“WTF” is a fitting acronym for LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman’s newest project to rethink what the Democratic Party is today.
Called Win The Future, WTF is starting as a “people’s lobby” where people can vote on policy topics that are important to them, like making engineering degrees free for everyone.
“We need a modern people’s lobby that empowers all of us to choose our leaders and set our agenda,” said Mark Pincus, the billionaire cofounder of WTF and Zynga. “Imagine voting for a President we’re truly excited about. Imagine a government that promotes capitalism and civil rights.”
Despite its roots with two powerful tech founders, WTF is taking an old-school approach to start. People will vote on the policies and discuss them on Twitter. The ones that seem to resonate will then be turned into billboards that the group plans to buy in Washington D.C. to make sure Congressional leaders see them.
While it wants to get the attention of members of Congress, WTF is also unabashedly “not for pro-politicians.” According to Recode, one of WTF’s more audacious plans has been to recruit political outsiders to run as “WTF Democrats” and challenge the old stalwarts of the democratic party. One person Pincus targeted specifically has been Stephan Jenkins from the band Third Eye Blind, according to Recode.
Those plans are on hold for now though as it focuses on the launch of its billboard campaigns and building a political platform that’s voiced on the desires of the people — at least those that are active on Twitter.
Already progressive leaders have criticized the launch of WTF as a pet project for two billionaires that’s incredibly off-base, according to a HuffPost report.
Limiting this to engineering makes it seem like tech billionaires don’t care about education or inequality: just want to pay engineers less. pic.twitter.com/UtSwFsYknb
— Jamison Foser (@jamisonfoser) July 4, 2017
“I am not sure the creators of the lamest and the most annoying social media experiences are the exact people who should be rewiring the philosophical core of the Democratic Party as they say they want to,” Alex Lawson, executive director of Social Security Works, told HuffPost.
Despite the early criticism, Pincus and Hoffman have together committed over $500,000 to build out the project — and they’re still raising money to bring the billboard campaign to life.
“We can’t wait until elections to fight for what we care about. We can’t hope for a benevolent leader who may choose to listen to us,” Pincus wrote in his note on the vision of WTF. “We need a network that lets the best ideas and leaders rise to the top through an open, inclusive democratic process.”