The Articles of Unity
A Patriotic Plan To Save Our Republic
“A Republic, if you can keep it.” — Benjamin Franklin
Imagine it’s November 4th, the morning after the election. How will you feel?
If President Trump is returned to office, will you feel that your future is secure?
If Vice-President Biden is elected, will you feel that the nation is in capable hands?
Now imagine instead that a courageous, competent pair of patriots take the stage — a team not beholden to any party, nor beset by conflicts of interest. A team driven to build a future where our national vision is clear, our plan is wise and — for the first time — every American is fully included.
Imagine looking your neighbors in the eye and — no matter who they might be — feeling a sense of comradery and excitement about what is to come. Imagine being proud to be an American again, or for the first time.
This scenario is one that an overwhelming majority of Americans would prefer. And the very real possibility stands open before us.
Are you ready to accept this possibility and the responsibility that comes with it?
The Problem: Our Government Has Been Captured
After decades of neglect, our country is in crisis, and cynicism dominates the public mind.
Maybe you have felt this. Maybe you are worried about your family’s future. Or maybe you are simply a concerned citizen, witnessing recent events unfold and are troubled by what they seem to foreshadow.
You are not alone.
Our two dominant political parties are entirely consumed by partisan politics and are clearly uninterested in serious solutions to an ever-expanding list of problems they had a powerful hand in creating. More disturbingly, the tools we might use to remedy this situation, tools granted us by our founding documents, appear to have been dulled to the point of uselessness by the major parties — parties which, in those brilliant blueprints, are nowhere mentioned.
As a nation, we are navigating uncharted territory. In addition to partisan gridlock, we must rise to several new challenges:
- We lack consensus, even about matters of basic fact, and the current tools of collective sense-making are unable to close the gap.
- Our country is on the brink of economic catastrophe and we are hobbled by our dependence on an outsourced manufacturing base.
- Massive protests reveal the depth of frustration, but these outpourings of genuine anger are all too easily co-opted and attention diverted away from root causes — while working class Americans demonize each other, those who captured our system and hoarded opportunity continue to flourish at our expense.
- The world is losing confidence in America’s capacity to lead, even as Chinese geopolitical power expands. This could lead to catastrophic war in the absence of sober leadership.
Each of these challenges is daunting. Taken together, and mismanaged by our captured and dysfunctional government, the country finds itself in jeopardy. Divisive, partisan politics has hobbled our nation and battered our better angels — just when when we need them most.
The Cost of Inaction
Pervasive corruption has compromised every system on which we depend. If we do nothing the best-case scenario is one of continuing slow collapse. Growing unrest may devolve into left- or right-wing authoritarianism, and with racial tensions rising at a spectacular rate, a second civil war is a very real possibility.
Those in power have abdicated responsibility, exploited the partisan divide, and hijacked the consent of the governed for personal gain.
Our human potential is being squandered. How many Albert Einsteins or James Baldwins will we forego due to the concentration of opportunity by rent-seeking elites? The hoarding of wellbeing hampers progress and harms us all. Our government, rather than protect us, has become complicit in parasitizing the electorate.
A substantial shift in our national direction cannot be put off any longer. Good governance liberates citizens and empowers them to be creative, productive, and to enrich the nation. We must change our course and return to government by and for the people.
The Solution: #Unity2020
What is it?
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.
Candidates must meet these three criteria:
- They must be patriotic
- They must be highly capable
- They must be courageous
After four years in office, the order reverses for the next election. 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.
The Unity Ticket represents our shared values and vision for the future. Cooperation and necessary compromise pave the path to a functioning and productive government that serves all citizens.
But won’t it be a spoiler?
No. The Unity Ticket is designed to avoid that pitfall in two different ways.
First, by bridging the center-left and center-right, the Unity Ticket disempowers both major parties rather than empowering one or the other.
Second, the plan includes a fail-safe: if, at a carefully chosen point prior to the General Election, the Unity Ticket has no viable path to the White House, the candidacy will be suspended.
Not only is it possible for a Unity Ticket to win, but the Republic may well depend on it.
2020 Is An Unprecedented Year
Our proposal is unprecedented, but it comes midway through a year in which our usual intuitions of plausibility are continually upended.
We have already seen impeachment, pandemic, widespread violence, lockdown, police brutality followed by calls to abolish the police and declarations of sovereignty within the United States. All of this is occurring with a looming economic depression and without a single credible national leader to steer us toward calmer waters.
Our Plan is Supported By The Data
In the United States, more than 40% of voters self-identify as “Independent” having already rejected the hegemony of the major parties. If they had a ticket that spoke to their interests as American citizens, they would be the largest voting bloc in the country. Many citizens who have given up on voting would be likely to vote if they had reason to do so.
Only 17% of people trust the government to “do what is right” most of the time. Congressional approval ratings have dropped to 25% at the time of this writing. 88% of Americans say that our current political leaders are not “up to the challenge” of addressing the crises we face.
89% of voters say that “political corruption” is either a “significant problem” or “crisis.”
We are starved for leadership, the parties have failed us, and the American public knows it. Yet, 84% of Americans believe it is still possible to “improve the level of confidence we have in government.” There is hope.
Traditional Media Has Lost Its Power
With the rise of social media, grassroots commentary, and citizen journalism, corporate media monopolies no longer control the bounds of political discourse.
Trust in traditional news media is at an all-time low. 61% of people say that the media frequently and intentionally ignores important stories. Citizens’ awareness is now largely decentralized. People source their news from peers and channels that have bootstrapped their way into the public consciousness. The mainstream media can pretend the duopoly is sound, but it can no longer silence challenges to their legitimacy.
Anyone who has witnessed ideas spread across the internet knows that we do not need the sanction of the mainstream media. We can reach Americans directly, and we are confident that candidates who speak with honor, authenticity, and insight will stand apart–and a majority of Americans will heed the call.
The American Public Is Unhappy with Its Choices
Both Biden and Trump have greater unfavorable ratings than favorable ones, even before the general election battle has begun. Either one would be the oldest person ever sworn in as President, and persistent concerns about declining health and cognition are certain only to grow.
Historically, the major parties have ensured that alternative efforts were doomed to fail. In 2020 however, both parties have delivered Presidential candidates who are broadly distrusted and show no capacity to rise above partisan politics. The need for leadership has never been greater. Yet, the parties have never offered less.
President Trump certainly has loyal supporters but outside of that circle, he is widely distrusted — even within his own party. His insistence on politicizing every issue is a terrible match for this dangerous moment. Outside the ranks of DNC loyalists, it is difficult to find anyone enthusiastic about Joe Biden’s candidacy. The ground is fertile for anything that captures the public imagination and restores confidence in our capacity as a nation.
There are several viable paths for ballot access, but we must act quickly. This requires an unprecedented groundswell of the American people. If the American people overwhelmingly rise up and demand this alternative, it is possible for a Unity Ticket to win in 2020.
Remembering Who We Are
We the People are Americans. We are ordinary citizens from all walks of life and backgrounds. We are brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, friends, neighbors, and colleagues from across the political spectrum. We are Patriots.
The United States is the most prosperous democracy in the world. Despite flaws at our founding, dark episodes in our history, and transgressions against many of our own, our founding principles have stood as a singular beacon of liberty for open minds across the world. We continue to strive to build a more perfect Union. We have stumbled, but we have not fallen — and we must not.
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.
Our national situation is dire, and even people well beyond our borders are depending on us. We cannot afford to wait four more years.
We are calling upon every citizen to recapture the people’s house, and restore hope for our future, our children’s future, and for generations yet to come.
We the people are duty-bound to rescue the Republic and to revive the spirit of its founding fathers. Only by so doing will we prepare ourselves to meet the challenges of the 21st century with the courage and ingenuity that was long ago woven into the fabric of this marvelous, patchwork nation.
Success and What It Would Mean
We can, at long last, break the two-party stranglehold that has for decades kept us from real change, sincere progress, and growing prosperity.
We can end the corrosive influence of special interests that cynically divide our country and the major parties that have come to exclusively serve the interests of their benefactors.
We must resist polarization, and unify against corruption. We must elect powerful leaders who will put the interest of the nation first. We must do it now, the hour is upon us, and the opportunity is at hand.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
— Preamble to The Constitution of the United States of America, Summer