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OPINION

Steve Marchand: Andrew Yang for president

Andrew Yang’s values, work ethic and message have propelled him from complete unknown to one of the top presidential candidates.

Many voters preparing to vote in the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary on Feb. 11 might feel compelled to make a choice: Choose the candidate most likely to defeat President Trump in the general election, or choose the candidate best able to rewrite the economic rules of the 21st century.

It’s a false choice. The candidate who presents the toughest matchup for Trump is the same person with the boldest plans to address the root causes that led to Trump’s election in the first place. That candidate is Andrew Yang.

To defeat Trump, we need a nominee able to excite and bring new people into the Democratic Party while also bringing over some dissatisfied 2016 Trump voters. I have been involved in Democratic politics in New Hampshire for almost 20 years, and I’ve never seen a candidate with such a broad amount of support across the political spectrum as Yang. This includes voters who saw that, while Trump identified some of the economic problems facing America, his actions as president have done nothing to make life better for them.

These voters still want an outsider as president — someone who will actually solve their problems. While immigrants have been scapegoated for the loss of working-class jobs in America, Yang did the math after the last election and found that automation, not immigration, has eliminated 4 million jobs in the industrial Midwest in the past generation.

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We need a plan for making capitalism work for all Americans. Yang’s plan to implement a value-added tax on the biggest winners of the economy, primarily tech companies, will have them finally paying their fair share, which would be used to fund a Freedom Dividend of $1,000 a month for every adult citizen. It will create a 21st-century capitalism that takes the burden of financial stress off of millions of Americans and makes our country freer, fairer, healthier, and more prosperous.

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As a native New Hampshirite, with family from Pittsburg, Manchester, and the Seacoast, I have seen what the automation of countless blue-collar jobs across America has meant here in our state. The collapse of paper mills in the North Country, textile mills in Manchester, and manufacturing plants in western New Hampshire a generation ago are now happening across the industrial Midwest. Only Andrew Yang is connecting the dots on automation in a way that is resonating with voters in Wisconsin, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan, states that Trump won in 2016. And they are the voters that Yang can bring back to us in 2020, while exciting younger voters.

Andrew Yang’s values, work ethic, and message have propelled him from complete unknown to one of the top presidential candidates. His plan to defeat climate change is the most comprehensive. His plan for ensuring every American has quality, affordable health care is both practical and empathetic. His approach to foreign policy is level-headed and cherishes American values. And his candidacy reflects the youthful, diverse, entrepreneurial, and optimistic future possible in America. New Hampshire has a chance to once again reward an outsider who draws people in, just as it did with Jimmy Carter, Gary Hart, and John McCain.

On Feb. 11, America will look to New Hampshire to tell them whether there is a Democrat who will both win in November and boldly lead us forward — someone who is the opposite of Trump. That leader is Andrew Yang.

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Steve Marchand is a senior adviser to the Andrew Yang campaign. He was the mayor of Portsmouth, N.H., in 2006 and 2007, and was a 2018 gubernatorial candidate.