Why Andrew Yang's backward 'moderate party' is doomed to fail

Not left. Not right. Nowhere.

Why Andrew Yang's backward 'moderate party' is doomed to fail

Andrew Yang is a failed politician. His two campaigns for public office — the 2020 presidential race and the 2021 race for New York City mayor — ended in defeat. Whatever it is Yang is selling, it appears voters just aren’t buying it.

In 2022, Yang is back with an even less marketable idea: a so-called “moderate party” that will supposedly be the answer to the polarization in American politics.

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There are some major problems with this idea. The biggest: It’s basically impossible to unify political moderates behind any full set of ideas. This explains why this supposed moderate party — founded by Yang, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and former Rep. David Jolly (both longtime Republicans) — has zero ideas in its platform.

The moment a “moderate party” takes a position on a controversial issue, the folly of the enterprise will be exposed.

To be clear, political moderates do exist. These are biconceptuals — people who are conservative on some issues and progressive on others. Americans use both conservative and progressive modes of thought, which they apply to different areas in different ways. There is no singular “moderate” worldview because there is no one set of ideas that defines a “center” or “moderation.”

Remember that there is no ideology of the moderate — no set of views held by all moderates. A moderate progressive has mostly progressive views, but also some conservative ones. A moderate conservative has mostly conservative views, but also some progressive ones. But there is no single set of policies that defines a “middle.”

— “The All NEW Don’t Think of An Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame The Debate.”

When we think of a moderate, the classic model is someone who is liberal on social issues but conservative on things like taxes. Yet such moderates tend to find their place within one of the two major parties, becoming moderate Democrats or Republicans.

Take, for example, the issue of forced birth. What is the uniformly moderate position on whether a woman has a right to choose to avoid forced birth by getting an abortion? What is the uniformly moderate position on whether the Supreme Court was right to overturn Roe v. Wade?

Yang can’t say. When asked this very question by Jim Acosta on CNN, Yang sputtered his way through a non-answer.

“I personally think that women’s reproductive rights are fundamental human rights, but the Forward Party has a, not left or right, but forward stance on even the most divisive and contentious issues,” Yang said.

“You wanna run the country, you’re gonna have to make some hard decisions, Andrew,” Acosta replied.

This is precisely the point. If there was a way for a party to succeed in politics without taking a position on controversial or polarizing issues, someone would have figured it out by now.

What does a “forward” even mean as a political position? Should we move forward by protecting the fundamental right of women to determine their own healthcare? Or should we move forward with laws that impose forced birth on women whether they want it or not?

Yang appears to believe there’s no need for his organization to take a side on abortion rights, which is an issue of fundamental freedom.

The party’s slogan should be: “Not left. Not right. Nowhere.”

The Yang party has an untenable — and immoral — political position.

As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.

The Forward Party is based on a backward idea that doesn’t make sense from a political or cognitive science aspect. But dumb ideas can also be dangerous.

But with enough money and publicity, Yang’s delusional party could attract just enough third-party votes to harm the Democratic Party in key states, as has happened in past races.

It’s hard to see how aiding and abetting an increasingly authoritarian Republican Party will help to increase political moderation. Unfortunately, it’s clear that Yang isn’t interested in the political repercussions as much as he is interested in self-promotion for his bland ambition.

Why would anyone believe that Democrats would switch to Yang’s moderate party? Is it because Democrats tend to think of themselves as "open-minded"? People that "open-minded" would have no clear thoughts left that have not flown out of their brains. No one who believes in the Democratic Party's ideas would abandon them for nothingness.

Moderation is the moderation of something — something right or left. Moderation is not neutral. Yang misunderstands the very notion of moderation, and therefore what a "moderate" is.

That’s why he foolishly believes he can build a political movement around the absence of positive ideas.

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