Lowrey: You say that Forward wants to represent rural Democrats and city-dwelling Republicans. Which policies are you pushing with this centrist party?
Yang: I want to stress that it is the mechanics [of the electoral system] that could improve matters. The only Republican senator who voted to impeach Donald Trump who is on the ballot this November is Lisa Murkowski. She made it through her primary. That was in large part because Alaska had a different process in place. There was a nonpartisan open primary where anyone could vote for anyone. That changed her incentives, because she didn’t have to go through a party primary. If we can make a process change that rewards legislators for serving 51 percent of their communities, as opposed to 10 to 15 percent, that can dramatically affect policy.
Lowrey: But which policies?
Yang: That is one of the more interesting communications challenges for something like Forward. We’re so accustomed to something falling on a left-right political spectrum. You frame it as a centrist party, which does describe a lot of the people that are drawn to Forward. But we’re trying to set up a system where the majority will of the American people actually gets reflected in policy.
Lowrey: Just to be clear, you are not defining the policy center. You’re not setting out any policies as you’re setting this party up. There isn’t a tax proposal or a health-care proposal that captures the will of the people unrepresented by the two parties. What does Forward stand for?
Yang: We stand for what people want to see in their own lives, in their family’s lives, and in their own community. The principles that we are championing are free people, thriving communities, in a vibrant democracy. And it is true that people in Mississippi will pursue those things in a different way than people in California. And we think that’s great.
Lowrey: What about Medicaid expansion? Is the Forward Party for the expansion of Medicaid to all adults in poverty?
Yang: I personally would be for anything that’s going to help people and families. I would guess that the vast majority of the people that are drawn to Forward would similarly be in favor. But we’re not as a movement going to apply litmus tests in that way.
It seems clear that Yang does not understand what political parties even do or why they exist. I also assume that Chotnier simply feels bad for him and is not going to subject Yang to the interview he so richly deserves. After all, you don’t have to draw the stupidity out of Yang. It’s front and center.