As the most important presidential election in recent American history nears, one thing can be certain: we are in serious trouble.
Both candidates and parties have failed to bring the country together. All the while, our cities burn and our economy remains stagnant, or worse. The divide of respect and unity grows further apart every day. As much as many of us would like to avoid it, November 3rd is coming.
Following this dreadful day, a president will be elected, and regardless of who is elected, the divide in this country will continue to expand. So who do we pick? And more importantly, how do we pick? Do we pick the candidate with the fewest sexual assault allegations? The candidate who has said the fewest racist comments? Is it sad that these questions seem like a joke at first, but are legitimate determinants of your vote?
But do we need to pick between the lesser of two evils? Biologist and member of the self-proclaimed “intellectual dark web”, Brett Weinstein thinks not. Weinstein has proposed a new idea that has left its observers questioning the validity and plausibility of the new system. Weinstein calls it, “Unity 2020”. It is a movement to form a new method of electoral governance. The proposal Is made of (roughly) four initiatives and requirements.
- A pair of candidates are drafted to serve as president and vice president. One being “center-left” (as Weinstein puts it) and the other “center-right”. Although “right” and “left” are broadly defined terms and often mean different things, Weinstein proposes two candidates that meet his definition best: Retired navy seal and Special Operations commander William H. McRaven (known most notably for the operation under his command that terminated Osama Bin Laden) as the Center-right candidate, and former presidential candidate and entrepreneur, Andrew Yang.
- The candidates must meet certain criteria and minimum standards. They must be, as Weinstein puts it “Patriotic, courageous and highly capable.”
- The candidates will work as a team. If they can't reach an agreement, or there is a time-sensitive matter, the president will have complete control of the situation at hand.
- After a four year term, the team will swap roles from president to vice president and vice versa.
Of course, many questions and concerns come along with this proposal, especially regarding the “trust issue” and efficacy with electing an 8-year duopoly. More importantly, the main issue of how to deal with an ideological hijacking of the party ticket on which the candidates will be running. In defense of this main concern, Weinstein mentions that the user data from his site (articlesofunity.org) unexpectedly show an even split of agreement between former Trump supports and former Biden supporters. In other words, the left and right have come to a consensus on the proposal.
However, the concerns are beside the point and are minuscule compared to the consequences of continuing our failing two-party system. In fact, in terms of popularity, third party and alternative systems have never been higher. A recent Gallup poll highlights that “57% of Americans say a third major political party is needed.” (Gallup)
In a recent interview with The Hill, Weinstein laid out why he chose this framework, and what is at stake in the next election cycle.
“This is the game every single election cycle. We are told, now is not the time to try to do something different, because if you do something different, you will elect the greater evil; and that trap keeps us from ever accomplishing anything. It leaves the duopoly in power and these dueling influence-paddling rackets, in the position to control policy. It's been decades since public policy actually served the public, it’s been serving special interests and at some point, you have to call a halt.
Weinstein points out that is a failure of both parties to deliver a candidate “capable of leadership”.
“In this election cycle, we also face the fact that the parties have transparently failed to deliver us anybody capable of the leadership necessary to address the crisis that we face. In some sense, the parties have left us no choice but to go now.”
Weinstein once again brings up the dangerous combination of the Left’s “absurd ideas” and the Right not yet “playing their cards”.
”To have the left toying with absolutely absurd ideas...you now have trump poll numbers sagging, who, as we know, is not likely to take defeat well. He is certainly going to play cards that he is in a unique position to play, and as the commander in chief, that could be extremely dangerous for us.”
Weinstein promises that if the unity ticket does not appear to be winning the nomination, then there is a failsafe mechanism that pulls the ticket out of the running before the election, so as not to take votes away from the leading candidates.
The Republic itself is in great danger. Weinstein’s initiative focusing on a united system of governance, deliberately bridging our political divide, is worth fighting for. It may be vital for the continuance of our great nation. Moreover, seeking a sensible common ground are what we at the Progressive Liberty Movement aspire to achieve. Weinstein’s “United 2020 Plan” may be the right approach at the right time. The evidence shows that many voters are disillusioned with the two major parties. Perhaps the ideological pendulum may be returning to a sensibly moderate position.
As the clock winds down, we have to make a decision. Complacency and division or sanity and unification.
Let life live.