Andrew Yang talks ‘breaking up’ with the Democrats, polarization and moving Forward

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(NewsNation Now) — Nearly two weeks after “breaking up” with the Democratic Party, former Democratic presidential candidate and third-party founder Andrew Yang says he couldn’t escape the conclusion the current system doesn’t work.

“Polarization is getting worse and worse, Joe, we can all feel it,” Yang said Friday on “The Donlon Report” on NewsNation. “And unfortunately, our incentives are driving people into corners, and nothing is getting done.”

Yang announced his voter registration change to independent after unsuccessful runs for the Democratic nomination to be president in 2020 and mayor of New York City in 2021.

Yang is creating a new political party called The Forward Party. He says it’s meant to amplify what Americans have in common.

“If you get Americans one on one, face to face, we actually agree on a lot. People are very reasonable, people are actually very warm, kind and generous,” Yang said. “But in the media, we’re getting separated again into these tribes or camps.”

Yang defended his idea against criticism that it’s destined to be the next third party that time forgets. He said time is the idea they’re trying to harness — this does not have to be about getting a candidate on the ballot in November 2024 for the White House. He said it could start with smaller ballot initiatives in 2022 at the local level.

Yang is fighting for open primaries and rank-choice voting, which is the system used in the New York City mayoral race he came up short in this past June.

“This country is heading towards political violence, that’s real,” Yang said. “And the only way out is for us to have a genuinely more multipolar system where it’s not just two sides, clashing and clashing and getting nothing done.”

He wouldn’t say if he personally was planning to run for public office again.

Yang, the son of immigrants, was born in New York and attended law school before leaving litigation to pursue several startups and nonprofits. Yang’s profile rose during the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries in part due to a grassroots following and his “Freedom Dividend,” which pledged to create a universal basic income that would pay every American $1,000 a month.

Yang lost the primary but gained national recognition and his “Yang Gang” supporters in the process. He also mounted a bid for New York City mayor but withdrew in June.

You can watch the full interview tonight on “The Donlon Report” at 6/5c on NewsNation. Find your local channel here.

The Associated Press and Nexstar Media Wire contributed to this report.

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