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Presidential hopeful and Universal Basic Income enthusiast Andrew Yang is shaking up the Democratic field—at least among the extremely online. After collecting more than 65,000 individual donors following an appearance on fighting commentator Joe Rogan’s show, he’s nearly guaranteed himself a spot on the debate stage.
Yang’s meme-friendly campaign and his promise to pay everyone in the country $1,000 a month, forever, if elected, have collected a wide range of adherents. But Yang’s run is also notable for how many adherents it’s won among members of the racist alt right.
White nationalists like Richard Spencer, Faith Goldy, and Nick Fuentes have all tweeted, seriously or not, about their support for Yang.
That chatter is echoed on hard-right Trumpist forums like 4chan. A Storyful analysis found that Yang has been mentioned more than 17,000 times recently on 4Chan, while the next most-mentioned Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders, has been discussed less than 1,000 times.
Plenty of these people are just bored and making memes, and others are just trying to hop on the latest far-right thing. Yang’s campaign manager told The Daily Beast that his campaign doesn’t want “hate-fueled donations.” But there’s another interesting thing at play, too, that could point to the alt-right’s waning enthusiasm for Trump.
In their many threads about Yang, 4Chan posters say they’re disappointed that Trump didn’t give them all of what they wanted, including the border wall.
Their disillusion appears to have led several commenters to a pragmatic conclusion: They can vote for Trump and get nothing while the world falls apart, or they can vote for Yang, and watch the world fall apart, and enjoy an additional $12,000 a year.