NEWS AND OPINION:
He has been billed as the “cyborg who is running against President Trump.” That would be Republican presidential hopeful Zoltan Istvan — a self-described transhumanist based in California who hopes his futuristic message of fusing radical technology with daily life resonates in a complicated political marketplace.
His campaign motto is “Upgrade America,” and he supports everything from artificial wombs to the use of drones to prevent mass shootings. He ran as an independent for president in 2016, and is repeating his efforts in 2020 as a Republican.
“My presidential campaign has been based on being a new type of Republican — one that’s more open-minded about the future, about the vast social differences across the nation, and about how the world is being changed by new science and technologies like artificial intelligence and genetic editing,” Mr. Istvan tells Inside the Beltway.
He has campaigned in such traditional venues as the Iowa caucuses. He has also spent much time aboard the Immortality Bus, which is meant to be a “pro-science symbol of resistance against aging and death,” says Mr. Istvan, 47, and a married father of two.
“The Immortality Bus aims to usher in the next great civil rights debate. Should we use science and technology to overcome death and become a stronger species?” asks the candidate.
He has a website at ZoltanIstvan.com, of course. But wait. Now there’s also “Immortality or Bust.” Yes, it’s Immortality Bus, the movie.
“This is a feature-length documentary on transhumanism, my life and my Immortality Bus road trip, and it debuts on Tuesday,” says Mr. Istvan, noting that there are “plenty of Libertarians” who appear in the film.
“It follows my two-year presidential campaign as a transhumanist. Simply put, that means someone who wants to use science and technology to upgrade humans. This is not your typical politician’s film, or public relations project. The content includes such issues as artificial intelligence, cryopreservation, biohacking, and protests against such existential risks like a life-threatening plague. My own efforts to deliver a Transhumanist Bill of Rights to the U.S. Capitol are all part of the journey,” the candidate tells the Beltway.
“This documentary follows Zoltan on his improbable journey to its final, and revealing conclusion,” notes iTunes.com, which is among multiple online spots that are featuring Mr. Istvan’s 80-minute outreach. Find it here.
There are multiple reasons why 2020 does not seem to be a presidential election year. The coronavirus pandemic is the biggest one, along with a news media which has remained fixated on trashing President Trump rather than reporting on policy issues or voter concerns.
Some analysts also believe the press is shielding Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden from too much public exposure as he hones his campaign.
But the clock is ticking.
“Joe Biden can’t hide in the basement forever. The fact that he hasn’t done a press conference in 81 days is indefensible,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tells Fox News.
“President Trump goes in front of the media every single day. He’s the most accessible president we have ever seen in the media. Joe Biden is trying to run this ‘Bide-n-seek’ campaign, and it’s not going to work forever,” declares Mrs. McDaniel.
‘AN EXISTENTIAL THREAT’
About the only thing that Republicans and Democrats can agree on is that the nation is politically polarized, The two sides can’t even agree to disagree. Meanwhile, one analyst has deep thoughts about President Trump and his quest for the White House.
“The Left regards Trump as an existential threat. The attack they mount against him will be unprecedented in ferocity and underhandedness. There is no malign expedient they will not avail themselves of, no dirty trick to which they will not stoop,” writes Roger Kimball, editor and publisher of The New Criterion and publisher of Encounter Books.
“Which is why the ‘silent majority’ that the president invoked in his Tulsa rally can no longer remain silent. Just as Trump is an existential threat to the deep state and its culture of corruption, so too that establishment is an existential threat to America as conceived by the founders, Lincoln, Reagan, and Trump,” Mr. Kimball says in his essay, published by the Epoch Times.
He continues to mull Mr. Trump’s recent campaign rally, and what he told the crowd.
“The choice in 2020, as the president said, is very simple. Do you want to bow before the left wing mob? Or do you want to stand up tall and proud as Americans?”
MEANWHILE IN GREENLAND
“A statue of a Danish-Norwegian colonizer in Greenland’s capital Nuuk was marked with red paint and the word ‘decolonize’ on Sunday,” reports Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen, a Danish correspondent for Reuters.
“The incident comes as statues and monuments around the world are being reconsidered in light of the Black Lives Matter movement, and is a reminder of the tensions between Greenland’s mostly Indigenous Inuit residents and former colonial power Denmark. It also comes less than a year after President Trump offered to buy the vast island,” he writes.
The statue of Hans Egede, a missionary whose arrival in Greenland in 1721 marked the beginning of the island’s colonial era, was marked in the early morning hours, police said. Images of the statue posted on social media drew hundreds of “mostly approving” comments.
“Inuit are constantly silenced and never given the opportunity to process the traumas that have been passed down for generations,” said Paninnguaq Lind Jensen, who runs a tattoo shop in Nuuk.
Greenland is home to 56,025 people and was a Danish colony until 1953 when it became a formal part of the Nordic nation. In 2009, Greenland achieved self-governing autonomy, including the right to declare independence from Denmark.
POLL DU JOUR
• 73% of U.S. adults think the federal government “should not pay money to black Americans whose ancestors were slaves as compensation for that slavery.”
• 56% oppose “changing the names of U.S. military bases that are named after Confederate leaders.”
• 51% oppose “removing Confederate statues from public spaces around the country.”
• 35% oppose “banning the use of chokeholds by police officers.”
Source: An ABC News/IPSOS poll of 727 U.S. adults conducted June 17-18.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.