Yang Anze, the only Chinese candidate for US Presidential Elections


After the first round of the Democratic Party debated in the US general election, how far can Yang Anze, the only Chinese candidate, go?

In the United States, the first round of the Democratic presidential primary debate kicked off in two sessions. As many as 20 candidates ushered in their first challenge for the presidency. Before the debate started this morning, Beijing time, besides the heavyweight Democratic candidates such as Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, the Chinese candidate Yang Anze also attracted a lot of attention.


20 candidates ushered in their first challenge for the presidency

In the United States, the first round of the Democratic presidential primary debate kicked off in two sessions. As many as 20 candidates ushered in their first challenge for the presidency. 

Before the debate started this morning, Beijing time, besides the heavyweight Democratic candidates such as Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, the Chinese candidate Andrew Yang also attracted a lot of attention.


Yang Anze received political donations from more than 65,000 donors

Few months ago, Yang Anze received political donations from more than 65,000 donors and reached the debate threshold set by the Democratic Party in 2017, thus having the opportunity to stand on the stage of this debate. 

Although Yang Anze didn't get too many opportunities to answer questions in the debate that just ended, many people still have expectations about his next momentum and the possibility of eventually.


Chinese descent, political veteran, national monthly basic income, technology control, these labels represent his unconventional campaign style. How did he get the results from his obscurity at the beginning when he was slanted?


Who is Yang Anze?

Yang Anze was born in 1975 to a Taiwanese immigrant family in New York State. His father was an IBM engineer, and his mother worked in a local university. 

After graduating from the Economics Department of Brown University, Yang Anze obtained a law degree from Columbia University. 

After graduation, he worked as a corporate lawyer successively, and failed to start a business on the Internet, and later served as the vice president of a small medical company.

 In 2006, he became the CEO of Manhattan Prep education and training company and expanded the company to the top of the industry, so that in 2009 he was acquired by education giant Kaplan. 

He then founded the non-profit organization "Venture for America, VFA" (Venture for America, VFA) with the intention of recruiting and training entrepreneurial talents in declining American cities to revive the economies of these cities. From his experience, he is an out-and-out political amateur.


Resigned from VFA and files for President candidature

In November 2017, after he resigned from the VFA, he submitted a candidate application to the Federal Election Commission, becoming the first presidential candidate to participate in the Democratic primary election in 2020 and challenge Trump. 

For more than a year, he has been lacking enough visibility, polls have been hanging up for a long time, and he has been regarded as a small and insignificant role by all parties. 

But in February of this year, Yang Anze made a sudden rise with the help of online voice and small donations.

 Subsequently, his popularity and polls have made breakthroughs, and he successfully qualified for the debate. For a while, it seemed that he was in full swing.


Free Dividend

The starting point of Yang Anze's election campaign was the universal basic income program he called the "freedom dividend."

 He proposed that a monthly basic income of $1,000 is unconditionally distributed to all American citizens over 18 years of age. 

He plans to inject capital into this project by adjusting the existing government welfare projects, increasing the 10% value-added tax and the super rich tax. 

The universality of this policy can reduce the stigma of government welfare in the United States, thereby expanding the coverage of the entire society. 

In his view, the universal basic income can cope with the unemployment caused by automation, solve the poverty trap from the root (the lack of personal resources due to poverty, thereby exacerbating generational poverty), improve medical treatment and child support, promote consumption, and increase employment. Market liquidity, and even ease the relationship between people, and many other social and economic problems in America today.

Universal basic income policy thought

Although the universal basic income sounds radical and unrealistic, this policy is a centrist policy in the political spectrum, and it has been implemented in many places around the world. 

Both the left and the right think this policy is a feasible way to solve the poverty problem. Marxist sociologist Eric Olin White, black civil rights activist Martin Luther King and other leftists believe that a universal basic income can effectively reduce poverty and achieve basic social security. 

The neoclassical liberal economist Milton Friedman and other right-wingers pointed out that the universal basic income can reduce the bureaucracy of the traditional welfare state and increase individual freedom of choice. Interestingly, the criticism of universal basic income also exists on the left and right ends of the political spectrum.

 Critics from the left often worry that the new universal basic income will jeopardize the existing medical insurance, public education, pensions and other traditional welfare policies, thereby neglecting the other. 

Criticism from the right wing is that without reducing the scale of existing welfare policies, rashly increasing the basic income of the people will only increase the financial burden and bureaucracy.


In fact, this policy has been tested in different forms in Alaska, Manitoba, Canada, and parts of Namibia and Kenya in Africa through local fiscal surpluses and foreign aid, which proves that even in very different Under the current economic environment, this policy can effectively improve the lives of the bottom of society. 

The follow-up study also pointed out that after receiving the universal basic income, the poor will not stop working or consume indiscriminately as some critics predicted, but can use the money to improve medical education and other aspects of life.


Yang Anze's other policy focus is on scientific and technological issues

Yang Anze's other policy focus is on scientific and technological issues that are rarely mentioned by other candidates. 

The main purpose of Yang Anze's universal basic income program is to resolve widespread unemployment caused by automation.

 Big figures in the technology industry such as Tesla President Elon Musk and Facebook CEO Zuckerberg have also endorsed them, believing that this policy is an effective way to solve social problems in the technological age. In a speech entitled "The situation is worse than you think", Yang Anze believes that the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning will effectively replace truck drivers, telephone customer service staff, salespersons, and various traditional blue-collar occupations. Multinational technology companies such as Amazon and Google can make huge profits from them. In an online program, Yang Anze even mentioned the danger of potential social unrest. 

When some candidates put forward such policy propositions as "re-employment training," Yang Anze felt even more pessimistic that it is difficult for existing blue-collar workers to obtain employment opportunities in new industries again through short-term training. In his view, the solution to the problem lies in the levy of taxes on large-scale technology companies and the use of universal basic income to enhance employment mobility and ease the impact of unemployment.


Yang Anze put forward the slogan Humanity First

Based on the above policy axis, Yang Anze put forward the slogan "Humanity First" and put forward more than 100 policy propositions that he called "Humanitarian Capitalism".

 He proposed that the dichotomy between capitalism and socialism is outdated, but now the focus is to serve the public and effectively improve living standards through the social wealth created by capitalism. 

The economy should be measured not only by the macro values ​​of GDP and employment rate, but also by the level of education and medical conditions. These policies range from universal health insurance, comprehensive immigration reform, expanding education expenditures, lowering the voting age, and other issues that have received widespread attention, to as small as the suspension of a penny coin, year-round daylight saving time, and solving the long-standing mainstream political circles in Washington and Puerto Rico Issues that are despised. This also marked his campaign as "policies based on reality, not empty claims."


Yang Anze's campaign also stems from his unique personality

In addition to the policy itself, Yang Anze's campaign also stems from his unique "personality." His political background has made him taste the sweetness of the global anti-elite and anti-establishment wave.

 As a candidate, Yang Anze appeared humorous, rational and calm. He often mentioned that the opposite of Trump is an Asian who understands mathematics.


Yang Anze

His personal experience and attention to scientific and technological issues have made him considered young and embracing the future of "technology control". In the store on Yang Anze's official website, there are baseball caps and T-shirts printed with the word "MATH". 

In a campaign event in Seattle, Yang Anze mentioned the use of slides in the State of the Union address, and the off-site supporters began chanting "PowerPoint, PowerPoint!"

 In contrast, at a hearing on Google and Facebook in the Senate at the beginning of this year, senators of the two parties over half a hundred years old showed ignorance of technology and at a loss. 

One represents the past and the other represents the future. This comparison has earned Yang Anze a lot of image points.


Yang Anze's popularity is not unrelated to the network's momentum

In fact, Yang Anze's popularity is not unrelated to the network's momentum. Yang Anze’s online popularity suddenly took off in February this year. Earlier, he made breakthroughs mainly in the political edition of Reddit and even 4chan’s political stance on the Internet. 

His online supporters call themselves "Yang Gang" (Yang Gang), and have attracted a lot of attention on social media through memes.

 Such an eyeball attack not only successfully brought him the attention of the mainstream media, but also attracted a group of hardcore fans who surpassed traditional Democratic voters.

 Yang Anze mainly relies on small donations from grassroots

Taking political donations as an example, Yang Anze mainly relies on small donations from grassroots. The average donation received is only $17, which is even smaller than Sanders, who started with grassroots support.

The increase in network volume has also brought him some disturbances. Some white racists on the 4chan forum expressed support for the Asian candidate, and he also responded in confusion, "Am I looking like a white racist?"

This does reflect that Yang Anze's political propositions have support beyond party and ideology, but it also reflects the challenges that Yang Anze's non-mainstream election methods need to face.



Yang Anze seems very popular now, which was almost unimaginable six months ago. This should be attributed to his shaping of policy propositions and personal image in the campaign.

 In fact, if you look closely, there are some similarities between Yang Anze's campaign today and Sanders' campaign four years ago, despite the different personal images. 

Both are from outside the Democratic Party, let alone the establishment. Such an amateur status attracts some voters who are tired of mainstream politics. Both of them focused on more unconventional issues. 

Both attracted young people and grassroots support through the Internet and gathered a group of non-traditional hardcore fans. 

At the same time, Yang Anze, like Sanders four years ago, has difficulty attracting the favor of various groups in the party, making the process of obtaining party nomination more difficult.

 The issue of slanting the sword and his strong personal style also polarized his attitude towards him.


But Yang Anze is obviously facing a more difficult election cycle. Although Yang Anze has a great advantage in online voice volume, his polls in key primary states are always in single digits.

 His campaign strategy of focusing on the Internet is difficult to directly convert voices into votes. "USA Today" even questioned that Yang Anze's grassroots support was simply the "Astroturfing" (Astroturfing) created by his campaign team on the Internet. But the biggest challenge for Yang Anze lies in the crowded primaries battlefield.


Unlike the duel between Hillary and Sanders four years ago, there are more than 20 candidates eager to try in the Democratic primary election, and it is extremely difficult to compete for votes and attention. 

For Yang Anze, whose polls are weak, die-hard fans can give him a place, but it is difficult for him to harvest more swing voters like Sanders in 2016, and his team is required to fight for it. 

May also refer: 

US Prez Elections

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