The normcore candidate isn’t finished yet.
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That’s Andrew Yang, the Democrat whose proudly nerdy fans hold up rally signs reading “MATH.” He’s a husband, a father, and a supporter of a modest-sized stipend for all Americans he calls a “freedom dividend.”
And on television, he talks like a calm, rational, and regular human being.
TV isn’t everything… and Yang is tearing up the internet with a dedicated “Yang Gang” of fans posting oddball but G-rated memes… but Yang has none of the stink of desperation or demagoguery wafting from his primary competitors.
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Both fading star Beto O’Rourke and rising contender Elizabeth Warren have called President Trump a “white supremacist.” Kamala Harris is only growing more combative and extreme as her own numbers slip.
The rest of the men not named Biden seem relatively normal by varying degrees… but they’re interchangeable. Stuck mouthing stale platitudes.
Of which the worst are Bernie Sanders’s, so bad they drown out his moderate nationalism on guns and the border.
And then there’s Biden, retooling his old rhetoric about Republicans wanting to keep blacks in chains.
The more the Left throws at Trump, the more exhausted and frantic they get, while Trump stays the same way. There are even reports coming out of the establishment media now that Trump’s support is probably being under-measured. Their tactics aren’t working… but they’re all they’ve got.
But Yang isn’t reading that script.
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He’s got other things on his mind.
Like how the world his opponents are living in is over.
He’s the guy reminding voters that automation is on track to vaporize huge percentages of jobs. He’s the guy warning that the late twentieth century way of governing has come to an end.
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And he’s doing it all with a relatively cheerful, but not too cheerful, vibe.
He’s sort of like the Democrat’s Mitt Romney… if Romney was a fringe outsider.
In an ordinary election year, there’s not much point in paying attention to fringe candidates except as entertainment.
But Democrats are right to wonder whether what happened to the GOP last time around is going to hit them now. Biden leads every poll, and always has, but can it last? Can they really go to war in “the most important election of our lifetimes” with an older, less expert, and more self-entitled version of Jeb Bush?
Biden wants to be the normcore candidate. But he’s under terrible pressure to signal his fealty to wokeness at every turn… and even more so, to savage Trump and all Republicans as evil whites whose race embodies America’s inherent injustice.
That’s not what voters nationwide want to hear. Maybe primary season Democrats do… but the Left’s race libel isn’t the kind of position you can just tack away from in time for the general election.
And as the party flails, Yang has qualified for the next debate. The herd will continue to thin. The longer he stays in, the longer the exotic appeal of his normalcy will sow populist feelings among Democrats too.