The last thing that the Democratic Party wants to see is prominent figures, like former presidential candidates, leaving the party.
According to the Washington Examiner, that’s exactly what happened to start out the week, as former 2020 presidential hopeful, Andrew Yang, shocked the political world by announcing his formal exit from the Democratic Party, and his new affiliation as an independent.
Yang made the announcement on Monday, which just happened to be one day prior to the release of his new book, Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy.
Why the switch?
Yang, who was surprisingly popular in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election, made clear in his announcement that he still has many friends in the Democratic Party, but went on to say he “felt a shift in my mindset,” when he filed the paperwork necessary for the change.
“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,” Yang wrote. “It is stuck in part because polarization is getting worse than ever.”
Yang added: “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.”
He went on to say that always felt that his membership as a Democrat felt like an “odd fit,” adding it was because he’s “not very ideological.”
“I’m practical. Making partisan arguments – particularly expressing what I often see as performative sentiment – is sometimes uncomfortable for me,” Yang wrote.
“It is theater”
Yang confirmed what many Americans have believed all along — that most of the politics we see on television or read in the newspaper is nothing more than a performance, and Yang recalled several occasions where he felt uncomfortable with it all.
“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,” Yang wrote.
He added: “I’ve also had people publicly attack me and then text or call me privately to make sure that we were still cool. It just had to be done for appearances.”
Yang noted that he’s not particularly “driven” by the desire to hold public office, but only time will tell, as when a popular figure leaves a political party, there’s almost always another reason why.