Speed Reads

reflections

Andrew Yang explains why Americans should worry about how campaigns affect their political leaders

In a first-hand account for Politico, former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang says he received a "crash course in how we treat the very powerful" while making his bid for the White House, bluntly acknowledging that "it was weird." But Yang follows that up with a not-so-flippant statement, writing that the experience was "more than just a head rush." Instead, "there are direct psychological consequences to being treated this way for months on end."

Yang doesn't go into too many specifics about how he personally dealt with the situation, but he does note that he "could clearly see how politicians become susceptible to growing so out of touch." That's because they spend so much time around people whose "schedules and actions revolve around you," he explains. And by the time things really get going, the candidate is no longer the CEO of the campaign, but the "product." Subsequently, Yang writes, "empathy becomes optional or even unhelpful" and "leadership becomes the appearance of leadership."

That's not an ideal scenario in Yang's point of view, and he argues that "it should worry us that all our leaders are subject to it." Read Yang's full piece at Politico.