Andrew Yang: The 'Primary' Solution to Mafia-Style Politics Within The Parties

Created: 11 April, 2023
Updated: 12 April, 2023
1 min read

Former Democratic presidential candidate and Forward Party Founder Andrew Yang recently sat down with "Wait But Why" creator Tim Urban to discuss what has made partisanship in the US so scary -- and not just to voters, but to candidates who want to vote their conscience. 

Yang and Urban have a broad discussion on human nature, how changing an environment can drive our actions and discourse, the "high-rung" vs. "low-rung" thinking political golems, and how we as a society can overcome our primitive instincts to create a better future and political environment. 

During the conversation, Yang brings up the "mafia-style" tactics that go on within partisan politics. Lawmakers' careers, their livelihoods, their futures are threatened if they don't toe the party line. Even if a public official wants cooperation or believes a certain course of action is "right," they are bullied into doing only what their party leaders want.

What voters are seeing is not the consequence of human nature, but how human behavior changes based on how environments are altered. In this case, we can look at primary elections.

Yang uses an example of how one senator was able to overcome the threats and "mafia-style" tactics in partisan politics because she didn't have to run in a party primary. Changing to a nonpartisan primary in her state changed the environment and as a result shifted motivations and priorities for the incumbent.

Check out the full conversation above. A notable part about political tribalism and what makes it worse begins at 17:20 and the conversation about solutions begins at 28:27.

Latest articles

Glenn Youngkin
The Irony of Gov. Glenn Youngkin Vetoing a Ranked Choice Voting Bill
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has said no to a bill that would clarify how ranked choice voting (RCV) is supposed to work in local elections -- which is odd considering the only reason Youngkin is governor is because of a RCV nomination process at the 2021 Virginia GOP convention. ...
12 April, 2024
3 min read
Trump and Biden Debate
If Trump or Biden Don't Want to Debate, Give The Stage to Someone Else
Major national news outlets reportedly are drafting an open letter to President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump's campaigns urging them to debate this fall. Biden has threatened not to debate at all, and Trump doesn't have a solid track record committing to debates....
10 April, 2024
3 min read
Electoral College
The Electoral College Reform the Nation Needs is Not What Either Party Wants
Nebraska is one of only two states that has a system that awards its Electoral College votes based on the popular vote in each of its congressional districts. However, there is a contingent of state lawmakers who want to change this with the support of former President Donald Trump....
08 April, 2024
11 min read