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Andrew Yang: The Founders Hated the Idea of a Two-Party Duopoly

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Created: 01 November, 2023
2 min read

Photo Credit: John Bakator on Unsplash

 

In a recent episode of his podcast, Forward, former presidential candidate and Forward Party Co-Founder Andrew Yang spoke with futurist and X PRIZE founder Peter Diamandis on a variety of topics, including AI in politics, universal basic income, the future of the US workforce, and political reforms that could save the US democratic process.

During the conversation, Yang explains to Diamandis that the two-party duopoly that we see today -- one that has created a severe drought in political competition and zero accountability -- was never the intention of the Founders. In fact, they warned of the dangers a duopoly would have on the preservation of the Republic.

"George Washington famously warned against political parties on his way out. John Adams said two parties would be a great evil across the land. James Madison warned that you can't have two parties that don't shift," Yang said. 

"And so, you had this representative system that was set up that did not reckon with the fact that you would have the domination of these two parties in the way that took place. And even then, the two parties up until the 60s and 70s were sort of like Vanilla and French Vanilla."

Specifically, Yang meant that the two parties were not so polarized that association with one or the other would be a factor in how people related to each other. A person's political affiliation did not define their identity in society anywhere near the way it does in today's sociopolitical landscape. 

However, over the last 40 years or so, the parties have become increasingly polarized, and US citizens have witnessed more instances of rural vs urban, educated vs non-educated, more diverse vs more homogenous -- fractures in society that have become more pronounced and widespread as the parties foster and encourage division.

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Basically, everything Washington, Adams, and Madison -- along with other Founders -- warned about has come to pass. And, it is the result of a system manufactured by the two parties to suppress the voices of voters and candidates outside the parties while keeping voters divided for their own benefit and gain. 

They have created a system that gives voters two choices -- and only two choices -- if they want any type of say in the political process. And, in most elections in the US, there is no choice because most districts and areas are so safe for one party or the other that voters on the outside have to sit on the sidelines while a partisan minority chooses their elected officials in taxpayer-funded partisan primaries.

Yang and Diamandis discuss this in detail and the nonpartisan reforms that have made a tremendous impact over the last decade to shift incentives from private, self-serving interests to putting the interests of citizens first and fostering greater accountability, including nonpartisan primaries and ranked choice voting.

Check out the full podcast above. 

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