Fox’s News: Andrew Yang

Andrew Yang has been overperfomlng in national polls thus far, as well as in the Sagamore's own school wide poll, in which Yang garnered over 25% of support.

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Andrew Yang has been overperfomlng in national polls thus far, as well as in the Sagamore's own school wide poll, in which Yang garnered over 25% of support.

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Politics is very important. Whether we like it or not, we wake up each morning and head to school because we are legally required to. Our parents pay taxes in part because the state needs money for schools, and we cast a ballot once we turn 18 because the 26th amendment to the United States Constitution says that if we are old enough to fight for our country, we are old enough to decide who sends us to do it. 

But politics is confusing. Really confusing. And between constant White House turnover, a 2020 race that is rapidly heating up, and your math test on Tuesday, how can you be expected to keep up with this ever-changing reality of political confusion?

Answer: a digest. This column will summarize a month of news, break down the important bits, and feature in detail a variety of political topics.

In a recently conducted poll, The Sagamore took the political temperature of the student body. These figures will be used to guide how I cover politics as we move toward the election year, and I think it’s high time that we address a group that has clearly garnered serious support from the students: the Yang Gang.

If there was one person I did not see coming in this race for the nomination, it was entrepreneur Andrew Yang. Over a quarter of respondents in last month’s poll said they supported Yang, yet I chose not to do a devoted candidate profile of him, much to the dismay of his loyal BHS fan base. However, allow me to make amends and do you one better. The inaugural edition of this monthly column will focus on the man, the myth, the entrepreneur, Andrew Yang.

Let’s get one thing straight before we delve into this unlikely campaign: Yang is not going to be the next president of the United States, nor will he win the Democratic nomination next summer. Yang is polling at just over 3 percent as of October 2019, making him a virtual non-factor when it comes to actually receiving the nomination. 

However, Yang’s rise holds importance beyond winning. His vision for America differs greatly from the rest of the democratic field, and his ideas about how to actually implement it are as unorthodox as they come.

Perhaps most importantly, Yang is not the archetypical politician seeking the presidency. Before running, Yang was the CEO of a successful test prep company, Manhattan Prep, and founder of the non-profit organization Venture for America, which looks to prop up entrepreneurs and create economic opportunity in cities.  

Yang has never held elected office and is the first Asian-American Democrat to seek the presidency. Yang has also kept more distance from traditional television advertising in comparison to the other candidates in the race and has instead shown that he is a master of social media self-promotion. This has allowed Yang to connect with a younger audience, one that is watching traditional TV much less than older generations. According to a recent Harvard poll, Yang is doing disproportionately well among young people in urban areas. 

Yang’s plan for America stems from his idea of the “Freedom Dividend,” in which each American adult over 18 would receive a base income of $1000 a month. Yang believes this plan would allow Americans to have more economic freedom on a day to day basis, assisting with bills and education expenses among other things. 

The Freedom Dividend has not come without its critics. Yang’s opponents claim that it is an elaborate scheme to bribe the American people into voting for him, and others dispute that injecting capital directly into the pockets of citizens will actually spur long term economic growth. 

One thing the Freedom Dividend will not help pay for is health insurance, seeing as Yang has bought into the “Medicare for All” plan. Under a Yang administration, private health insurance would eventually be abolished in favor of free public health care. However, Yang has remained vague as to how this will be implemented, allowing the progressive heads of the plan, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, to take much of the heat that comes with such an ambitious plan.

Perhaps the bottom line of Yang’s candidacy is that while nationally recognizable politicians still hold favor with the average American voter, Washington outsiders with fringe claims to fame have begun winning over the hearts and minds of young people. The election of President Trump is a culmination of popular discontent with the Washington establishment, and Yang is another product of that movement (albeit less successful). Yang represents a substantial political shift in our nation’s politics, even if he is not the final prophet of his own movement. 

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