Reader’s Forum — Al Bell

Everything You Want to Know About Andrew Yang & the Forward Party
*But the Pundits, Politicians and Parties Hope You Won’t Ask
A Virtual Discussion Hosted by Politics for the People and Open Primaries
Wednesday, January 12th at 3pm EDT
Register here today!

Al Bell

An Amazon rating of 4.7 is quite an achievement for a non-fiction book, though at still low total count. Andrew Yang’s Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy is a serious attempt to assess what ails us in this second fifth of the century. He believes we need to harness the power of institutions and processes for selecting our leaders by reinventing both.

A lot of Americans, especially Independent Voters, agree. Early responses to Forward reflect that conclusion. The opposition has yet to seriously engage. It will, with a vengeance.

Full disclosure: I have not read the book, though I will. What logic would justify
commenting on a book I haven’t read? This one: I want Mr. Yang to succeed as a
candidate, whether he does so as an author or not. My comments are based on two
ideas: 1) what readers have already said via Amazon reviews, and 2) my own thinking about how a competent independent candidate will succeed in a political morass even the parties cannot negotiate, despite their long histories.

Most voters of any persuasion will never have read his book; the majority will not even know he wrote one. His strong supporters and his strong opponents will read it. They will show up at the polls in strength; winning depends on appealing to multiple others. This appears to be central to the recently formed Forward Party. We can advance Mr. Yang’s program best now by asking him key questions and sharing credible answers—as widely as possible.

  • Is Forward a movement or a party? Will confusion on that be an obstacle?
  • If the former, how will that operate? If the latter, why will it not behave as other parts do?
  • How will Forward candidates identify under current election rules?
  • What is being done to gain support of the myriad “good government” organizations?
  • How will Forward policies, programs, and strategies be shaped, and by whom?
  • What will prevent Forward from going the way of all previous third parties?
  • Where are positions on foreign policy and the military/congressional/industrial complex?
  • As appealing as fact orientation is, how will powerful emotions in politics be overpowered?
  • Do you see Forward as fundamentally a coalition of Independent minded voters?
  • How can we best expand support for the Forward Party if we wish to do so?
  • If you continue to seek the Presidency, who will be your Vice President?
  • How will you continue to avoid the poisonous campaign advisor disease?
  • Why not just eliminate primary elections entirely?
  • What about a National Debt transfer tax on stock shares traded, scaled by time held?

Mr. Yang’s election losses are only failures if we do not learn the lessons they offer and apply them to an unprecedented opportunity for reinventing and reinvigorating our Nation.

Al Bell lives in Peoria, AZ and is an activist with Independent Voters for Arizona. Al served on Independent Voting’s Eyes on 2020 National Cabinet, working to get the 2020 presidential primaries open to independents across the country.


Join us Wednesday, January 12th
at 3pm EDT
For a Virtual Discussion
With Forward Author Andrew Yang
Sponsored by Politics for the People and Open Primaries


Founder of the Politics for the People free educational series and book club for independent voters. Chair of the New York County Independence Party.

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