tv After Words Andrew Yang Forward - Notes on the Future of Our Democracy CSPAN November 7, 2021 9:59am-10:32am EST
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democratic presidential candidate and 2021 new york city mayoral candidate andrew yang says that america's current economic and political systems are outdated and offers recommendations on how to transform both to address the challenges of the21st century . interviewed by democratic california congressman eric swallow. afterwards is a weekly interview program with relevant guest hosts interviewing top nonfiction authors about their latest work. >> andrew yang former presidential candidate, former best-selling author, new book forward, andrew i had so much fun on the campaign trail with you. you were always someone who had the most amount of funding that reflected as you kept going up and up in the polls and making debate stage after debate stage . and here you are now the postpresidential post new york city mayor's race with a
new book and i thought both really reflected what i had other candidates saw you on the trail which was someone who was having fun and shaking things up. so andrew, in the spirit of shaking things up in the last couple of weeks you have been unable to her and recently your promoting the book as a show of on the show carlson and you felt blowback from some of the people who supported you during the campaign and i just my first question to kick off would you go back on first show? >> one of the things that also happens and it's great to see you. great to see you here but for those watching me and eric hung out on the trail and i have particular but we know what happens. you hang out with other presidential candidates to build relationships. one of the things i think eric and i both felt on the trail was that when you go to talk to people who where they are, they're not as divided
as our immediate environment might suggest . i think c-span is a perfect emblem of this because c-span is where people them together on different political alignments and when you get into the fox universeand msnbc universe there in separate worlds . my going back to different shows is an attempt to bring people together and bring the world that people on c-span to where they are. when we're out there with people in iowa and elsewhere. >> would you go back on tuckers show? >> i got a number of messages from supporters saying their parents for the first time , they wanted to see me on the show, they saw an ad. that alone made me a figure
of interest.i think we're going to have to make moves like that ifwe're genuinely going to bring people of different alignments together . >> what struck me in the book was on a number of different decisions you kind of lay out your thinking and you would do pro versus con analysis. i noticed you gave the readers an assessment of the pros of turbulence, the cons of turbulence. when you were pitched to go on the show was there anyone in your universe, staff or family that was saying not to go onthe show and if so was their biggest concern ? >> i genuinely think and i think you share in this frustration is talking about the choices that someone like me makes in the media is why our country is sinking into the dirt. one of the real problems we see, we're getting more and morepolarized . families don't get together on holidays. then we see this media back and forth and it's not helping anyone. i just would like to focus on
the things that i think people want to make progress on. >> andrew, you and the title of the book forward, that is also the name of the party that you have launched in the last few weeks. why did you leave the democratic party? >> eric, i consider you a friend. i think you and i are like-minded about a lot of things. i spoke to about a lot of young democratic groups together . i left the democratic party because i think i can do more good launching a third-party which is a popular movement to help bring the country together by making it so that our legislators answer to the reasonable among us and not the extremeson either side . ice someone who's a democrat for 26 years but i'm someone who wants to help the country. if i thought i could do more
good this direction, it's probably the right thing to do. obviously many friends are staunch democrats, myself among them and hopefully this can be in hamblen of the fact that being an american is bigger than which party you're on. >> as i look at the forward party agenda or ideas that you laid out in the book, it ranges from ranked choice voting to having term limits to promoting capitalism. but would you say that the party is process focused and that you're seeking to shake up the political process or is it going to be policy focused like you ran your campaign on universal basic income and other ideas related to listing of families? >> it's so interesting you ask this because at this point the process and policy are intertwined. if you're watching this at home you're one of the 83 percent of americans who lives in the district without
a basicdemocratic or republican . so the legislators in your district if they're not 51 percent of the people in the district that really the 10 to 20 percent on either side. if you change the process you're actually going to change the policy which is what i'm driven by. i also want to suggest that at this point independents outnumber democrats and republicans anyplace in the country and independence are often on the outsidelooking in . the philosophy is very poorly designed. it's leading us to greater divisiveness and it's going to result eventually and political violence whichwe're already seeing . if you change the process you're going to change the outcome very fundamentally so there's this the two are very much linked together. we have to make our processes better and incentives better before wemake progress on a lot of the things that you
and i care about . >> you wrote this book during your race for mayor in the summer of 2021. and then after the race, you lost in the primaries but the book came out ... >> i want to stop there. i wrote this last year before i ran for mayor. it's impossible to write a book on the campaign trail. >> andrew, in the book you talk about obviously ideas behind the forward party because i think the last chapter in the book is the forward party and you're right. you said i wrote this book while i wasdeciding to run for mayor . did you envision starting the forward party as you were the democratic candidate for mayor or did you make that distinction after the primary? >> it's a great question. i wrote this book after the presidential campaign and concluded that divisiveness and it was going to destroy
us and we need a third way. weneeded better mechanics , better incentives, more reasonableness and we need to reward leaders who were more reasonable, really. so i drew the conclusion at the end of last year and said okay, we need to do this because of the way i'm wired saying we should do this without doing it yourself is pretty lame. then decided to run for mayor because i felt like i would do a lot of good new yorkcity . my plan a was i become the mayor of new york city and that i lost the forward party as mayor of new york city and say check itout, a new way forward . and we're going to make things happen like an illustration here in new york city. but that wasplan a and then i did not win . and the other plan, plan to a where i'm building the forward party as an independent .
>> i asked yesterday on my twitter account if my readers are more followers have questions for you and there were a lot of feedback and a lot of questions but i say the right choice vote, the number one question was just concerned that a criticism that you had run as a democrat and had planned to leave the party but didn't tell anyone so what would you say to that criticism and do you understand why some of the people that supported you would have been concerned that you are representing that you're a democrat while you knew that you would possibly be leaving the party . >> i was straightforward about my policies. i think there's views of policy proposals so to me that should be why you vote for someone and why you're excited about them or not rather than what letter they decide to put next to their name so i thought i was straightforward about that. i genuinely don't think people would be like very upset as long as i delivered
on those. >> andrew, i know in the book you direct people in the afterword to where they can go to join the forward party. i'll give you a chance to promote that but are you seeing people sign up and are you seeing the transference of the people that supported you in the 2020 presidential campaign and in the new york mayor's race, are they moving over now as you start to promote this across the country . >> it is forward party.com. if you think that our politics right now are rewarding the mainstream please join us and become the unifying voice in the middle. one of the more interesting data points from the presidential race for me eric was that 42 percent of the people that were supporting me either democrats were not sure they were going to support the democratic nominee and i'm so proud of the fact that i activated a lot of people that were traditionally into politics . a lot of independence, some republicans so the people that are upset about the
forward party, it is a lot of the same people that supported me in the past. and that makes me really proud. like, i this approach bears fruit and people see we do need more than two polls. in my mind we should have more than three parties.you look around the world the uk has five parties. sweden has a parties. this to me is just a more resilient system. >> will this be a 50 state party or are you going to focus on a particular state, where you think reforms are needed themost . >> our first goal is to implement open primaries around the country. and it's easier in somestates than others . so states have now initiatives can ask the people to say it would you like an over primary and right now if you're watching this again, there's a very
significant chance that you're either a minority party in a place where you're excluded or independent and you might register with a party be able to participate . it shouldn't be that way. there's nothing in the constitution about political parties. and we can see the duopoly is not going so well so were going to go to the states where we can have the biggest impact and that does include places where a lot of people sign up as for work party. >> you plan to endorse in midterms? >> excited to work in the 2022 midterms and we will work with people who are running as democrats and democratic parties thatare in republican primaries as independents . there's one candidate evan mullen running as an independent in utah for the senate where excited about already . so were going to be doing everything we can to have an impact in the 2022 cycle. >> so there would be races where you would endorse the democratic candidate.
>> 100 percent. we are principled on the core party where website and if there's a democrat was for open primaries and in fact they cover racist tolerance which i think is something america badly needs right now just knowing that you're not our enemy. no american should be our enemy regardless of your politicalbeliefs . if there are democrats or republicans subscribe to these things or we love to support them. >> are you worried you could perhaps endorse a congressional race where you have kind of a pro insurrectionist republican, democrat running as an independent you endorse and you saw in 2020 the races were decided by a few thousand votes either way that you could have the reverse effect of seeing both pro insurrectionist republican win. >> eric, this is why we need
to have a process change as quickly as possible. you're describing is a corridor effect which is if you come in as an independent you're going to mess things up for one party or the other and this is used as a bludgeon on any third party regardless of libertarian or whoever it is. you're going to mess things up for someone. if that's your perspective you should look up and say why do we adopt more modern voting processes like ranked choice voting and you can rank whoever you want first and second and there's no more spoiler effect. >> i think that's a great point. so do you think it would be more constructive to first put in place ranked choice voting before your putting in place endorsements in races where you don't have ranked choice voting where you can see the babythrown out with the bathwater ? >> number one in a lot of these cases where endorsing in the primary. what we are advocating for
ranked choice voting and i think there is a need to get in place as quickly as possible. it's number one on our list. >> you don't know this but i work for the center for voting and democracy which was fair vote when i was in college. >> good for you. i supported fair vote action networks . >> it's a great organization. they came out of the bush versus gore race where nader was accused of being a spoiler and they argued if we had ranked choice voting al gore would be president and i work to implement that my college and many other colleges for their student body elections we saw in new york with the ranked choice voting that it took a long time for the winner to be declared so how can we make sure you have a voting system like ranked choice voting that is more democratic but not that takes so long that people look at the system and
blame the system for thedelay . >> i lost that race and i'm still here strongly advocating ranked choice voting. for a guy that didn't win with it. but 95 percent of new yorkers have ranked choice voting and 77 percentwant to do it again . you're right eric that new york city board of elections is not exactly known for its stellar punctuality and other things. but the process is extraordinarily powerful and popular and you know, the fact that it wasn't as honorable as it should be we should make sure that's better the next time. >> last question on the forward party, no third party has really survived the united states for well over 100 years so if the forward party survives why will that be the case andif it doesn't
survive why will that be the case ? >> if the forward party thrives it's going to be because unions of americans stand up and say wait a minute, you're going to like one party more than the other. this duopoly dynamic is tearing our country apart political strength is at record levels . we are inching towards violence and ruin and a lot of people want to feel that if the forward party divides us is because enough of us and said we have to actually make this democracy more genuinely b democratic for youth to emerge, half open primaries and again, i'm not for three parties, i think there should be five parties or seven parties. if we had that we have shiftingcoalitions just like our founding fathers . our founding fathers would be horrified by the fact that we have these two parties that are going to clash until we're all in a country that we're not going to be able to recognize.
it's the fourth party dies it's going to be because the dynamic did not change that even though 62 percent of americans now want a third party and think that both parties are out of touch and the duopoly managed to keep the mechanics sustained to suppress the will of the american people. to our collective detriment really to our collective row and eventually . >> shouldamericans be able to vote online austin mark . >> we should be able to vote online. we managed a lot of our other affairs online. is the technology ready for prime time at that scale western mark it's not. if we were to run pilots would we want to have redundancies including paper? yes we would but we try to try to make it easier to vote so that if because now it's 2021 and if we made it easier i think we would have more people voting. >> i agree and i take a lot
of blowback for this. my position is. >> that's why you and i get along. we're pushing these things along and i do want to point out and i know a lot of people, say i know what the demographics are but i think it's a problem that our leadership has is that has been at it for 20, 35 years and they don't understand technology the way theyshould . i think that we should have term limits in this country. for this reason. three quarters of americans agree with that. i met eric probably agrees with it. >> i think as someone who ran against a four year of incumbent it was actually the open primaries in california and the top two system an independent redistricting. i saw the government as the actual term limit because it gave a guy like me a shot to win and i think getting rid of 30 money dirty maps, that can also be the "term limit of online voting, it's
actually being done right now. west virginia has done online voting. you use our house as well and i'm with you in that. we should at least try. and if we fail, fine but to not try on a mass scale i think really is failing disenfranchised voters. i want to go back to the 2020 . >> where doing it for our us military in their district. it's fully online. >> they are so andrew you and i first met on the 2020trail . neither of us emerge, you went a lot farther than i did but how would you rate the job that president joe biden is doing so far here about 10 months in . >> one of the things i believe is happening eric is that our political figures are at this point who is taking credit for and taking blame for things thatmay not be under their control .
you ask about how joe's administration is doing i think it's very easy for us to look at it and make adjustments like positive or negative but a lot of it to me is that we are passing along to our leaders some bureaucracies and organizations that are able to deliver at a high level. we have a culture now that is polarizing us and making it so that personal attacks are much more popular. then giving someone the benefit of the doubt. i think joe and his team are dealing with a very tough situation. >> soto line calls you up and says andrew, i spent a lot of time on the debate stage with you. what do you say ? >> right now i say it's 2021. >> not ready to endorse july the. >> grants team was like, who
knows what's going on. right now i think our focus to beon trying to get open primaries . and independent candidates across the finish line in 2022. >> will you be on the ballot in 2024 as a forward party candidate ? >> my focuses only on 2022. a lot of people when they hear third party they try and draw on past experiences. that's not where in my intention is that all. >> as i said, i noticed you were just one of the most normal guys that i encountered. men and women encountered. but one of my favorite questions that i asked my interns on their last day of the job in the office is what was the best day, what was the worst day and what was the most interesting moment. we call it ties, flows and close for the 2020 election what was your best day, worst dayand your most embarrassing moment . >> that's the moment it strikes me as it reminded me
of some of the rallies we had. whether itwas in new hampshire or los angeles . or iowa or wherever it was. seeing so many people come together that start to believe in you and your vision. in my case it was on universal basic income and the fact that we can provide more for people . where we put forward $4 trillion in wall street into the care that was enough for $1000 for americans forsix months each . we couldhave done it . and we can do it. those were the best days when people came together and it's funny, you and i were on the trail together and i distinctly remember being the candidate no one wanted to talk to you but you and i got big footed because of elizabeth warren or someone else walked in the room. so i remember seeing that. and then i remember having this energy around me and this was great for everyone who supported me so thank you from the bottom ofmy heart .
the worst day the thing that comes to mind for me was after the first presidential debate. people didn't feel like i got a lot of air time. and i felt like i let people down so there was a real sort of self conscience. >> in the book you said it was about 2 and ahalf minutes . >> i will had to look it up. and over time i began to realize maybe there were some other forces at play but not knowing anything, not having a base to compare was difficult for me. and there was a lot. >> what was the most deep black moment on the trail. >> the most embarrassing for me, there was a time when i was getting a lot of attention for dancing and crowd surfing and i think a reporter asked me about
things for days and i was like oh my gosh. i was again like a fairly normal person. to suggest i was trying to respond to the person in front of you sometimes it just takes off. >> you also had two young boys while you were out on the trail and one of your sons had autism. can you talk about the challenges that your supporters and c-span viewers did not see as you try to be a presidentialcandidate but also a good father and a good husband ? >> you and i bonded over this . running for president is very difficult and people get beaten up in ways that are unfair and i guess you and i can relate to this . a lot of the times you're traveling for hours or days to a very poorly attended event. and you constantly have to be can-do and in the meantime i
was a dad and had kids at home, one of whom had special needs. sometimes there's a lot to handle but we are still human beings . i don't thinkpeople really account for that . we spend time away from their families to do something positive like eric did and someone was a good person like eric did wanted to do something positive or they're the type of people that just don't like their families or the rest of us which i'm happy to say that was knocked on the political trail so please do give people who run for office a moment and think okay, is this person sincere, are they trying because i think alot of people don't take that into account that we are human beings who have families . >> your wife also briefly came forward with her own story of sexual abuse from someone who was her doctor i
think for your first son. and you know, it's all for any sexual abuse victim to have to come forward but it's even more magnified and amplified when she's a part of a family that's in the public eye. can you talk about what decisions were made before she came forward and again, just touched on the pressures that you as a candidate and she as a supporter of candidate would have to think about that others would not. >> i'm so proud of evelyn and the outpouring of support that she received after she came forward with her story about being sexually assaulted by herphysician . so she was sexually assaulted when she was in and with our owner's son. and our first child. and she did not tell me for years afterwards. attempted to herself. and then when she did tell me it was obviously heartbreaking and infuriating and made me feel like a failure as a partner. it was a very emotional time
as a family. and then but of course i was the only one that knew. her family didn't know and when she was deciding whether to share it with the world, i was trying to be as supportive as i could be while just supporting her, to say whatever you want to do i am 100 percent behind you and with you. if you want to frankly do what i think the normal thing to do would be would be just to not talkabout it , i'll support you and if you do want to talk about it i would love to, part of me i have to say i would love for her to share her story. but i never wanted to say that ever because the last thing you want to do is be someone who is somehow pushing your partner to do something so personal and then what she did share in the story i was deluged with supportive messages from a pregnant family of mine who i
knew and that really made me very emotional because you realize all the people that know you just know that your familyhad to go through this . but what when evelyn and i were out on the trail she would be with these women who would come to her with tears in their eyes and it was so heartbreaking for many people and then they came forward about that same doctor and he was arrested on federal charges so i just thank i think my wife is zero. >> how is evelyn doing now? >> she's great andshe's a rock . she's a rock star like, our kids are happy and healthy. i just am indebted to her every day.i'd say thank my wife because she's the real force behind everything. >> you talked about having a son with special needs, a wife who was a sexual assault victim and you are not someone who's helpless. you're in the public realm. what can you do with these
unique experiences to make a difference on those issues? >> i want to do everything i can to help. to me being special needs is the new normal. i know so many families going through that victim of being a victim of sexual assault is all toocommonplace . my wife wrote a book trying to teach about sexual assault. i did spoke about sexual assault so i was proud of her on thatlevel . >> ..
>> you've already succeeded, your "new york times" best-selling author so the book is for, notes on the future of democracy and i encourage everyone to read it and to follow andrew on twitter and asking the tough questions as well and have that open dialogue. thank you so much, andrew. >> thank you, my friend, eric swalwell. >> my pleasure. thank you so much, andrew. >> good seeing you. >> afterwards is available as a podcast. to listen visit c-span.org/podcasts or search c-span afterwards on your podcast app and watches on all previous interviews at booktv data booktv.org. just click the afterwards button near the top of the page. >> tells about the book. start at the beginning. why did you decide to write this book? what's the goal? >> so i'd written a book before in