Sam Altman’s United Slate platform is awesome and structurally flawed.

An open letter of thanks to someone who saw something and decided to do a lot more than just say something.

Hey Sam,

You don’t know me and it’s unlikely you know of me, so you don’t have any real reason to care about this letter or consider what I have to say credible, but here goes:

First, thank you so (so so so) much for doing this United Slate thing.

The country and the planet desperately need people with your mix of intellectual/analytical horsepower, creative energy, persuasive gifts, and financial resources if we’re going to stop the United States (and possibly even human civilization) from driving itself straight into the abyss.

Here’s some stuff:

  1. I’m extremely happy that you realized that your best leverage would come from building a network, not winning a governorship.
  2. The three core principles you’ve articulated resonate deeply with me and the top 10 policy goals make a ton of sense.
  3. Starting with California is simultaneously the obvious and brilliant choice.
  4. Building a slate of independent candidates who are on board with this platform is a world-class idea. BUT…
  5. While you have accurately and eloquently observed most of the biggest problems, I wonder if you have fully accurately diagnosed their root causes.

Specifically, the failing political system, while significant, is only a part of the problem.

The bigger problem may be that the foundational assumptions underpinning the political, economic, and cultural systems of the United States have become obsolete, counterproductive to human well being, and destructive to the planet’s ability to sustain our civilization.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that you’ve made the same diagnosis, and are focusing on the political system because you understand it as the biggest obstacle in the way…

If that is the case, I would add this: your solution to the failures of the political system (to systematically identify and nurture forward-thinking candidates) has a solid foundation, but it may not quite go far enough.

Indeed, what very real need for The United Slate suggests, but the platform does not outright say, is that biggest addressable cause of the failing political system in the United States is the two-party duopoly.

I don’t know if breaking up the political duopoly is part of The United Slate’s secret plan, but it is definitely part of mine.

If you’re interested in more about that, I’ve just published the “Draft Specs For A Viable Third Party In America” I’ve been working on.

But regardless, thanks you, Sam Altman, for seeing something terrible happening and being willing to go way beyond just saying something about it.