by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Another minority voter has abandoned the Democratic Party.
Andrew Yang, the Asian-American entrepreneur and unapologetic nerd who ran unsuccessfully for president and mayor of New York City, announced Monday that he has changed his voter registration from “Democrat” to “Independent” in what he described as a “strangely emotional experience.”
Yang, a lifelong Democrat, was shunned by his party’s voters (most likely due to anti-Asian bigotry) and systematically ignored by members of the liberal media during his runs for office. “I’m confident that no longer being a Democrat is the right thing,” he wrote. “I believe I can have a greater impact this way.”
Being a Democrat was “something of an odd fit,” Yang explained. “I’m not very ideological. I’m practical. Making partisan arguments—particularly expressing what I often see as performative sentiment—is sometimes uncomfortable for me.” He went on to denounce the “theater” of political campaigns, in which otherwise friendly opponents must attack each other “for appearances.”
It’s true that Yang’s liberal opponents (including journalists) launched some absurd attacks against the son of immigrants. For example, he was denounced for promoting “bro culture” and accused of offending a group of LGBTQ activists after describing them as “human and beautiful.”
In what may or may not have been a related move, Democrats in Congress blocked legislation earlier this year that would have denied federal funding to universities that discriminated against Asian-American students. Before that, one of President Joe Biden’s first acts as president was to drop a Trump-era lawsuit against Yale University for unlawful discrimination against Asian-American applicants, who were not classified as a “preferred racial group.”
One might describe Yang as an “inconvenient minority,” a topic covered extensively by writer Kenny Xu.