Is Andrew Yang finally ready for his close-up? Its third likely to fail depends on it

The Dark Side of Human Nature airs live in Technicolor, playing on all widescreen TVs and playing full screen in theaters across the United States this summer. It might be a gothic horror show, but the only thing worse than being on that dark ride is not being there.

Hunter S. Thompson, a fellow Kentucky man who understood the appeal of Wild Turkey 101, as well as some really weird and rare hallucinogens, understood the appeal of dark rides. He would be completely comfortable with the political darkness we have endured for the past five years or so.

“No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind,” Thompson told us in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” “Buy the ticket, take the ride. ..and if it sometimes gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well… maybe you attribute that to the forced expansion of consciousness: plug in, freak out, do yourself to beat.”

Politics today is about getting beat up – at the polls, metaphorically and occasionally. . . physically. Some admit it. Some deny it. All suffer the blows.

Without further ado, Andrew Yang, with his new political party, “Forward”, takes the stage and is ready to take the beating. It is no exception! He is not right! It is Forward. Of course, Yang is attempting to step onto a political stage largely dominated by Donald Trump who remains busy relieving himself publicly while his enraged minions proclaim his ascension to a throne in the divine realm. The rest of us see it as a descent into hell, but hey, it’s all a matter of perception. The funny thing is, Trump isn’t even the main attraction anymore. At center stage is President Joe Biden, who never seems to get a break. He’s the most famous person to receive ‘Rebound COVID’ – which sounds like a weird NBA charity.

Biden has already had quite a bit of success as president, compared to Trump. Yes, I said that with a straight face – or tried to. Being more successful than Trump is not a daunting task, admittedly. But it’s also a story worth telling after four years of unbridled, narcissistic, undemocratic demonic war cries, bellowed by the most superficial soul that has ever stained the spirit and history of the United States. as president.

Biden’s toughest critics — including Fox News and its owner, Rupert Murdoch — appear to have grown weary of Trump’s aging sideshow of late. On occasion, they’ve even given Biden some positive press. From Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan to the long-forgotten infrastructure bill, those who rarely sing Biden’s praises sometimes, surprisingly, do. And he racked up notable victories on a variety of fronts. The landslide vote in Kansas for abortion rights this week is just another indication that Biden’s policies are far more mainstream than those of Republicans, who seem philosophically stuck somewhere between Genghis Khan and a European medieval warlord.

There is still hope in this country, that maybe, just maybe, we have passed Donald Trump through our political digestive system and dump him on the sidewalk, like my dog ​​does with his meals on a walk prolonged. It’s here. It’s in the public eye, but it’s just public excrement. It’s Trump.

So why in God’s name is Andrew Yang throwing a third party now? Some believe he did so to avoid a likely Democratic loss of the House majority in the upcoming midterm elections. If the Democrats lose big, then Yang can wave his sign, smile, and say, “Register here!”

Of course, if Democrats retained control of the House and increased their margin in the Senate — a distinct and growing possibility, Democrats remind us, especially after the vote in Kansas — then Yang would once again demonstrate just how strong he is. gap with a majority of American voters. But Yang also has a bit of a gambler in him, and he plays the odds. A third party created from the crusty remnants of the old Republican Party is a bit believable, but having a lot of moderate Democrats? One would have to swallow huge amounts of rancid hallucinogens that Thompson would never touch to believe such a fiction.

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Here is the truth; Yang is desperately trying to put himself in the spotlight by announcing a dedicated third party to democracy. That’s the big idea. A safe space. As for his party’s position on major issues, who knows? He’s building a big tent where everyone in the middle can meet, have a few beers, smile, and pull the lever in his favor. He talks about democracy. Well, thank God.

I mean, I guess it has to be said if your new party consists of mostly old white Republican males, but the rest of us understand the concept of democracy – even if some of us only do it at the level the coarsest. Yang’s Forward Party also sounds like a weird NBA charity (for power forwards), but it has bigger problems than its name. Forward.

James Carville called Yang’s idea “really stupid,” while White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre just grinned when I asked her on Wednesday how the president reacted to the formation of a new political party by a former Democrat. Mind you, the Democrats behind the scenes are more than smiling. They laugh. Yang is seen as a mild opportunist by many senior Democrats, when considered at all. One thing he was never considered a real democrat. He’s an alley surfer who momentarily found more of what he liked on the left side – nothing more.

Yang is seen as a mild opportunist by senior Democrats, when considered at all. And It is the star attraction of the new party — at least until now.

While his new political party has been successful in attracting money, so far it lacks limelight. Yang was a failed presidential candidate and then a failed mayoral candidate in New York City. Now he hopes his third attempt to step onto the political stage will be the charm. And it is the star attraction of this party. He merged his party with the Renew America Movement (made up of former Trump Republicans) and the Serve America Movement (a handful of moderate Democrats, independents and Republicans, founded by former GOP Representative David Jolly of Florida ).

Can Yang succeed where no one has before? I predict that if and when the Forward Party dissolves into a puddle-like quagmire of its own mediocre, fetid ideas, hardly anyone will notice.

The press loves a Hollywood ending, and if the Forward Party ever becomes a major force in American politics, we’ll be writing about the overnight sensation that was actually the bastard offspring of many failed third parties that littered the landscape. American politics. since the beginning of the republic.

Otherwise we won’t go Forward until someone backed off and produced a “Remember the Forward Party?” package for an end-of-year network special — or a retrospective on the 2020s, produced in 2030.

There are many reasons to bet against Yang’s efforts – and the most important is Yang himself. He was not the most charismatic or accessible candidate on the presidential campaign trail and he was never seriously in the running – except perhaps in his own head, or the collective heads of his young and impressionable. Some say he has Trump’s arrogance, while others say he’s loved like a rock.

Some close to Yang begged him to announce he was not running for president before launching his new party. Others wanted to wait until after midterms. “It’s political premature ejaculation,” an insider told me.

There are reports that those closest to Yang say they begged him to state that he was not presidential candidate in 2024 before he announced the formation of the new party. Others did not want to announce the formation of the party until after the midterm elections. Others pleaded with him not to announce the new party until someone else high profile joins. “That’s political premature ejaculation,” one insider told me, tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Whatever Yang’s endeavor is, for now, it should be seriously considered and not dismissed. Insiders say one thing the Forward Party understands is building from the ground up. This means winning races locally and nationally before racing in a national office. If this is how Yang moves forward, he will have blazed the right path and those efforts could pay off.

A third party looking 10-15 years later might be something to take seriously – especially if there’s some serious money behind the effort and the voting public understands the plan. There is a natural and romantic charm about it. Americans love an underdog. Yo, Adrian, do you remember Rocky? Someone?

A viable third party in this country needs several key players, but two are the most important, and the first of them is an organizer with ties to politicians and money. The second must be the face of the audience – and while Yang is unlikely to be the first, very few think he is the second. There are those who think he is neither.

In short, a Yang party not led by Yang would have a better chance. Or, as one would-be party member described it, “Yang has to get out of the way.”

This may all be unnecessary criticism anyway – conventional wisdom says that a third party is doomed no matter who sits on top, while the Vegas gamblers among us, like Yang, think the potential payoff worth the investment. It’s the dark thrill ride – a bet that keeps serious adrenaline junkies on their toes, gritting their teeth and ready to take a big chance with the slimmest of margins, envisioning a payday that will allow for a life of retirement, travel, and all the edibles you can consume.

Contributing to the Forward Party’s new hope is the growing disenfranchisement and general disgust that American voters feel toward those they have effectively placed in power. Of course, we’ve met the enemy and that’s us, but more and more we want to get out of the toxic cloud, and fewer and fewer of us who vote believe that either side has the answers needed to take us to higher ground.

If Yang fails, others will try, I suppose. They may succeed or, more likely, fail, no matter how noble their efforts.

So what about the United States? Meet Hunter Thompson, dark ride champion: “Perhaps the best we can hope for is this: There’s a lot of things wrong with this country, but one of the few things that’s still right is that a man can avoid organized bullshit if he really wants to. It’s a fucking luxury, and if I were you, I’d enjoy it while you can. »

Hopefully we still can.

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