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.

Titanosaur footprints discovered on the roof of a French cave

Scientists discovered footprints made by some of the largest creatures ever to walk the Earth.

Dinosaur tracks in the ceiling of Castelbouc Cave in France.

Credit: Jean-David Moreau et al./J. Vertebr. Paleontol.
Surprising Science
  • Paleontologists published a paper on the discovery of dinosaur footprints on the roof of a French cave.
  • The prints are deep underground and were made during the Middle Jurassic period.
  • The footprints belonged to titanosaurs, the largest land animals ever.
Keep reading Show less

The science behind ‘us vs. them’

Humans may have evolved to be tribalistic. Is that a bad thing?

Videos
  • From politics to every day life, humans have a tendency to form social groups that are defined in part by how they differ from other groups.
  • Neuroendocrinologist Robert Sapolsky, author Dan Shapiro, and others explore the ways that tribalism functions in society, and discuss how—as social creatures—humans have evolved for bias.
  • But bias is not inherently bad. The key to seeing things differently, according to Beau Lotto, is to "embody the fact" that everything is grounded in assumptions, to identify those assumptions, and then to question them.

Catacombs of Paris: The city of darkness finds its new raison d'être

Ancient corridors below the French capital have served as its ossuary, playground, brewery, and perhaps soon, air conditioning.

Excerpt from a 19th century map of the Paris Catacombs, showing the labyrinthine layout underground (in color) beneath the straight-lined structures on the surface (in grey).

Credit: Inspection Générale des Carrières, 1857 / Public domain
Strange Maps
  • People have been digging up limestone and gypsum from below Paris since Roman times.
  • They left behind a vast network of corridors and galleries, since reused for many purposes — most famously, the Catacombs.
  • Soon, the ancient labyrinth may find a new lease of life, providing a sustainable form of air conditioning.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast