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Andrew Yang (Credit: Yang2020)
Andrew Yang (Credit: Yang2020)

On the Campaign Trail:

Where He’s Coming From

Yang, 44 years old, has worked most of his career in startups, early-stage growth companies, philanthropic non-profits for most of his adult life. He is best know for Venture for America, a non-profit who’s slogan is “Rebuilding American Through Entrpreneurship.”

Yang’s signature issue is a call for a Universal Basic Income, a $1,000 month payment to all U.S. citizens over 18. He calls it the “Freedom Dividend,” a down payment from “Human-Centered Capitalism.”

His restrained agenda for American power flows from his views about the need to reform capitalism to spread prosperity

On Israel and a Two-State Solution:

The only acceptable end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict involves a two-state solution that allows both the Israeli and Palestinian people to have sovereign land and self-determination.
Israel has been an important ally to the US, and it will continue to be an important ally. It is a democracy in a region where that is rare. I disagree with some of the policies of the current Israeli administration, but I believe the relationship is fundamentally strong and will continue to be.
I don’t want to prescribe the specifics of a two-state solution, as the Israeli and Palestinian people both need to be leading any conversation, and I look forward to engaging with all stakeholders to come up with confidence-building measures, such as a ceasefire and an end to the expansion of settlements, as we look towards building a sustainable peace. Coming together to provide aid to those suffering in Gaza can also be an opportunity for all parties to work together to handle a humanitarian crisis that is causing untold suffering.
The US should also restore our USAID programs for Palestinians that have been ended by this administration.

Council on Foreign Relations interview

Three Goals

Make it harder for the United States to get involved in foreign engagements with no clear plan or goal.

Rebuild our relationships with allies to strengthen the international order.

Bring our military spending under control.

Yang 2020

Defining National Strength

I think our foreign policy actually reflects how we’re doing at home, and we’re not doing well at home. If you look at our numbers domestically, our life expectancy is declining for the last three years because of a surge in suicides and drug overdoses — like, the depths of despair, mental-health crises. We’re falling apart and disintegrating at home. And so our foreign policy ends up seeming unreliable and erratic to many of our long-standing allies, and those things are very much connected.”–Business Insider

War: Repeal AUMF

Sign a repeal to the AUMF, returning the authority to declare war to Congress, and refuse to engage in anything other than emergency military activity without the express consent of Congress

Yang 2020

On Nuclear War: VP Needs to Verify

The decision to launch a nuclear attack is too serious for a single person to make. The vice president should need to verify any such decision made by the president.

On Endless War

“In the big picture, the US has deluded itself into thinking it could get things done in various parts of the world that have ended up costing hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of American lives and tens of thousands of civilian lives, sometimes to very unclear benefits. So one of my big ideas is going to try to be more restrained and judicious in our foreign policy.

On Venezuela: No Regime Change

The United States must promote free and fair elections in Venezuela to determine their next leader. The most recent elections were obviously marred by fraud, intimidation, and voter suppression.
While Maduro’s actions of undermining democracy are inexcusable, we should not get embroiled in military action to remove him from power. The United States must push with our allies for Maduro to step down, through diplomacy, and through sanctions targeted at Maduro and his supporters. We must also work with Guaido, and with him consider amnesty for some of Maduro’s military support to entice them to support Guaido as President of the National Assembly and interim President.
We should continue to support the Venezuelan people with humanitarian aid, and also assist our regional allies in dealing with the crisis of the massive number of refugees. And we should signal that we will provide aid to Venezuela after a transition to a new and democratically elected government.

Council on Foreign Relations interview

My goal as president would be to help assist the Venezuelan people in any way we can — any sort of humanitarian intervention that would help ease the suffering.

I do not think it’s the US’s place to engage in regime change. Our track record on making decisions for other countries is very, very uneven at best. So certainly if there’s anything we can do to support on a humanitarian level, I’d be eager to do it, but I don’t think we should be choosing other nations’ leaders.

Yes, I’d recognize [Guaidó]. I just wouldn’t militarily intervene to depose Nicolás Maduro and insert him.

Business Insider

On North Korea:

Yes. You can’t find solutions to problems if you’re not willing to talk. I would engage with North Korea without preconditions in order to find a path towards complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization. We can’t leave any options off the table, and we need to accept incremental gains in order to reach our eventual goal.

Council on Foreign Relations interview

On China and Human Rights:

The treatment of the Uighurs in China is unacceptable, and we need to be a part of the chorus of voices across the world calling the situation out for what it is. It’s also troubling to see China take a more aggressive stance throughout the region, whether towards Hong Kong, Taiwan, or in the South China Sea.
China obviously has great ambition, and their system of government is becoming increasingly authoritarian as they develop more technologies that allow them to monitor and control their population. It’s important that we work with our allies to combat the spread of this authoritarian capitalism, and provide a model for democratic capitalism.
By providing a model and engaging in international work to help developing nations, we can show the world a better way to engage in governing their nations. We should help developing nations to liberalize, and work with them to diversify their economies. Trade and exporting US technologies to these countries can help us build alliances throughout the world as more countries modernize and liberalize.
We need to make sure China isn’t stealing our IP or exporting their authoritarianism to other countries, and we must ensure that we have reliable access to rare earth metals. But the current trade war is just hurting both sides. An ascendant China isn’t a direct threat to the United States, as long as we are strong at home and project that confidence to developing nations, to show them a superior path to the one China is offering.

Council on Foreign Relations interview

Campaign Website Link: Yang 2020

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