Andrew Yang Breaks from Democrat Party: It Was the 'Right Thing' to Do
'I changed my voting registration from Democrat to Independent today'
Former Democrat presidential candidate Andrew Yang has announced he has left the Democrat Party, calling it "the right thing to do."
The tech entrepreneur wrote in a blog post titled, "Breaking Up With The Democratic Party:"
"I changed my voting registration from 'Democrat' to 'Independent' today.
"It was a strangely emotional experience."
Yang recounted his time as Democrat, going back to 1995 when he registered to vote for former President Bill Clinton's reelection.
"It was a no-brainer for me. I went to a college that was very liberal."
"I lived in New York City. Everyone around me was a Democrat," he wrote.
Throughout his 20s, he supported John Kerry's campaign, former President Barack Obama before supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) presidential campaign in 2016.
Yang said President Trump's victory was a "red flag" and "call to action."
"Again, I have at this point dozens of friends and confidantes who are entrenched in the Democratic Party," he said.
"I've been a Democrat my entire adult life," he wrote.
"And yet, I'm confident that no longer being a Democrat is the right thing."
Yang said he personally felt his mindset shift as soon as it was official he left the Democrat party:
My goal is to do as much as I can to advance our society. There are phenomenal public servants doing great work every day – but our system is stuck. It is stuck in part because polarization is getting worse than ever. Many of the people I know are doing all of the good they can – but their impact is constrained. Now that I'm not a member of one party or another, I feel like I can be even more honest about both the system and the people in it.
The key reform that is necessary to help unlock our system is a combination of Open Primaries and Ranked Choice Voting, which will give voters more genuine choice and our system more dynamism. It will also prevent the spoiler effect that so many Democrats are concerned about, which is a byproduct of a two-party system with a binary contest and simple plurality voting.
I believe I can reach people who are outside the system more effectively. I feel more . . . independent.
Yang said there had always been "something of an odd fit" between himself and the Democratic Party, viewing himself as more practical than ideological.
"I've seen politicians publicly eviscerate each other and then act collegial or friendly backstage a few minutes later."
"A lot of it is theatre," he said, adding that it feels "really good to be building my own team."
"Breaking up with the Democratic Party feels like the right thing to do because I believe I can have a greater impact this way."
"Am I right? Let's find out. Together," he added.