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How #Unity2020 plans to end the two-party system, bring back Andrew Yang

The proposal calls for the American public to draft two candidates to lead the executive branch: one from the center-left, the other from the center-right.

Andrew Yang

Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang

Photo by David Becker/Getty Images
  • The #Unity2020 plan was recently outlined by Bret Weinstein, a former biology professor, on the Joe Rogan Experience.
  • Weinstein suggested an independent ticket for the 2020 presidential election: Andrew Yang and former U.S. Navy Admiral William McRaven.
  • Although details of the proposal are sparse, surveys suggest that many Americans are cynical and frustrated with the two-party system.

Americans are rigidly divided on many issues, but the idea that national politics is corrupt is not one of them. In recent years, surveys on Americans' views on political corruption and their trust in the federal government reveal that cynicism stretches across both parties, even though diagnoses may differ.

This widespread frustration has a logical consequence: distrust of the two-party system. And now, Americans face an upcoming presidential election between, arguably, the most controversial president in history, and a challenger whose chief selling point is: who he is not.

Is there a way out? Consider Unity2020 — a proposal for a new format of federal governance that aims to replace cynicism and partisanship with compromise and cooperation.

The proposal is spearheaded by Bret Weinstein, a biologist, evolutionary theorist and cultural commentator associated with the Intellectual Dark Web. Weinstein made headlines in 2017 after criticizing the demands of student protesters at Evergreen State College, where he was formerly a professor of biology.

Here's how the Unity2020 plan would work, according to a Medium post titled "The Articles of Unity":

"We the people draft two candidates: one from the center-left, one from the center-right. Once elected, they agree to govern as a team. All decisions and appointments will be made jointly in the interests of the American public. Only when they cannot reach agreement, or when a decision does not allow for consultation, does the President decide independently. A coin flip determines which candidate runs at the top of the ticket."

Each candidate must possess three qualities:

  1. They must be patriotic
  2. They must be highly capable
  3. They must be courageous

The post doesn't mention how these qualities would be defined, or who would judge prospective candidates.

"After four years in office, the order reverses for the next election," the post reads. "This continues until the American public chooses an alternative administration or one of the members of the team cannot run for re-election, at which point a new patriot would replace them."

Who would fit the bill? On a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience, Weinstein suggested two potential center-ish draftees: former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, and retired U.S. Navy Admiral William Harry McRaven, who oversaw the special operations raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.

"Here we got two people, one of them, I think, will do so out of duty, the other one is crazy enough to want the job in the first place. And what are they? Well, they're both patriots, they're both courageous, and they're both highly capable. This is the road out."

Of course, many questions remain: How exactly would Americans go about drafting the two candidates? Do Americans actually want a coalition of two centrists? And are we really going to rely on a coin flip to determine who leads the executive branch for four years?

Logistical questions aside, the overall sentiment of the plan is something with which many Americans would likely agree.

"The need for leadership has never been greater. Yet, the parties have never offered less."

The post continues:

"We will not settle for the false choice presented to us. We demand better, in no uncertain terms. We propose a solution to unify our country such that it may deliver on its immense promise. We intend to use the available tools of American democracy in a new and galvanizing way. We are keenly aware of the full history of American third parties; we will not be a spoiler or be relegated to a footnote. We fully intend to seat an administration that represents the interests of a clear and overwhelming majority of Americans."

If you want to get involved with Unity2020, check out this Change.org petition that aims to put Yang and McRaven on a 2020 independent ticket.

Want a company that lasts? Start a bank or a brewery

Maps show the oldest company in (nearly) every country – and a few interesting corporate trends

What's the oldest company in your country?

Image: Business Finance, CC BY-SA 4.0
Strange Maps
  • A Japanese company has been building Buddhist temples for almost a millennium and a half.
  • It's the oldest continuously operating company in the world, but quite atypical.
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Can VR help us understand layers of oppression?

Researchers are using technology to make visual the complex concepts of racism, as well as its political and social consequences.

Future of Learning
  • Often thought of first as gaming tech, virtual reality has been increasingly used in research as a tool for mimicking real-life scenarios and experiences in a safe and controlled environment.
  • Focusing on issues of oppression and the ripple affect it has throughout America's political, educational, and social systems, Dr. Courtney D. Cogburn of Columbia University School of Social Work and her team developed a VR experience that gives users the opportunity to "walk a mile" in the shoes of a black man as he faces racism at three stages in his life: as a child, during adolescence, and as an adult.
  • Cogburn says that the goal is to show how these "interwoven oppressions" continue to shape the world beyond our individual experiences. "I think the most important and powerful human superpower is critical consciousness," she says. "And that is the ability to think, be aware and think critically about the world and people around you...it's not so much about the interpersonal 'Do I feel bad, do I like you?'—it's more 'Do I see the world as it is? Am I thinking critically about it and engaging it?'"
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Russia claims world's first COVID-19 vaccine but skepticism abounds

President Vladimir Putin announces approval of Russia's coronavirus vaccine but scientists warn it may be unsafe.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced coronavirus vaccine at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020.

Credit: Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
Coronavirus
  • Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that a COVID-19 vaccine has been approved in Russia.
  • Scientists around the world are worried that the vaccine is unsafe and that Russia fast-tracked the vaccine without performing the necessary phase 3 trials.
  • To date, Russia has had nearly 900,000 registered cases of coronavirus.
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