’t mere policy proposals, they are championed as the only possible moral direction.
Therefore, any alternative plans with the same ends but different means are viewed skeptically at best. Remember how Berners attacked Warren’s M4A as being *fake* M4A, despite being a ludicrously expensive and ambitious progressive program? It has to be Bernie’s or no sale.
To Berners, UBI is similarly pitted against the FJG and Bernie’s Social Security reforms, despite having remarkably similar *philosophical* aims — the reduction of, and eventual eradication of, poverty. But Bernie rejects UBI now so it Must Be Bad.
Here’s the kicker: Berners think that we think about Yang like they do Bernie. For some Yangsters, they’re totally right — candidates like this develop rabid followings. However...
The candidates set the tone. Sanders is a good man, but he is ideological — he can’t entertain alternative paths to the same moral end without feeling like he has betrayed his core principles. Berners have followed him into a narrow canyon with very little wiggle room.
Meanwhile, Yang is openly philosophical. He shares most or maybe all of Sanders’ values, but he diverges radically from him and other progressives because Yang is pragmatic rather than dogmatic.
Bernie can be pragmatic in pursuit of dogmatic victories; Yang is dogmatic in pursuit of pragmatic victories. Pragmatism gets a bad rap among the ideological, but ordering one’s thinking on philosophical lines demands a patient yet experimental approach to solving problems.
Yang’s lack of dogmatism is as much a secret of his success as his lovable personality. These two elements are arguably more fundamental to his campaign than UBI itself.
Yes, that’s right: I’m saying that it didn’t HAVE TO be UBI, not for Yang to run. UBI is a policy *proposal*, not a scriptural mandate (unlike The Gospel of M4A according to St. Bernard); it just happens to be a damn good idea that is much better than many alternatives.
But Yang and the #YangGang are not, at their core, about Yang’s novel policy proposals. They are about reason and compassion working hand-in-hand to maximize human welfare and eliminate suffering.
While Bernie’s brand is shackled to dogma, Yang is free to innovate and develop out in the open, as Yang continually rallies his base around core values that persist as the policies evolve.
Bernie’s conservative scope of possibilities generates hostility to would-be allies and fellow travellers, while Yang’s progressively developing battery of ideas is open to engagement from people across the political spectrum.
Berners reductively attack UBI and Yang’s unorthodox take on M4A because to them, policy proposals aren’t merely ideas to be debated, but fortresses to assail or defend. UBI must be discredited like Martin Luther must recant his 95 Theses; the survival of the faith depends on it.
They see no alternative to full-on, zero-sum attack. But the #YangGang has a critical advantage: our success does not depend on the perfection of a policy *proposal*. It depends on our values and our dedication to open discourse.
We want nothing more than to talk to Berners as allies in the fight for a better world. But the incessant attacks (on policies that socialists widely considered ideal before this election cycle) have shown us that ideology is more important to many of them than our shared values.
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