Forward Party solves the duopoly problem
Are you sick of the Democrats electing old senile people
Are you sick that things got so bad that we prefer Donald Trump over Communist lunatics?
The hate is real, and people are literally moving states and stockpiling food for a second civil war.
But I didn’t take the Forward Party seriously until I asked them a couple of questions on Twitter and watched Andrew Yang dissect the problem mathematically, and it resonated with my software engineer mindset.
Take a few minutes and watch this:
To help those with disabilities, I used software to transcribe the speech :)
“why do we feel so stuck why do we feel so negatively about our Future and the future of this country”?
I’m going to summarize in a number of big ideas why we feel so stuck and then new york how we can fix it i know it’s very daunting but here we’re going to go with this first part first all right the first big idea i want to present to you all is that we are at an era in american history where if everyone does the reasonable thing we’re What do i mean well there’s like a set of incentives that will guide us in a particular direction that will lead us to violence and ruin all right what am i talking about what is the approval rating for the u.s congress right now as we’re here together no one’s guessing high ivy was like it’s fine pretty low like take a shot somewhere 28 3 out of 4 of us unhappy what is the re-election rate for individual members of congress 94 that’s a pretty massive gulf am i right so how is it that so many of us can be really upset about what’s going on at any moment in time but our legislators have a re-election rate the equivalent of the win rate of the michael Jordan-led chicago bulls it’s like the incumbents are the 96–97 bulls and their challengers are i don’t know i was gonna the knicks are good now so i can’t use the knicks nuggets also good i’m gonna say minnesota timberwolves so how is it that there’s such a vast gulf and the answer is in the numbers you know all know i’m a math guy it turns Out that 83 percent of the districts in america are either very blue or very red so if i get through to the general election i win in 83 of the cases that means if i get elected into office how do i keep my job avoid getting primaried from within my own party which means i just have to placate and please the most extreme partisan voters of 10 Of my district and i you got to say those 10 percent are are a little bit weird a lot of the time not all of them are here tonight let’s put it that way so this is the system of incentives politically that if you want job security you just have to avoid the most extreme flank of your party getting mad at you enough to primary you this system of incentives will quickly take someone Who’s relatively rational and reasonable and make them seem unreasonable pretty quickly and i will tell you all as someone who’s been around now dozens hundreds of legislators they are much more reasonable when the cameras are off you talk to them individually they seem like a fairly normal person some of you had this experience right then you get the camera on you’re always like where is that coming from it’s because their political incentives Are to seem more extreme and ideological so that they avoid getting challenged from within their own party then you layer on top of that media organizations who now are rewarded for separating us into ideological camps you know what i’m talking about and then social media pouring gasoline on the whole thing and in this set of incentives trying to reach across the aisle will get punished very very quickly does this Remind you of america’s political landscape right now as we’re together right this is why we feel the way we do and unfortunately this is going to get worse not better so big idea number one is that if everyone does the reasonable thing according to their incentives we are sunk the second big idea is that we’re at a point in american history where all things are possible And i generally mean the bad stuff like whatever nightmare scenario you can imagine upcoming it’s on the table no 42 of both democrats and republicans now regard the other side as evil or their mortal enemies you can sense that we’re getting more and more agitated angrier and tipping closer and closer to political violence even civil war 2.0 how many of you think that’s hyperbolic How many of you think that’s pretty accurate and for scholars there are scholars who do this who measure political stress right now the united states political stress level is literally at civil war levels so for those of you who think that this is realistic it’s real i mean we saw it on january 6th and anyone who thinks that was a one-time event i mean we know that that’s more of a harbinger of what’s To come or someone called it rehearsal and i will say the reactions to it i mean you can see very clearly that people now see things through an ideological frame there are media organizations that just want to serve up a particular narrative because that’s where their profits come from their profits do not come from challenging their viewers their profits come from giving their Viewers comfort food an msnbc producer actually said internally we’re not news where comfort and in that environment then you can see all sorts of journalistic decisions being made that do not end up making a difficult case or bring us together but try and affirm what people are already feeling so that’s where we are right now it’s a very very tough spot it’s why so many of us feel so Negatively about the future now you’re not going to believe this new york city but among all of this kind of hard clear description of the incentives that are going to tear us apart if we let them i also found an answer not going to believe it and the answer comes from the great state of alaska.
Alaska’s election model
Now, if you’re a long-time yang gang or when I say Alaska, what do you think? One state already does this, and what state is it? Alaska, how do they pay for it? Oil. What is the oil of the 21st century? Data. have you gotten your data checked? No. Then let’s go get it! those of you who aren’t yang gang, that’s what you missed, so I’m here to tell you all that the Answer comes from Alaska, but it’s not the oil dividend; give me a show of hands or applause if you’ve heard of senator Lisa Murkowski who’s been in the news if you have not heard of Lisa Murkowski congratulations you’re not a political junkie you’re probably more positive and upbeat as a result but for those of you who know who senator Lisa Murkowski is she has the distinction of being the only Republican senator who voted to impeach Donald trump who is also up for reelection in 2022. think about that think about that venn diagram a few other senators did it but they’re not up for re-election they’re like maybe they’ll forget about this by the time i’m up seriously you know and you know this in part because senator lisa murkowski now has an Approval rating of six percent among alaskan republicans they noticed they didn’t like it they were like she went against trump you know disapproved disapproved so why did she do it this does show how politically suicidal it is for a republican to go against trump so why did senator murkowski do it when so many others would not Could say it’s because she’s unusually independent and principled which i believe to be the case but you could also look up and say wait a minute alaska is the only state in the entire country that last year actually switched their process from closed party primary to open primary coupled with something called rank choice voting which you hear in new york know well [Applause] so to be clear Her incentive switched from trying to placate or please the most extreme 10 of partisan voters who in that case were republicans to having to make her case to 51 of the alaskan public and so if she goes to 51 of the alaskan public and says look i’m my own person i’m my own point of view i’ve represented you to the best of my ability bring me back she has a fighting chance How many of you think that that change in incentives might have contributed to senator murkowski’s decision to go ahead and do what she thought was right i’m gonna say of course it did because she is rational if you change the incentive so that legislators have to try and deliver for 51 percent of us that’s a very very different set of incentives than trying to please the 10 percent over here on the flank That is what we need to make happen in states around the country as quickly as possible we have to set them free we have to instead of rewarding them for being extreme and unreasonable for actually reaching across the aisle and delivering now a republican senator said to me the other week now she said we get rewarded more for keeping an issue around and trying to resolve it What did she mean by that i’m going to use an example
Pressure from radicals happens inside the parties.
How many of you remember marco rubio championing immigration reform a number of years ago raise your hand with that if you don’t remember that it’s because the following week he said just kidding just kidding i can’t i can’t and the reason why he doubled back was because he got shivered by his own party almost immediately being like hey marco What are you doing if you do this we’re gonna take a beating you’re going to lose your job so calm down and bring it back and so if they don’t actually propose a solution then what happens they can gin up energy and donations and votes saying the other side’s messing up keep supplying us with all of these things so we can fight for you that is the system we have right now if someone tries to solve it they get punished that’s what we have to change we have to do what they did in alaska in states around the country and new york city i’m here to tell you that this is a hundred percent dual because doable because all of this is controlled at the state level if i were to stand in front of you and say hey let’s get a law pass through congress you’d all groan internally you’d be like oh I thought all of this was about how congress isn’t working it’s true but all of these primaries are controlled at the state level in large part because the parties are made up there is nothing in the constitution not a word about political parties george washington detested political parties tried to warn against them on his way out John adams said two parties would be an evil upon the land in 1780. the republican party didn’t even exist until after the civil war. It started out as a northern anti-slave party, and the duopoly at that point started divvying up the spoils and saying let’s play you lose, I lose, you lose, I lose, while the people are the ones who are doing the losing.
None of this is at the federal level
it’s all at the state Level which means we can change it the way they did it in alaska is they had a ballot initiative where a bunch of alaskans got together and said let’s make this change and then it was so and in 24 other states around the country they have the same exact thing what do you think about marching around the country and trying to free up legislators so they can be rewarded for being sane and reasonable new york [Applause] i just wish that new york was a ballot initiative state but it’s not maybe it will be who knows maybe we can make that happen there are some people in this room i know who want to make that happen and i will say that new york is an emblem of one party rule i’m just going to share a couple of numbers from My mayoral so 900 000 people voted in the democratic primary that i was a participant in maybe that sounds like a lot it was actually higher turnout than the years before but in a city of 8.3 million or more 9.3 million about 10 or 11 percent of new yorkers effectively decided who the next mayor was That’s really really low in the scheme of things and if you were an independent or republican who wanted to vote in that primary you couldn’t unless you had registered four months before which by the way would have been very very unusual for someone who was independent republican to do so this is the norm in elections around the country and this is what we have to change we have to actually open it up we have to free up the system so that People get rewarded for trying to deliver for the general public instead of the most partisan among us so this is the case that i have now committed to making for people around the country and it’s a winning case because we all see that it’s not working right now the duopoly is designed just to clash and clash while the rest of us wonder what happened to our country It turns out that 62 percent of us want an alternative to the duopoly but we keep being told we can’t have one we keep being told that oh you’re going to mess it up you’re going to mess it up for someone else and i do want to touch on very briefly that anyone who’s concerned about the spoiler effect all we need to do is move to rank choice voting and then the spoiler effect is solved it’s one of the reasons why new york city Heading the store take it from a guy who lost a ranked choice voting election ranked choice voting is the best [Applause] so this is where we are in american life right now where there’s a solution that can help free us from polarization and we have to take this case to the rest of the country as quickly as possible this is our only path out.
How 2024 is going to be
I do want to put on my fortune Teller hat and talk about what’s coming down the pike who’s going to run for president in 2024 someone’s looking at me with a horrified look all right let’s let’s check this out so republican field donald trump approval rating 65 to 80 percent has raised over 100 million telling people that he’s probably going to run his opponents Ron desantis who has told people privately if trump runs i will not run nikki haley who has told people publicly if trump runs i will not run his likely opponents are going to be chris christie pence maybe larry i know you’re laughing trump probably rolls through that field if you’re a republican figure who thinks you have a bright future just wait out a cycle why would you go against trump i Know you’re shaking your head but this is rational right so you have trump coming on one side who’s coming from the other side in the blue corner i’ll be like a ring announcer in the blue corner out of scranton pennsylvania 81 years young so so joe biden incumbent defeated trump once most likely person for the democrats to run issues Right now running at 43 percent popularity and getting long on the tooth options kamala harris your sitting vice president problems kamala harris consistently pulls four or five points worse than joe it does matter after her then you have a competitive primary it’s Not what the party wants to do when trump’s coming up so it leads you back to joe biden so the likely scenario in 2024 is biden trump the sequel come combined age 158 so this is where the country is heading pretty quickly i mean i hate to be the bearer of bad news but a lot of you are thinking this so the question is how do we make use of The next 12 months again all things are possible now in the united states of america the democracy that many of us have grown up with and taken for granted i would not take it for granted so what can we do in the next 12 months we have to run not walk but run to try and implement open primaries ranked choice voting in enough states around the country so you a critical mass of legislators are able to do what’s right To stand up for our institutions that is the mission new york [Applause] and by coming here tonight you have inherited this responsibility i’m sorry to break this to you but democracy rests on your shoulders you’re like whoa i just you know came because someone invited me didn’t know i was going to inherit the preservation of american democracy but it’s true this is a mission and a message that we Need to take to the rest of the nation as quickly as possible now i want to close on this big idea that i discovered during the trail that i think you’ll all feel and resemble i was running for president i was doing my thing then a political consultant came to me and said andrew you are terrible at this you’re making all of these factual appeals It’s not what people want you have to make emotional appeals tell stories about this person tell them the red meat issue and then they will applaud and they will like you and i heard this and i was like wow is that right is this person right but what i discovered when i was running for president is that the way i communicate the way i’m talking to you all right now it ended up being a new political Language a new political language that reached some people that didn’t like politics some people defied any kind of prior political alignment because it turns out that right now all politics is tribal and our politicians have figured it out they make us angry or animated based upon the coded terms and language designed to try and inflame you against the other side And then andrew yang came along and just accidentally stumbled into this new political language based upon the way i talk what percentage of americans do you think hone in on this new language of facts reason solutions in this case trying to break us through the polarization what percent new york [Music] it’s a lot less than 51 I have to say i think it’s around 10 percent which some of you may might find you know dis disheartening in some way but i’m here to tell you all new york and this is genuinely our mission if we get that 10 percent we win in a polarized country if you get 10 percent you can transform politics for the better very very quickly how many u.s Senators does it take to control the agenda one that’s true in a polarized country you get one senator you can end up controlling the whole thing it’s realistic for us to get one two maybe even three senators in 2022. it’s realistic for us to get a handful of members of congress in 2022 to make an impact in local races around the country. This is not some far-off Goal in the future. This is right now, new york. Are you all with me? Are you gonna fight for this democracy we love so that these are not the last days? I sure as hell am with your help, we can make this case and spread this message to the rest of the country and move this country that our kids are going to grow up in not left or right but forward, which is where millions of us want to go if we will only show them the way thank you so much New york city thank you let’s do it thank you I love you too thank you very much new york thank you [Music]
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