Democratic Party member said Monday he is “breaking up” with the Democratic Party and has registered as an independent.
Andrew Yang, 46, wrote on his website “I changed my voting registration from ‘Democrat’ to ‘Independent’ today. It was a strangely emotional experience.” He said that “breaking up with the Democratic Party feels like the right thing to do because I believe I can have a greater impact this way.”
Yang registered as a Democrat in 1995 and says he remained a “staunch Democrat” throughout his 20s and has since made many friends and confidantes in the party.
The New York businessman prior to the mayoral race, launched his bid for the presidency in late 2017. He is a lawyer turned entrepreneur and author of a book called “The War on Normal People,” Yang appealed to voters by warning of the ills of technology — including automation and artificial intelligence.
His main goal of becoming independent is “to do as much as I can to advance our society,” Yang wrote, but he didn’t say if he’d run again in 2024.
“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,” he adds. “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.”
Yang, wrote there had been “an odd fit” between him and the party, expressing that he was not “very ideological” but “practical” and that making partisan arguments “particularly expressing what I often see as performative sentiment — is sometimes uncomfortable for me.” Yang also said that now that he is an independent, he can be “even more honest about both the system and the people in it.”
“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 said. “Perhaps it’s the nature of my upbringing, but I’m actually more comfortable trying to fix the system than being a part of it.”
Although he has left the party, he is very excited, he said “I’ve got to say it feels really good to be building my own team. This is where I’m most at home.”