Thank you, Andrew Yang

Article Image

Democratic candidate Andrew Yang announces that he will be suspending his campaign for president following the New Hampshire primary.

Posted: Feb 12, 2020 6:10 AM
Updated: Feb 12, 2020 6:10 AM

I remember when Andrew Yang told me he was running for president (we've traveled in the same circles for it must be 20 years). My thoughts must have been obvious from my expression, because he instantly explained: "I know that it would take a miracle for me to win. But I think I can make a difference."

Though Yang is dropping out now, after an incredible, historic run, he unquestionably accomplished that goal. He proved that a sizable segment of the US electorate can imagine an Asian American in the White House -- putting a crack in the glass ceiling for a population that has always been treated as more of a source of campaign donations than a pool of national leadership talent.

As he regularly said in interviews, he could "vividly remember what it was like growing up a young Asian boy very rarely seeing someone who looked like me on TV at all, unless it was in the context of a kung fu movie. ...It makes me very happy and proud to help others see that there are no limitations on the way you can contribute and lead in this country."

Yang isn't the only candidate proving that the Democratic electorate has a broader vision for leadership than anyone might have expected. This is, after all, a primary cycle in which Pete Buttigieg, an out, gay, small-town mayor, is now a frontrunner; in which candidates range in age from 37 (Buttigieg) to 79 (Sanders); in which, at least early on, a record number of women and people of color were in the fighting mix.

But one could argue that Yang was the mine-canary indicator that this primary cycle would not go at all as anyone had expected: He was an unknown entrepreneur with zero political experience, running on a signature idea pulled from the radical fringes of the American consciousness: his proposal to address the impact of automation on American labor by giving techno-reparations to every adult in America over 18 -- the human workforce -- of $1,000 per month.

In less than a year, he went from being derided as a novelty candidate to being treated as a genuine primary rival, and an important thought leader, seeding the Universal Basic Income concept, what he calls the "Freedom Dividend," into the mainstream of the Democratic agenda. Elizabeth Warren said she'd read Yang's New York Times-bestselling book, "The War on Normal People," and was "open" to the idea, while Buttigieg, Julian Castro and Tulsi Gabbard all expressed interest in UBI experiments and pilot programs.

Yang did all of this with minimal resources and viral support, leveraging a vast network of Asian American connections and the passion and extraordinary energy of the "Yang Gang," his extremely online supporters.

They created terabytes of memes, videos and other content, engaged -- generally, though not always, with persistence and civility — in millions of conversation threads, and made the blue hat emoji an instantly recognizable one across the Internet.

Of course, it was hardly a stumble-free journey. Yang attracted attention from some of the darker denizens of the net, some of them drawn to his message and his quirky, techno-contrarian vibe, others promoting his campaign just for the lulz. He generated anxiety among Asian Americans who worried that some of his statements and jokes, his MATH hats and jokes about Asian doctors, were amplifying stereotypes that the community had fought for generations to try to erase.

But as I noted on Twitter upon reading the news: Yang didn't just make history -- he unquestionably put a sizable dent in the future as well. He's earned himself an ongoing place in the national conversation. He established the resources and support to be taken very seriously in any campaign or organization he might launch going forward.

And if Obama was the first mobile-app-driven candidate of our digital era, and Trump the first social-media-driven one, Yang was the first to crowdsource himself into relevance, which will surely change the landscape of politics forever.

The promise that in America "anyone can grow up to be President" has never felt more real, and for that, Andrew Yang deserves our thanks.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 157713

Reported Deaths: 4092
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion25392789
Lake13805355
St. Joseph9277163
Elkhart8890135
Allen8278230
Hamilton6215113
Vanderburgh588261
Tippecanoe375915
Hendricks3302133
Monroe326638
Porter322049
Johnson3151129
Delaware297074
Clark296762
Vigo264840
Madison240595
LaPorte226658
Cass225522
Warrick195265
Kosciusko187826
Floyd180167
Howard164066
Bartholomew143358
Marshall140026
Dubois139626
Wayne132130
Henry128430
Grant127839
Boone124550
Hancock119944
Noble117434
Jackson114416
Dearborn98028
Morgan94840
Lawrence90837
Daviess89334
Gibson88612
Clinton86716
Shelby83531
LaGrange81015
Knox77410
Harrison77324
Putnam73716
Posey7236
DeKalb72011
Fayette69018
Steuben6338
Miami6305
Jasper6175
White59215
Montgomery59022
Greene55337
Scott52413
Decatur50739
Adams5027
Whitley4636
Clay4537
Ripley4538
Sullivan44414
Wells43511
Wabash4219
Starke4157
Orange40925
Huntington4015
Spencer3956
Washington3783
Franklin37625
Jennings36913
Fulton3653
Randolph3659
Jefferson3435
Pike33518
Carroll32913
Perry32614
Jay3116
Fountain3073
Tipton27823
Vermillion2531
Parke2374
Newton23011
Blackford2193
Rush2184
Owen2071
Martin2000
Crawford1591
Pulaski1562
Brown1433
Ohio1327
Benton1120
Union1110
Switzerland960
Warren841
Unassigned0234

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 192948

Reported Deaths: 5184
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin31703640
Cuyahoga19906684
Hamilton16878344
Montgomery10546189
Butler8401130
Lucas8364373
Summit6780265
Warren428466
Stark3853182
Mahoning3739287
Marion341250
Pickaway302446
Delaware290627
Lorain275489
Fairfield268657
Licking262366
Clark253057
Wood252981
Clermont251238
Greene234542
Trumbull2290134
Allen218373
Columbiana213387
Miami202858
Lake196659
Medina188942
Portage165468
Mercer154728
Wayne144669
Ross141537
Richland135124
Tuscarawas130825
Athens12352
Erie116953
Darke115551
Hancock106626
Madison106315
Auglaize102316
Putnam101627
Lawrence94525
Shelby91714
Muskingum9044
Scioto8719
Geauga86950
Belmont78927
Union7703
Ashtabula73548
Sandusky71722
Huron71614
Preble63518
Holmes63310
Seneca60714
Ottawa58930
Fulton54513
Henry48817
Jefferson4774
Clinton47213
Jackson4728
Crawford4688
Defiance46613
Fayette4528
Highland4446
Logan4353
Ashland4109
Champaign4053
Knox39416
Brown3883
Perry37311
Morrow3562
Washington35524
Hardin34813
Williams3464
Guernsey3298
Coshocton32412
Pike3120
Wyandot29813
Gallia29213
Van Wert2685
Carroll2157
Adams2126
Meigs21012
Paulding2072
Hocking1999
Monroe16318
Noble1480
Vinton1043
Harrison843
Morgan800
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 36°
Angola
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 30°
Huntington
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 36°
Decatur
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 36°
Van Wert
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 36°
Cooler Saturday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events