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 5:10 AM
Updated: Feb 12, 2020 5:10 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.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 24850

Reported Deaths: 1050
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin8393613
Ramsey3019124
Stearns202113
Nobles15395
Anoka139970
Dakota132755
Washington63632
Olmsted62610
Kandiyohi4961
Rice4622
Scott4262
Clay42328
Mower3182
Todd3160
Wright3131
Sherburne2432
Carver2102
Benton1773
Steele1580
Blue Earth1400
Martin1305
St. Louis11814
Freeborn1170
Pine890
Unassigned8910
Nicollet8710
Winona7915
Cottonwood750
Watonwan740
Carlton730
Crow Wing712
Otter Tail680
Goodhue663
Chisago611
Polk612
Lyon560
Itasca5410
Dodge520
Chippewa511
Morrison460
Meeker450
Le Sueur441
Douglas420
Becker400
Jackson390
Murray390
McLeod370
Isanti350
Waseca260
Rock220
Mille Lacs191
Pennington190
Faribault180
Swift180
Wabasha180
Fillmore171
Brown162
Sibley160
Beltrami150
Cass142
Norman130
Marshall120
Pipestone120
Kanabec111
Wilkin113
Wadena100
Pope90
Aitkin80
Koochiching80
Mahnomen61
Yellow Medicine60
Lincoln50
Redwood50
Big Stone50
Renville50
Red Lake40
Grant40
Lac qui Parle30
Clearwater30
Traverse30
Houston20
Hubbard20
Roseau20
Lake10
Kittson10
Stevens10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 19521

Reported Deaths: 535
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4227126
Woodbury275034
Black Hawk174644
Linn95577
Dallas90421
Marshall89416
Buena Vista7830
Johnson6149
Wapello59310
Muscatine55741
Crawford5162
Tama40327
Scott35910
Dubuque34418
Louisa34411
Sioux2750
Pottawattamie2638
Jasper26016
Washington1898
Wright1690
Plymouth1322
Warren1320
Allamakee1214
Story1151
Mahaska9410
Poweshiek908
Henry711
Bremer706
Des Moines631
Boone620
Clinton611
Taylor560
Clarke550
Guthrie503
Cedar471
Benton431
Webster401
Monroe385
Shelby370
Hamilton370
Jones360
Clayton353
Buchanan330
Iowa330
Osceola330
Marion320
Cerro Gordo291
Madison282
Cherokee280
Lee270
Fayette270
Jefferson270
Lyon240
Monona240
Winneshiek240
Harrison230
Davis220
Dickinson210
Grundy200
Mills190
Floyd191
Sac190
Humboldt180
Hardin170
Lucas170
Clay160
Butler161
Hancock160
Delaware150
Emmet150
Keokuk150
Appanoose153
Ida140
Franklin130
Page130
Greene130
Howard120
Cass120
Audubon121
Pocahontas120
Jackson120
Winnebago110
Carroll100
Chickasaw100
Kossuth90
Adair90
Van Buren90
Union80
Adams70
Montgomery70
Palo Alto60
Fremont40
Mitchell40
Ringgold40
Worth30
Calhoun20
Wayne10
Decatur10
Unassigned10
Rochester
Overcast
65° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 65°
Mason City
Broken Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 63°
Albert Lea
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 66°
Austin
Broken Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 66°
Charles City
Broken Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 63°
Things are about to get hot
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Minnesota churches open doors to more congregants

Image

George Floyd protests continue in Austin on Sunday

Image

Sean Weather 5/31 2

Image

Rochester restaurant prepares to open patio to public

Image

Sean Weather 5/31

Image

Rochester People's Rally

Image

Religious leaders call for justice for George Floyd

Image

Rochester downtown under curfew Saturday night

Image

Sean Weather 5/30

Image

Governor Walz GivesUpdate

Community Events