In a recent essay for Quillette, Mark Goldblatt outlined the ways in which “scientists, theorists, technicians, entrepreneurs, and even a few kooks are laboring independently toward radical life extension, with an eye on the ultimate prize: the eradication of death.”
The eradication, he argues, is not as preposterous as it sounds. One day, in the not so distant future, immortality may very well be achieved. However, one thing is for sure, even if death is eradicated, one thing simply can’t be removed from the human equation – tribalism.
Mortality, Goldblatt argues, “is the defining feature of human existence.” Although this is very much true, right now, division is the defining feature of American existence.
The country is more divided than ever before. Suspicion reigns supreme. Tribalism is a natural part of human existence. In fact, both past and present, it’s the reason for so much animosity. In Northern Ireland, as I type, Protestants and Catholics are engaged in violent clashes. In Eastern Europe, the Croatian War of Independence, which ran from 1991 to 1995, was really a tale of two tribes, the Serbs and Croats. The Rwandan genocide, which resulted in over 800,000 deaths in 100 days, was tribalism at its most brutal
Yes, these are extreme example of tribalism, but a deep-rooted hatred of the enemy can make humans do terrible things.
Which brings back to America; more specifically, American politics.
Can I trust you? Can we be friends? Would I want you as a neighbor? These questions appear to be shaped by the most important question in the United States right now – Red or Blue?
Ostensibly, Americans speak the same language. When it comes to politics, however, this is not the case. As the left becomes more left, those on the right view the other side as unreasonable – and more importantly, unreachable. The feeling, one assumes, is mutual, with those on the left viewing many a Republican as both unreasonable and unreachable.
As the always excellent John McWhorter recently pointed out, Americans have been struggling with basic definitions for years, and things appear to be getting worse. Words like “diversity,” “equity,” and “inclusion” have lost their meaning. As McWhorther writes, ‘many vocal people on the left now use social justice as a stand-in for justice,’ as if they are interchangeable (which they’re not). Words have been weaponized, with people using them to launch rhetorical hand grenades at each other.
Who suffers when words are misused, intentionally or otherwise? Fellow Americans. And when Americans suffer, America suffers.
What can be done?
Joe Biden, as you know, is the current president. I am not here to discuss his ability as a leader. No, what I am here to discuss is the fact that Joe Biden can never work to unite America. Why? One word: Baggage. More precisely, too much baggage.
This is why Hillary Clinton failed in her efforts back in 2016. It had far less to do with being a woman than it had to do with her history. Too many Americans simply did not trust her. The baggage was substantial in size.
Tucker Carlson, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump Jr., all of these names are being thrown around as potential presidential candidates. Although someone like Carlson would be extremely popular on the right, he would create an extreme reaction on the left. As Fox’s leading man, Carlson possesses too much partisan history to be a uniting leader.
Meanwhile, the Democrats, as mentioned earlier, are moving further left. The future of the party appears to be more “progressive,” with a capital P. Biden, for all his flaws, will seem extremely tame compared to his successors, I imagine.
Too extreme, be it in a left or right direction, is not god news for America. A future president needs to be more balanced, both tonally and ideologically.
Who is the right person for the job? How about JD Vance?
After all, what America needs is a Goldilocks candidate. Why not the man from Cincinnati?
It’s very early days, but the “Hillbilly Elegy” author appears to be eyeing up a possible Senate campaign in Ohio. Well over $10 million has been raised for a super PAC supporting the venture capitalist.
Although he has not officially announced a run for the US Senate, the PAC is doing everything in its power to recruit him.
Americans love a good rags-to-riches story, and Vance's background ticks all the boxes. A millionaire with genuine working-class roots is a rare thing indeed. Most importantly, Vance is very much a man of the people. Just 36-years-old, Vance, a husband and a father, has already accomplished so much at such a young age. Moreover, unlike all of the aforementioned figures, he doesn’t have any baggage. Of course, things can change, but Vance appears to have what so many politicians lack – commonsense.
Talking about a future President Vance may seem premature, and perhaps it is. Nevertheless, he is a family man, well-spoken, intelligent, and considerate. What he lacks in political experience, he makes up for in commonsense and acumen. This is the age of never-ending wars and the debasement of the US dollar. Commonsense is sorely lacking. Backed by the erudite Peter Thiel, Vance may very well end up becoming one of the most important figures in American politics.
In the aforementioned Quillette article, Goldblatt writes that the pursuit of immortality “is an extraordinarily long-term project with an unclear probability of success, you’re going to need the right sort of social arrangement to sponsor it. You’re going to need popular buy-in, and a logically consistent politics that esteems, defends, and incentivizes the pursuit.”
Substitute in the words “palatable presidential candidate” for “immortality” and the sentence still reads true. In the future, could JD Vance be the man to create a more united America?
This is not some sort of utopian dream. After all, according to the Greek definition, utopia simply means “nowhere.” In the future, a President Vance might be able to take America somewhere, somewhere more united, somewhere more open to the idea of commonsense politics.
View original Post