Yang hopped on the phone with Fox News on Thursday to discuss his new book, “Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy,” his departure from the Democratic Party, and his push for the nation to adopt rank-choice voting.
“Our country is facing a lot of challenges, and I think that more and more Americans are waking up to the fact that we’re not being set up for success, starting with the fact that we’re being pitted against each other and see other Americans as our mortal enemies when they’re not,” Yang told Fox News.
Yang said his book reflects on his “experiences running for president,” wanting to share what he “learned about both why it feels like we can’t come together and then what we can do to change it.”
The Democrat-turned-independent said he wanted people “to understand what it’s like to run for president” and for them “to understand why it feels like we’re stuck.”
“We’re stuck because the system is designed not to work, really,” Yang said. “And if you have a system that’s dysfunctional and designed not to work, then expecting it to work will actually make you more and more angry and frustrated over time.”
“What’s needed is to actually change the system so that our legislators’ incentives are tied to us and our lives and how we’re doing and what we think as opposed to who it’s tied to right now,” Yang continued.
Yang’s new book coincides with his launch of a new political party, the Forward Party. He told Fox News he believes America needs “a third party” and compared a third party to an alternative to two companies.
“I’m an entrepreneur and I want everyone to reflect on: If you showed up to a marketplace and there were two companies, and then 62% of people wanted an alternative to those companies,” Yang said. “Wouldn’t you want there to be at least a third choice? And I think a lot of Americans are on the same page.”
“We can see that the current system is not working, that we’re losing a lot of common sense, that there should be a common-sense, middle-ground party,” Yang continued. “And that’s what the Forward Party is.”
Yang also said his new party is an “inclusive popular movement” open to registered members of both parties.
In his blog post announcing his departure from the Democratic Party, Yang encouraged his supporters to stick with their respective parties, claiming they would become “disenfranchised” if they left due to the heavy presence of a single party in an area.
Yang stuck by his call for supporters to stick with their parties, saying the “practical truth” is that “many people, if they were to change their party registration, would have no ability to vote in any of their local elections.”
“Again, that is the way the system is set up. It’s unfortunate, but we’re not impractical at the Forward Party,” he said. “We’re not going to tell you, ‘Hey, give up your ability to influence what’s going on in your community.’ You can help the Forward Party achieve its goals and maintain current party registration.”
“The goal is to make it so that you have a vibrant system that allows for more independents, but asking someone to reduce their ability to participate before we make that change is one of the reasons we have to work as quickly as we can,” Yang added.
Yang also advocated for the national adoption of ranked-choice voting, saying the system enables people “to be able to vote for whoever you want and no one can accuse you of being a spoiler or wasting your vote.”
The former Democrat claimed that “83%” of congressional elections are decided “before the general election in the primary” due to the seat being a safe seat for one party and that “most people don’t even have two choices” in an election anymore.
“So if you have somewhere between one choice, which is not a real choice, which is where most people are, then you have a stuck system,” Yang argued. “If you have ranked-choice voting, you can vote for whoever you want and, even if they only get like a handful of votes, then you’re not hurting anyone because you can just rank the Republican or whomever second.”
Yang also said that Americans are “being manipulated and being told that the problem is the other side” when the political system “is set up both to make us more and more upset over time and also not to make any meaningful progress on any of the issues that most Americans care about,” which he revealed was a factor in his exit from the Democrats.
Yang told Fox News that his new party is already seeing support after its launch and that the party plans to “elevate” both Republican and Democratic candidates “who are for these principles of having a more vibrant democracy that reflects different points of view and gives every American regardless of party affiliation a say in their representation.”
“Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy” hit the shelves Tuesday and can be found on Amazon.
Houston Keene is a reporter for Fox News Digital. You can find him on Twitter at @HoustonKeene.
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