- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Is there room for one more in the 2020 presidential race? Transhumanist Zoltan Istvan has declared he’s running for the White House as a Republican, complete with the campaign motto “Upgrading America” — a task he believes can be accomplished through futuristic technology and science.

One new press report describes him as “the cyborg who is running against Donald Trump.” Mr. Istvan appears ready.

“My team and I are ready to really push hard, get on primary ballots, and see if we can get conservatives to be more open-minded about the future. We’re excited that they will open up so that the far-left doesn’t totally own radical science and tech in the future. We think we can be instrumental in getting to GOP and libertarian conservatives to broaden their perspectives about these things,” Mr. Istvan told The Washington Times.

He has a message for the public as well.

“You might know me as a Silicon Valley futurist, a transhumanist advocate, or the Science Candidate. I’ve written books on science and technology, hundreds of articles you’d find in outlets such as The New York Times, Vice, and Business Insider, and I’ve campaigned to end the idea of death,” Mr. Istvan says in his 20-point public campaign message, found at Zoltan2020.com.

He is a former writer for National Geographic and an entrepreneur — a self-described fiscal conservative who worries that China will surpass the U.S. in such areas as artificial intelligence, genetic editing and “neural prosthetic development.”

Mr. Istvan — who lives near San Francisco, is married to a medical doctor and is the father of two — ran for president in 2016 as a Transhumanist Party candidate, and for California governor as a Libertarian. This time, campaign manager Pratik Chougule says he is running “as a new type of Republican politician.”

He favors universal basic income, free college and believes in “licensing” parents to ensure they are ready to raise their kids. He favors “nearly open borders” but does not welcome “freeloaders” — and believes drones and robots could prevent mass shootings. So far, he will appear on the New Hampshire presidential primary ballot when the time comes. The press has begun to notice.

“Meet the cyborg who’s running against Donald Trump for president. Zoltan Istvan, a leader of the transhumanist movement to merge humans with technology, is challenging Trump with a plan for America that’s beyond radical,” note CNET.com — zeroing in on the candidate’s ideas about abortion.

“Within 10 years, I expect artificial wombs to improve to be able to handle fetuses around 16 weeks, which would give many women a third choice. There are 50 million abortions a year. No longer will one have to be pro-choice or pro-life, but one can also say: I’d like to give my child up for adoption via an artificial womb,” Mr. Istvan told the news organization.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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