Fiction, Politics, and the Road Ahead with Andrew Yang | Saturday Extra

    enSeptember 16, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • A novel exploring the possibility of the U.S. electoral system breaking downFormer presidential candidate Andrew Yang's novel 'The Last Election' showcases potential issues with the electoral system and the consequences of independent candidacies, making it a thought-provoking read.

      Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, in collaboration with Stephen Marsh, has written a novel titled "The Last Election" exploring the possibility of the U.S. electoral system breaking down. The book follows an unorthodox third-party candidate whose success could trigger this outcome. Although it's labeled as fiction, Yang emphasizes its plausibility due to conversations he's had with potential presidential candidates. The reason for writing it as a novel was to make the scenario more engaging, vivid, and thought-provoking. The authors aim to highlight potential issues with the current electoral system and the potential consequences of independent candidacies.

    • The Power of Storytelling to Engage and Reshape CultureFormer presidential candidate emphasizes importance of personal stories and nontraditional approaches to reach wider audience, using books, social media, and Netflix series as examples. Warns of potential last elections with current electoral system due to growing concerns and disillusionment with two-party system and polarized media.

      Storytelling, whether through personal experiences or fiction, has the power to deeply engage people and potentially reshape the cultural narrative. The speaker, a former presidential candidate, emphasizes the importance of using personal stories and nontraditional approaches to reach a wider audience. He shares that he has tried various methods, including books and social media, to convey his messages, and is now shopping a novel for potential adaptation into a Netflix series. He believes that the upcoming elections could be our last with the current electoral system, as indicated by the concerns of a majority of Americans. He also points out the growing disillusionment with the two-party system and the increasing polarization of corporate media. The speaker's message underscores the significance of finding new ways to connect with people and address the pressing issues of our time.

    • Polarized Political System and the Role of MediaThe current US political system is deeply polarized, with media amplifying divisions. A more peaceful, unifying path forward could be the formation of new major political parties.

      The current political system in the United States is deeply polarized, with the media playing a significant role in reinforcing and attacking certain candidates. The country is divided into blue and red zones, and the presidential race is often decided by a small number of voters in a few key states. This system is designed to incite and inflame, leading many to feel frustrated and disconnected. A more peaceful and unifying path forward could be the formation of more major political parties, as opposed to the current two-party system that has become increasingly antagonistic. Throughout American history, parties have morphed, reformed, and even collapsed, only to be replaced by something new. A major reform movement within one or both of the existing parties, or the rise of a new party, could provide a potential solution to the current polarization crisis.

    • Historical precedents provide insights into third party potentialLincoln's election and Forward Party's focus on local elections offer insights into third party growth potential

      Historical precedents, like Abraham Lincoln's election with less than 40% of the votes in a four-candidate race, offer insights into the potential for new political movements to emerge and challenge the status quo. The Forward Party, as an example, is making strides by focusing on local elections, where up to 70% of positions are uncontested or unfilled. With over 35 state legislators, mayors, district attorneys, and county executives already aligned, the party aims to reach 500 such officials in the near future. Mayors and school board members, in particular, are attracted to the Forward Party as an alternative to the two major parties. Additionally, the dissatisfaction with potential rematches of current political figures presents an opportunity for the Forward Party and similar organizations to gain traction. Despite the challenges faced by third parties, these opportunities offer a path for growth and change in the political landscape.

    • Unconventional Candidates and Shifting Political LandscapeThe political landscape is becoming more unpredictable with unconventional candidates like Joe Manchin considering a third-party run, signaling progress or disintegration of campaigns. Amidst uncertainty, there's a need to modernize democracy and make it more responsive to everyday people.

      The political landscape is shifting, with unconventional candidates like Joe Manchin potentially considering a third-party run for president. Manchin faces a tough decision between seeking reelection in West Virginia or aiming for the White House as a unifying figure. The increasing number of unorthodox candidates, such as those highlighted in a recent book, could signal progress or the disintegration of campaigns. Regardless, it's clear that the political scene is becoming more unpredictable, with seemingly impossible outcomes becoming more common. Amidst this uncertainty, there's a pressing need to modernize our democracy and make it more responsive to the needs of everyday people. With the majority of congressional districts being uncompetitive in general elections, presidential contests serve as one of the few avenues for change.

    • Political Divide and Concerns for 2024 ElectionAmerica's deeply divided political climate may lead to civil unrest and violence during the 2024 election, with intergenerational tensions reaching new highs. It's crucial to work towards healing the divide and promoting understanding between political parties.

      The political climate in America is deeply divided, leading to increasing numbers of outsider candidates running for office. This trend is expected to continue, and there are growing concerns about potential civil unrest and violence surrounding the 2024 election. Political tensions are at multigenerational highs, with American parents more accepting of interracial or interfaith relationships than those of different political parties. Authors and political figures have expressed their concerns about this situation, and while there is hope that America's "better angels" will prevail, it is essential to remain vigilant and work towards healing the political divide.

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