The billionaire founders of gaming development firm Zynga and professional social media platform LinkedIn have joined forces on a political initiative that is making waves throughout the Washington D.C. Democratic establishment.
Mark Pincus and Reid Hoffman are trying to break down the barriers of the Democratic Party and remake it into a "people's lobby" with their new project called #WTF Democrats.
As much as Democrats want to paint the Republican Party as the party of corruption, special interests, cronyism and greed (hard to argue against that), the Democratic Party has a long history of self-dealing, catering to powerful lobbying groups, and saying one thing to its constituency and then doing a totally contradictory thing behind closed doors.
So Mark Pincus and Reid Hoffman, both Democrats themselves, decided to join forces and launch #WTF Democrats (it stands for "Win The Future", not what the f***, although I'm sure the ambiguity is intentional). Pincus, speaking on the initiative, said:
"We need a modern people's lobby that empowers all of us to choose our leaders and set our agenda.
Imagine voting for a president we're truly excited about. Imagine a government that promotes capitalism and civil rights."
#WTF Democrats is equal part a political movement and a platform for a larger discussion to come to a consensus about what Democratic values should be in the future.
People will vote on policy points and then discuss them on Twitter. The group then plans to turn the policy directions that seem to resonate the most into billboards in Washington, DC, with congressional leaders the target audience.
Perhaps most importantly, #WTF Democrats hopes to spur a wave of fresh faces - average everyday citizens, not political elites - to run for political office on the backs of the agreed upon policy points. And Mark Pincus has already convinced one person to run on a #WTF Democrats platform: Third Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins.
While Pincus' and Hoffman's stated goal with this initiative is to engage grassroots liberals, moderates and independents in a constructive way, the #WTF movement is not without its chorus of critics:
Despite the criticism, it's never a bad idea to try to open up an entrenched, exclusive, perhaps too-powerful political party to the concerns of everyday Americans.
If you'd like to help set the agenda for #WTF Democrats, head on over to their website by following this link.