If the election of Donald Trump has proven anything, it’s that anything is possible. Could a Milwaukee candidate, part of a fringe party that’s main interest is prolonging human life expectancy, be our next President of the United States? Absolutely not, but the U.S. Transhumanist Party, a mix of ideas that include libertarianism and sci-fi sounding future tech, hopes their campaign will draw attention to their platform.
The U.S. Transhumanism Party was founded in 2014 by Zoltan Istvan, who ran as the party’s first candidate in the 2016 election. Zoltan’s vision was a party that would advocate for “significant life extension achieved through the process of science and technology” so people could live for hundreds and thousands of years, eventually making a breakthrough where we would be able to live to the age of forrrrrevvvvvvver years old. Imagine limbs being replaced with robotic parts, cloned organs being swapped out like an oil change, and an external hard drive for your brain.
Milwaukee’s Kristan T. Harris is one of the nine candidates competing to be the party’s nominee for presidential candidate. Harris says that besides eternal life, Transhumanists are also interested in “genome biohacking, cryptocurrency, weather modification,” and creating “designer babies.”
All of these issues will bring up questions of ethics, which Harris hopes will lead to a healthy debate amongst Transhumanists in discussions about who will have access to eternal life, and how far we will go with artificial intelligence.
“What the U.S. Transhumanist Party does is bring awareness of a very autonomous and robotic future that’s on its way,” Harris says. “It’s trying to develop ideas about what we’re going to do about those scenarios before we get there.”
Harris works for a tech company by day and bartends at The Salty Dog, a tavern in Cudahy (and his sort of unofficial headquarters), where he’s known by regulars for his passion in creating the perfect Bloody Mary with infused vodkas. In his spare time, Harris has developed an online following as the passionate co-host of talk radio show The Rundown Live, and his own program American Intelligence Report. He’s covered everything from ancient aliens to secret societies and government corruption. Milwaukee Record reported how he’d found alleged “occult symbolism” in Veterans Park. All this has led Harris to be labelled as a “conspiracy theorist,” a term he shrugs off.
“I always thought the term ‘conspiracy theorist’ was a thought-terminating cliché. It prevents people from recognizing their own cognitive dissonance or recognizing logical fallacies and it’s been shown in history that the term has been used mostly to cover up things they don’t want people to look into,” Harris argues. “If someone calls you a conspiracy theorist, then nothing you say should be considered relevant.”
Before Harris hits the road to the White House to challenge Trump and whoever the Dems push through, he will have to outlive his eight USTP opponents, including San Franciscan cyberpunk Rachel Haywire, St. Louis’s Jon Schattke (owner of Schattke Advanced Nuclear Engineering), and an “extraterrestrial-human hybrid” from Los Angeles named Vrillon. Not quite as crowded and eclectic as the Democratic lineup, but close.
Harris says he’s gotten along well with his fellow Transhumanists for the most part, but in the past week he has developed a rivalry with Arizona’s Johannon Ben Zion, who has an institute that “focuses largely on left-libertarian and techno-optimist market solutions to contemporary problems.” Harris says he got along with Candidate Zion until “he decided to call me a technophobe cause I wanted to question ethics of Transhumanism and he says I’ll ruin the party.” The two candidates clashed on the ethics of designer babies and Harris’s talk of naturally extending life. “That’s the key word, I said ‘naturally,’ then he said I was a technophobe, that I wasn’t a Transhumanist.” Harris challenged Zion to a one-on-one debate, which Zion declined.
Harris held his own in an online “virtual debate” on September 14 between five of the party’s candidates, and is spending the rest of the week campaigning in preparation for September 21, when the USTP Electronic Presidential Primary opens online. Card-carrying (or e-mail-confirmed in this case—it takes about 10 seconds to join the party by filling out a simple form on their website) members who sign up by the 21st will have a week to vote for their representative for president.
If Harris doesn’t seal his party’s nomination, he’ll be able to try again in 2024. And if the Transhumanist agenda moves forward, he’ll also have a chance to run again in 3024, 4024…whatever millennium seems like the right fit.
You can find Kristan T. Harris’s Official U.S. Transhumanist Party candidate bio page HERE.