Wake up, wake up, it’s the first of the month and your YangBucks just flashed into your EBT. A thousand bucks. Two grand for a household with two adults, and so on.
We all know it’s not going to work like that, if Chairman Yang was capable of being elected in a Democratic primary despite being an honorary Aryan, which he is not (capable, that is – I’m sure he’s honorary as heck). It’s tempting to lump him into the same category of our Surf Queen, Tulsi Gabbard, who had a month or so of notoriety and support for simply running with the original Trumpian non-interventionist foreign policy platform. (No one memeing her took the chance to seriously question why she would be immune to the same forces that corrupted Trump.) But the thousand bucks has more staying power, because for all the news coverage our various imperial entanglements get, they are not tangible in the same way a thousand bucks is.
Yet the Tulsi comparison is spot on, because the entirety of her appeal was (is? are we still putting pineapples in our Twitter profiles?) fulfilling Trump’s policies. The same is true of Yang. Thousand Bucks is rhetorically and symbolically isomorphic with Build The Wall (it even has the same number of syllables). Instead of a symbol that your government prioritizes you over the guys on the other side, it’s a symbol that your government is willing to make a concrete investment in the welfare of every citizen – not just the privileged classes comprising the Democratic vote bank, financial institutions, and Israel. Trump is thus far in favor of tax cuts, not necessarily throwing readers of this publication in a FEMA camp (although God help you if you attend a political event wearing his hat), and otherwise essentially the status quo.
And literally every meme candidate would lose their core constituency if Trump would just make a concrete effort to implement his policies. Depending on how conspiratorial one is willing to get, one could view Tulsi and Yang as attempts to reverse engineer Trump’s appeal in foreign and domestic policy contexts.
Remember when the CIA ran a gay Mormon in an attempt to throw Utah, and thus the electoral college into the House? Remember when Carly Fiorina (you probably should use that mind space for something else) tried to swing a #MeToo out of the fact that she looked like a horse? Remember when Ted Cruz hired Dan Gabriel, an “ex” spook, to kneecap Ben Carson before the Iowa caucuses with false rumors of his withdrawal, and subsequently run twitter astroturf “betrayed MAGA milf switching to Cruz” narratives?
At this point anyone on the Democratic side, let alone putative right wingers, picking a hill to die on in the Democratic primaries is either running an op (this definitionally includes anyone on the actual campaigns in question) or deluding themselves about the depth of their support. The fight is purely rhetorical, and increasingly meta about the extend to which rhetoric (which in the current year is means memes) can affect an election – and who gets to do the affecting.
So it doesn’t matter if Yang would be a disaster, or merely as ineffectual as Trump. Soberly discussing the pros and cons of UBI is not what the YangBus is about; nor is it about looking at the rest of his platform (destroying private healthcare, banning guns, allowing his relatives in China to loot the US via “free trade”, social credit scores, etc). It does not matter that his signature policy would have absolutely no effect on the rest of the welfare state (a thousand bucks is not “enough” when you got chile’s to s’port, or for Our Brave Veterans, or the mentally ill or just really incapable that require a Nice White Lady to manage their affairs, etc). It does not matter that it would be swallowed almost immediately by the same apparatus that leeches off, eg, SSI – the closest thing we have to a UBI at the moment. It definitely doesn’t matter that the enormous VAT proposed to fund it would drive half the economy into an underground untaxed grey market (this is a benefit in my view).
Every completely accurate argument for why in substance he would be a terrible president can and will be answered with “counterpoint tho: a thousand bucks”. This rhetorical tack is primarily designed to polarize and heighten the contradictions when it inevitably leads to a response on the merits, in the context of a Democratic primary.
“Evil white men would get money” – this is the big one, and yes, literally the point is to emphasize they are the only ones currently left off the gibs train, even if this implies the YangBucks are merely the same sort of sop we throw to Indian reservations as charity to a conquered people while they dwindle into oblivion. If we’re lucky he switches tacks to “well of course racists shouldn’t get UBI”.
“We can’t afford it” – odd, we seem to have no problem affording a $700 billion direct bailout of the financial sector, allowing them to collect the bid/ask spread and interest on $900 billion in fresh debt issuance each year, spending a few hundred billion here and there securing Israel’s geopolitical situation, hundreds of billions on welfare programs and “nonprofits” no decent person has ever heard of, and so on. The economic arguments here are too complicated to convey to the voting public, but everyone can see the gigantic piles of money being incinerated without even letting the majority of the public warm their feet by the fire.
God forbid, we actually meme this man into a nomination. Let’s say he actually gets to run against Trump – not just peeling off votes from Bernie (the plausible point of his entire psyop candidacy).
If Trump remains ineffectual enough that he cannot immediately rebut “counterpoint: a thousand bucks”, does anyone doubt he has lost the mandate of heaven?