Andrew Yang, a politician with no wins in his career is quite famous. Yang’s 2020 presidential bid failed to win any delegate to the Democratic National Convention. His campaign received only about 5 per cent in Iowa and 3 per cent in New Hampshire primaries. In New York City’s 2021 top-ranked Democratic primary, Yang came in at fourth. Yang, despite all his political difficulties, is now starting a new party called the Forward Party.
Yang and Forward Party may not be libertarians but there are many areas of common interest within their platform. This includes the UBI proposal, ranked voting and nonpartisan primaries. It also addresses efforts to improve transparency and accessibility of government.
This October: ReasonNick Gillespie of’s spoke to Yang on behalf of the Forward Party and about libertarian pitches for an UBI. He also discussed the government’s reaction to the pandemic.
Q: I see you’ve started a new party. Q: What is Forward’s elevator pitch?
A: It is clear that the duopoly has been killing us. They are turning us against each others. Civil war is the current level of political stress. It is becoming increasingly common for political violence to become a constant. What can be done to stop us from falling further into the brink? Libertarians argue for a change from the duopoly since years.
You are now my partner. The only way to end the duopoly in our society is to shift to open primaries or ranked-choice votings, so every viewpoint has an opportunity.
Q: Please walk us through ranked-choice voting. This voting method was utilized in the Democratic primaries for New York City’s mayoral race. What is the process like?
A: Ranked Choice Voting allows you to rank several candidates and then the voting goes on until one candidate is elected as the majority. You could theoretically vote for a minor person as your first preference, but if that person does not have a lot votes, then you vote for your second choice. It could be the Republican, Democrat, independent, or any other candidate.
It is better and more fair. You can vote according to your values. It encourages people who are part of a larger coalition.
Q: Charles Murray and Milton Friedman, two of the most prominent free-market supporters, advocate for universal basic income programs. Your pitch to libertarians is:
Q: I think this is the one issue on which I am fundamentally in agreement with libertarians. People are best able to resolve their problems by themselves and determine what they require. [more]A government program is better than an individual. These bureaucracies can be very inefficient, I believe. These bureaucracies can also be quite punitive. I talk to people who are subject to them—they live in fear and anxiety all the time that they’re going to fill out a form wrong or miss an interview and then have it taken away from them. To me there is a false belief in the ability of our government to provide in all areas. These arguments often come from people who don’t experience the labyrinth and madness. This frustrates me deeply.
Q: What is your long-term trust in government? Which would you rate the federal effort to combat the pandemic in terms of effectiveness?
A: The answer is yes. [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]It was embarrassingly obvious from the beginning. We were unable to respond immediately. It has proven to be a problem communicating with them. My greatest triumph has been the accessibility of vaccines, after their development. It was quite a surprise to me how widespread vaccines are, which was an important win for the government. However, it has been difficult. It’s still a time of uncertainty, anxiety, and disruption.
The interview was edited and condensed for clarity and style. For a podcast version, subscribe to Interview With The ReasonNick Gillespie