Business magnate Elon Musk and Andrew Yang, the former candidate for both the U.S. presidency and New York City mayoral race, have some similarities.
Both are entrepreneurs, both have bold visions for the future, and recently another commonality has emerged: Both men are done with the Democratic Party.
Yang left the Democrats to start the Forward Party, currently a political action committee that offers an alternative to the Democratic and Republican parties. The 49-year-old businessman-turned-politician is now inviting Musk to join him.
In a recent interview with Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer, Yang praised the tycoon’s entrepreneurship, which he said made Musk a natural fit for the nascent Forward Party.
“I'm someone who thinks that he's solving some of the biggest problems that our entire planet faces,” Yang told Yahoo Finance. “And I'm excited to have that conversation with him. I think that the Forward Party is a natural home for Elon because he's a builder and entrepreneur. He wants to solve really important problems.”
Last month, Musk revealed that he voted for Republican congressional candidate Mayra Flores, who would go on to win her election in Texas.
Though Musk has alway eschewed traditional party loyalties — declaring himself “half Democrat, half Republican,” back in 2014 — he’s leaned Democratic in the past and still harbors views that would place him left of center. He’s supported Democratic presidential candidates, spoken out against marijuana convictions, and remains a long-time crusader in the battle against climate change. He’s also promoted universal basic income, a major platform of Yang’s Forward Party and program in which citizens would receive free money from the government on a monthly basis.
In recent months, however, Musk has increasingly aligned himself with conservatives. He’s criticized COVID-19 lockdowns, derided gender pronouns, and said that he would support Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for president in 2024.
According to Yang, Musk's views transcend ideology and make him poorly suited to the two-party system.
“He's not an ideological guy.” Yang said. “And I think what's happened is that he's picked up on the fact that really both parties have become ideological and he's looking for a home the same way that millions of other Americans are.”
A February 2021 Gallup poll found that 62% of Americans support the idea of a third party, while 50% identified as politically independent.
"Over 60% of Americans know that our current two-party system is not working," Yang said. "It's actually polarizing and pitting us against each other where now 42% of Americans view the other side as immoral, corrupt, and a threat to the country. It's tearing apart communities and even families. So you have to ask: Where does this lead? It leads no place good."
Yang also indicated that he would be having discussions with Musk soon about the Tesla (TSLA) CEO potentially joining his new political party.
“I'm excited to sit down with Elon and have those conversations,” Yang said. “We're going to have a series of announcements upcoming in the summer. So stay tuned."
Dylan Croll is a reporter and researcher at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @CrollonPatrol