To Respond to the Founders' Call to Safeguard Our Representative Government from Partisan Politics by Establishing a Merit-Based Platform for Crowdsourced Nonpartisan Candidates and Policies Using Next-Generation Digital Technology.
An Open Letter to the American People
Most Americans believe that attempts to bring a decisive end to the inequities dominating our elections are practically doomed to failure. This is more than just the pervasive public apathy we know so well. Phrases like “campaign finance reform,” “third party candidates,” “fair ballot access” and “abolish the Electoral College” have been used so impotently, for so long (and in the midst of so many extreme moments of optimism and frustration), that they now sound more like magical thinking than part of any serious discussion.
National campaigns for public office occur in a maelstrom of power struggle, self-interest, and carefully blighted conversation that is only truly relevant to those who monopolize it. Ultimately, the candidates, political objectives, and policy solutions produced in this environment simply do not represent voters’ priorities and needs in any meaningful way.
This is the product of partisan politics as it is practiced today in the United States - a grim reality that the most iconic of our founders warned us against. Nearly as long as the nation has existed, the election process has been driven by political operators focused on manipulation of the voter instead of honest efforts to form a competent government that closely represents its people. As a result, we find ourselves subjugated by limited choices, partisan rhetoric that is often little more than blatant propaganda and widespread malaise that fuels low voter turnout.
While we all know this is true, many of us are still inspired by the idea that the curve of history does indeed bend towards justice. It is generally accepted that the increases in knowledge and technology we’ve seen in the last few decades have ultimately contributed to a sharp upward arc in that curve. In the case of our electoral process, the authors of this document believe that the curve may be about to bend even more dramatically.
Welcome to the initiative we call “PurpleState™.”
Our effort is rooted in the recent proliferation of digital media that has enabled citizens to assume control over many central influences and functions of American life. Consider just one of the many examples of this dynamic: the sweeping changes in retail marketing practices (which are, undeniably, the same core practices that drive political campaigns). For at least a century, newspapers, catalogs and, most recently, broadcast media were prime movers of consumer choice for retail products. In less than twenty years, crowd-sourced online product ratings have rendered some of the most brilliant and well-funded forms of traditional retail marketing obsolete for a growing majority of Americans.
Clearly, that same progression is now underway in our politics. Enormous war chests of advertising funds that were, until recently, a minimum requirement for a successful campaign are becoming increasingly irrelevant in the face of now-ubiquitous barrages of social media messaging with comparatively little cost.
We believe that the core concepts behind PurpleState™ are the next step in this progression. This initiative may be the definitive response to the reality that independents are now the largest group of registered voters in the country, by a wide margin. This is a clear indication that electorate is looking for liberation from the polarizing influence of our political parties. Our intent is to facilitate a permanent pivot away from the intractable ills of our present two-party system.
Beginning with the office of President (the indisputable focal point of American politics), we have developed a road map for the creation of a parallel political campaign process on a multimedia platform where citizens, not parties, decide who is most capable of representing them.
We will demonstrate how mature social networking technology and the prevalence of digital media programming can be leveraged to force the existing campaign process (characterized by absurdly superficial primary contests, tainted debates, negative ads, dark money and profit-driven media quagmires) into obsolescence.
The PurpleState™ initiative will be comprised of two primary components. The first is a self-titled social media website and mobile application that will allow voters, candidates and campaign supporters to interact in a familiar, robust and accessible way to achieve unprecedented levels of consensus on the facts and the issues that matter to them (and to find mutually agreeable ways to get them resolved). Debates, town halls, rallies and all the machinery necessary for political organization will be available to voters of every affiliation and political perspective on PurpleState™, whenever and wherever the user wants to participate.
Prospective public servants will find that the PurpleState™ app and website provide a level playing field on which they can organize an independent, non-partisan and viable campaign by inviting voters to review their qualifications and policies. Voters will be able to evaluate candidates' vision for the future of the country and choose one to support in the same way they choose their products and services online everyday: by reading ratings and reviews of their value.
The platform will make the process of supporting and organizing for their candidate just as simple and effective. Candidates will be formally tested for competency using questions drafted and chosen by PurpleState™ users and the best minds in political science, diplomacy, military strategy, economics, and other disciplines associated with Presidential leadership. An algorithm will identify a top tier of the most thoroughly vetted candidates and the most popular policy ideas in preparation for the next phase of our initiative.
The protracted process of primary and general elections for President is often described as an impossibly long season of a poorly-conceived reality show. This is, frankly, a kind description of the quadrennial media circus we all despise and yet cannot seem to look away from.
Our alternative is PurpleState™’s second core component: a truly binge-worthy digital reality show called “PresidentElect™.”
PresidentElect™ and its supporting PurpleState™ programming will include debates, speeches, town hall meetings, interviews, comedy and punditry that deliver all of the engagement and drama of a traditional presidential race with one essential difference: a laser focus on the national conversation that is trending in real-time on the PurpleState™ social network.
This fully functional alternative race will culminate in a fierce, focused and fair competition (judged by user-favorite personalities and experts) where there is only one winner, ultimately chosen by a majority of PurpleState™ users. Who is the best candidate in the race to be the next American President? On PresidentElect™, political parties don't have a say in the matter. An engaged and empowered network of American voters decide. No Parties. Just People.
Throughout our ongoing process of political organization, PurpleState™ users and PresidentElect™ viewers will be able to donate to a PAC that will be used to promote their consensus agenda. The winner of PresidentElect™ will benefit from that impact and from an grassroots organization that is solidly behind them and motivated to help fund their campaign. Members of that organization will also be mobilized in the effort to secure comprehensive ballot access and slates of electors empowered to cast electoral votes for the winning candidate.
In addition to how we designed PurpleState™ to function as the fund-raising vehicle an independent candidate needs to compete against their partisan opponents, we also intend to address the issue of money in politics in another important way. It is part of a strategy that seeks to replace the political capital of Wall Street with the market forces of Main Street. In short, our aim is to create a competitive media entity that profits engaged voters and advertisers who support their consensus agenda as it drives the conversation in the mainstream media.
It could be argued that a candidate chosen by PurpleState™ users may be incapable of getting anything done in the White House without a Congress who will provide the kind of support the two party system can deliver. We suggest that this platform may just be the key to breaking gridlock by releasing members of congress from the need to vote for toxic legislation to retain support from their party and ensure their political survival.
A truly non-partisan President could act as a check and balance to an unproductive, primary-focused congress by creating coalitions across party lines, based on policy that clearly represents their constituents' stated interests. The environment created by such a President would nurture re-election bids for legislators on both sides of the aisle as they vote for verifiably popular legislation and effectively court the President’s independent base.
The phrase “verifiably popular” alludes to the fact that PurpleState™ polling will be conducted constantly by user activity, in real time, with no slanted survey methodology to create the traditional cloud of polling ambiguity. This kind of unprecedented consensus of public opinion on a wide range of issues will do more than facilitate a coattail effect for opportunistic partisan politicians. It will enable independent candidates in state or local races to leverage the network's core functionality and user base to present serious challenges to incumbents and regional party influence.
It may be difficult for you to believe that the process we propose will deliver truly comprehensive ballot access, faithful electors and a solid rationale to turn away from the “don’t waste your vote” strategic voting that always threatens to split the vote and hand the election to the candidate of the party whose ideas you oppose. You may find that at this point that we have raised more questions than answers.
How will the social media platform be created, and by who? How will the algorithm insure a fair candidate selection process? How will bots and bad actors be prevented from creating fake accounts and skewing results? What is the strategy to obtain ballot access and ensure that electors will cast the appropriate votes in the Electoral College if PresidentElect™ candidates win in their state?
We invite you to find the answers (or, at least, the path to find them) in the content on this site. Consider this a sincere and urgent call to action for you and every other American citizen who believes that the future of our democracy depends on elections that are free from the corruption of partisans and plutocrats.
Just by reading and sharing this information, you are already participating in our effort. Now that you have come this far, we encourage you to go a little further. Help us to build, support and deploy an organization that functions solely to serve the nation’s interest by providing the American people with competent candidates to vote for that are chosen due to merit, not privilege or ideology.