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Joe Biden: Our last human president?

America’s biggest problem today is that it still doesn’t quite understand what kind of government its technology has created. People on the right fear digital communism. People on the left fear digital “authoritarianism,” yet the dominant model of digital governance in Washington is high-tech left-wing authoritarianism.

And as the confusion and insanity surrounding the debate over the fate of the Biden administration shows, not even all on the authoritarian left can agree on the type of government they want or need.

Logic is not enough in this world, especially when it comes to the fate of America.

There’s also the perversely nostalgic “Dark Brandon” variety, in which Joe plays the familiar necrotic dictator role, shouting feebly into a microphone from behind an expensive suit and blackened aviator sunglasses. For those who prefer a more cosmic throwback, there’s the option of a mummified emperor, with Biden as an embalmed figurehead around whose inert, ceremonial body a gloriously intricate political universe unfolds.

Both roles are being enhanced by advanced technology, either giving life to older figureheads or keeping them more permanently grounded, and on the cutting edge of innovation, the mere physical doubles available to 20th-century dictators now seem quaint.

Picking up a single Huffington Post op-ed is no road to enlightenment in this world, but a recent column Had made Indeed, Biden is in a pretty tough spot, making a startling case for considering AI augmentation: “Given the President’s concerning performance last week, it’s time for the Biden campaign to consider leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to effectively reach out to voters.”

Of course, there is a legitimate reluctance to break this barrier to using modern technology in a presidential campaign, but the consequences of not taking this approach could be dire. Moreover, in a currently underregulated electoral environment, refusing to use modern tools like AI is like entering a boxing ring with one hand tied behind your back.

With the bad Orange Man looming again (not to be confused with the good Orange Man who was whisked away by some panicked cronies in a weird polish), surely we have no choice but to screw our President!

It’s an argument many Americans might dismiss as an embarrassing thought experiment indicative of a worn-out ideology. But this column wasn’t written by some woke word slave toiling in a content farm labor camp. It was written by a former staffer for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. three He holds advanced degrees, one from Yale University and two from Harvard University.

In other words, a digitally enhanced left-wing authoritarianism need not settle for Saddam 2.0 or an animatronic Lenin. premium Left-wing authoritarianism offers the now-intuitive prospect of a cyborg president.

In hindsight, the logic is clear. President Obama himself warned in The Atlantic during the 2020 election that the internet itself is the greatest threat to American democracy because it erodes the ability of the political system to coalesce around a common cognitive and conceptual foundation of agreed-upon reality. Denied this baseline, democracies will succumb to an overwhelming wave of misinformation, or what some call fake news.

But fast forward to 2024 and the American people are faced with the spectacle of the pro-government media turning against a sitting president because the administration has hidden from the public the (obvious) truth about how badly he is doing. Obama’s warning was actually about the political instability that technology is causing by undermining a form of government that includes “the media” as a core unelected branch of government.

But Obama’s older successor, whom grown-up Zoomers with no memory of 2016 now call Geoghegan, has done more to undermine and discredit the pro-government media than anyone sitting at a keyboard in their basement with a frog as their profile picture.

Now the “media” is realizing its obsolescence in real time. While commentators hesitate, young and knowledgeable analysts say that AI will change the party. Become It will operate “the media” in a way CNN never dreamed of: fusing the president himself with an infinitely scalable digital version of him, the president, or himself, at every moment and in every place.

The emergence of ultimate power always takes on a special luster for those who are in danger of losing their high status. But there is a tension in the argument that AI is necessary to save America because it best supports Joe Biden. The real ultimate presented by the possibility of BOTUS (Borg in the United States) is not iBiden but a regime of fanatics who believe that total techno-control is the only way to realize on Earth the worship of what they see as perfect justice. Without that justice, humanity deserves little more than extinction or destruction.

Will today’s technology open or close an escape route for Americans from theocratic tyranny at the digital hands of an awakened Borg? Some foresee the arrival of a benign high-tech Caesarism, or even CEO-ism. There’s a clear logic to that option, too: With incompetence and idolatry crumbling our institutions and sapping the vitality of American commerce and culture, perhaps only a super-competent, thuggish businessman with mastery of emerging technologies can step in, sweep in, and turn things around.

But logic is not enough in this world, especially when it comes to the destiny of America. Ours is a dramatization of the ancient wisdom that while corruption in human society begins from the top, regeneration comes from its humblest, smallest, and most invisible to all but the most spiritually astute. Any path that promises a return to greatness that avoids the slow and painful regeneration of a people’s soul health is, in the end, a quack medicine.

There is no question (and there has never been any question) that a gritty cyborg CEO unleashing Sula’s ideas on a devastated society could deliver some extraordinary results. The question of the impact of technology on America’s political destiny is not about the heights of “excellence” but the depths of true vitality. And the answer is: Listening ears:

Behold, a sower went out to sow. As he was sowing, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Some fell on stony ground, where they did not have much soil. They immediately sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked the seed. But some fell on good soil, and some produced a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.

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