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Friday, March 20, 2020


An Ode to Andrew Yang
by James Schwartz 

When Andrew Yang dropped out of the presidential race a month ago, he couldn't have possibly anticipated the centerpiece of his platform — universal basic income — would be the bipartisan solution that Republicans and Democrats in Washington are rallying behind amid the coronavirus crisis. “Certainly I would never hope that UBI gets adopted because of this terrible virus. But I will say it's somewhat surreal to suspend my presidential campaign in February and see it potentially implemented in March,” Yang told [The Washington Post] in an interview on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Yang speaks during the third Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

They kicked around the idea in Switzerland,
MLK was for it, in the days before coronavirus,
Andrew Yang then bringing the tool back,
They sneered it wouldn't work, of course,
They questioned how it would be paid,
For, and by whom: not them to be sure,
Now that we're quarantined outside the box,
They iron out the details of a UBI,
Rebranding themselves as saviors,
Credit where cash is due.

James Schwartz is a poet, writer, slam performer and author of 5 poetry collections including The Literary Party: Growing Up Gay and Amish in America. Twitter: @queeraspoetry