Democratic Power Struggle: Andrew Yang vs Bernie Sanders?

Ian Brzeski | @ianbrzeski

The second round of the Democratic debates is taking place tonight. Last night’s debate, which featured the likes of Elizabeth Warren, Tulsi Gabbard, Beto O’Rourke, and many more were seen to be dull. However, tonight’s debate should have more fire as you get to see the likes of Andrew Yang and Bernie Sanders square off against each other.

Looking at the polls, Bernie seems to have a much bigger edge on the competition than Andrew Yang and is probably not necessarily concerned with Yang overtaking him. However, the juxtaposition between these two candidates shows the strain of an ideological power struggle within the Democratic Party.

Bernie Sanders

Most people know of Bernie Sanders. He is a self-proclaimed socialist and is mainly known for his Medicare for All platform as well as his idea for canceling all student loan debt. Senator Sanders represents the far left end of the spectrum within the Democratic party.

Unlike Andrew Yang, Bernie Sanders has been a politician for a long time. Andrew Yang was an entrepreneur who sees this as an opportunity to have his voice be heard, offer new ideas to the table, and give him a chance to change the United States and the world for the better.

Andrew Yang

A lot of people do not know who Andrew Yang is, as the polls indicate. However, he has blown up on social media within the past few months with his followers calling themselves the “Yang Gang”. Andrew Yang, along with Representative Tulsi Gabbard, are the preferred candidates in the Democratic Party amongst most right-wingers. Most are sympathetic to his cause as he does his best to appeal to conservatives and libertarians who are unsure of him and the other candidates.

He appeals to them by making sure they know that he is not a socialist, unlike Senator Sanders. Yang believes in “human-centered capitalism,” and he makes that clear. He wants people to know that he is not some radical socialist like Senator Sanders. Yang recognizes that the Democratic Party is heading towards the likes of socialism and he is trying to put a stop to that. He wants people to know that that is not what the Democratic party is about

The Candidates and Social Programs

If you have heard of Andrew Yang; however, it is undoubtedly due to his Universal Basic Income plan, which would give every single American over the age of 18 a check of $1,000 per month. There is not a mainstream candidate out there who has said anything about a plan like Andrew Yang has.

At first glance, it would seem that many conservatives and libertarians would oppose his Universal Basic Income plan. If looking at some free-market or “right-wing” economists, some do support a Universal Basic Income or UBI. Austrian economist F.A. Hayek in his book “The Road to Serfdom” claims that a UBI would be necessary in favor of a welfare state. Chicago school economist Milton Friedman advocates for a negative income tax, which is not necessarily the same as UBI, but it shows that libertarians and conservatives could potentially support Andrew Yang’s UBI plan.

Importance of the Debate

Andrew Yang and Bernie Sanders have two opposing ideologies in the same party. Although, they do agree on Medicare for All. Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur and a capitalist, and Bernie Sanders is a politician and a socialist. They stick out in these primaries due to their unique, and some may say radical ideas.

This debate is incredibly crucial for both candidates. Bernie Sanders is already well-known and he must use the debate tonight to leapfrog over Warren and Biden. Andrew Yang is not a popular candidate yet. However, the debate tonight could showcase his ideas and launch him into the upper echelons of the polls.

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