“Throughout my twenties, I remained a staunch Democrat, though like many others I was drawn primarily to national races,” Yang wrote on his website. “I co-hosted a small fundraiser for John Kerry’s campaign at a bar when I was 29—I think we raised maybe $3,000. I thrilled to Barack Obama’s victory in 2008 and, to a lesser extent, his re-election in 2012.”
Years later, Yang said, he “donated to Bernie Sanders’ campaign” and then voted for former 2016 candidate Hillary Clinton over then-candidate Donald Trump. Last year, after losing the Democratic nomination, Yang—who had championed universal basic income—recalled campaigning in favor of then-candidate Joe Biden and later, for Democrat candidates Jon Ossof and Raphael Warnock, both of whom were vying to win Georgia’s two Senate runoff races in early January.
“And yet, I’m confident that no longer being a Democrat is the right thing,” Yang wrote. He then wrote that the United States “is stuck in part because polarization is getting worse than ever.”
Explaining that now he “can be even more honest about both the system and the people in it,” Yang said that “breaking up with the Democratic Party feels like the right thing to do because I believe I can have a greater impact this way.”
It isn’t clear if Yang will join another party or create his own.
“I’m not very ideological. I’m practical. Making partisan arguments—particularly expressing what I often see as performative sentiment—is sometimes uncomfortable for me,” Yang said. “I’m actually more comfortable trying to fix the system than being a part of it.”
Yang’s announcement comes just one day before his book, “Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy,” is slated to be released.
Yang wrote for Politico on Oct. 3 that when he ran for president last year, the newfound fame “was enough to go to one’s head,” noting: “I’d been a CEO and founder of a company, but running for office was a different animal.”
“The people around me treated me as either a celebrity or a product that hundreds of staffers were focused on selling, and everyone in my orbit started treating me like I might be a presidential contender,” he said. “I was getting a crash course in how we treat the very powerful—and it was weird.
“There are psychological consequences to being treated this way for months on end.” Yang suggested that elected officials who acquire power are “susceptible to growing so out of touch” with their constituents. “Empathy becomes optional or even unhelpful. Leadership becomes the appearance of leadership.”
The Epoch Times has reached out to the Democratic National Committee for comment.