According to the 55-year-old actor, his decision came after his son, Ryder Lee “Lucas” Leguizamo, turned him on to the Venture for America founder’s platform, which centers around a universal basic income (UBI) of $1,000 per month for all Americans.
“I was like, yeah, son! You want that thousand dollars I’ll get it for you. I’m gonna join the Yang Gang,” Leguizamo said in a YouTube clip of the appearance.
Leguizamo also pointed out that Yang is the last person of color in the Democratic primary. When Colbert asked him who was to blame for the lack of diversity — the Democratic Party or the voters — the actor suggested it was the voters.
“They feel like they’re looking for the candidate that can beat Trump. They want a safe choice, and that’s what — they don’t want anybody who’s gonna shake things up and maybe not get the Independents, not get the moderate Republicans. So everybody’s playing it safe.”
During one of Yang’s appearances on The Late Show, Colbert posed him the same question. The 45-year-old serial entrepreneur touched on the lack of diversity on the debate stage and said it is a reflection of the “inequities and realities” in the current United States economy.
Yang noted that fewer than 5 percent of Americans donate to political campaigns, highlighting that such donations require disposable income. He added that communities of color often lack resources — something he believes must be addressed to increase diversity in politics.
“We should be more concerned with changing those realities on the ground and if we did that, than the stage would look very, very different,” he said.
One of Yang’s proposals is Democracy Dollars, which would provide $100 to every American each election cycle to be donated to candidates of their choice. According to Yang, this would put $20 billion each year into the hands of voters, which he claims would help communities of color that lack resources as well as give regular Americans more power to combat the influence of moneyed interests.
Early returns in Iowa have us at 5.2% of the popular vote. Not far from projections going in – THANK YOU to everyone who worked hard to get us there. ????????????
— Andrew Yang???? (@AndrewYang) February 4, 2020
According to The New York Times, Yang is in sixth place in the recent Iowa caucus based on the results from 71 percent of the precincts. He received 16 state delegate equivalents for a 1 percent total and over 5 percent of the popular vote based on early results.
Yang is set to appear at Friday’s Democratic presidential debate, Rolling Stone reports.