Is Andrew Yang the Left’s Version of Donald Trump?
DES MOINES, Iowa — On Jan. 13 in a large open room at Drake University, Andrew Yang held a town hall with the Yang Gang and others who someone dubbed “Yang curious.” I showed up to the event about thirty minutes early and found a seat in the back. Later, I was asked to move closer to the front and within fifteen minutes, the room was packed with people wall to wall.
Before this, I had never been to an Andrew Yang event, and I believed going into the event that the potential of his viability as a candidate was low. I looked around the room and I started to notice some similarities to something that I could not put a finger on. His flags looked familiar and his supporters all sported their hats that said ‘MATH’ on it. I was in utter confusion and as I sat there, it finally hit me. Andrew Yang is the Democratic version of Donald Trump. I know, especially in the DNC, that Donald Trump is a slur and is not something people actively want to be compared to. However, bear with me as I explain my rationale for my claim.
His flags are blue with a red border on it which can be compared to Trump’s campaign signs. Furthermore, his fans all sported four-letter worded hats, and they all chanted his name like they were crying out to a deity. Then on top of that, he used no teleprompter and just approached the stage and spoke as eloquently as a person would expect.
Throughout the evening, Andrew Yang made great points. As he spoke about his Universal Basic Income (UBI), and his plans for the economy and future, it seemed like a very attractive campaign for the average person. However, as someone who specializes in Data Science, I felt that his points about Big Data were moot at best. I continuously found myself with a puzzled look on my face wondering if the statements he was making were logical in my mind. I eventually concluded that it did not make sense. He went on to talk about how Big Data would contribute to the paying for UBI, the problem that I have is with his strategy.
His strategy is to make companies pay a tax or some sort of dividend to the people whose data they use, however, what determines that someone’s data was better than another? These are the sort of questions that I wanted to ask him when it came time for the Q&A portion. When it came time for questions, I was met with a disappointment because it felt like as soon as the Q&A started, it was over. He gave very long-winded responses and did not leave a lot of room for more questions. Additionally, I and another observer commented on how the questions felt scripted, which took away part of the validity for me.
The blue banner, four-letter worded hats, the chants, and the feel of a script, left this potential Iowa caucus-goer, feeling like Andrew Yang is the Donald Trump of the Democratic Party.