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U.S. Transhumanist Party Discussion Panel – Burbank, California – August 24, 2019

U.S. Transhumanist Party Discussion Panel – Burbank, California – August 24, 2019

Johannon Ben Zion
Gennady Stolyarov II
Arin Vahanian
Charles Holsopple


On August 24, 2019, many leading transhumanists gathered in Burbank, California, to commemorate the publication of The Transhumanism Handbook. Subsequent to the seminar and book-signing event marking that occasion, the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (USTP) held a discussion panel hosted by Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II and featuring Director of Marketing Arin Vahanian and USTP Presidential Primary candidates Johannon Ben Zion and Charles Holsopple. Subjects of conversation included assessments of the public’s receptiveness to transhumanist ideas, approaches toward spreading transhumanism, common misconceptions and challenges to overcome, as well as the upcoming Presidential primary election, for which voting will begin on September 22, 2019.

Find out more about The Transhumanism Handbook.

Join the U.S. Transhumanist Party for free, no matter where you reside. Those who join by September 22, 2019, will be eligible to vote in the upcoming USTP Presidential Primary.

See the USTP Platform here.

Read Mr. Stolyarov’s chapter in The Transhumanism Handbook – entitled “The United States Transhumanist Party and the Politics of Abundance” – for free here.

Second Virtual Debate Among U.S. Transhumanist Party Presidential Candidates – August 3, 2019

Second Virtual Debate Among U.S. Transhumanist Party Presidential Candidates – August 3, 2019

Johannon Ben Zion
Charles Holsopple
Rachel Haywire
Moderated by Gennady Stolyarov II


The second virtual debate among U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party candidates for President of the United States took place on Saturday, August 3, 2019, at 3 p.m. U.S. Pacific Time. Watch the debate on YouTube here.

Candidates Charles Holsopple, Rachel Haywire, and Johannon Ben Zion provided updates regarding their campaigns thus far, answered challenging candidate-specific questions, addressed questions from the audience, and had the opportunity for rebuttals and interactions. In this debate, the USTP strived for maximal transparency to provide USTP members the amplest possible relevant information for them to make their decision regarding the USTP’s nominee for President of the United States during the forthcoming Electronic Primary, for which voting will open on September 22, 2019.

Steele Archer of the Debt Nation program also continuous livestreamed the debate, along with pre-debate and post-debate commentary. Watch the video of his stream here.

Learn about the USTP candidates here.

View individual candidate profiles:

Johannon Ben Zion
Rachel Haywire
Charles Holsopple

Join the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party for free, no matter where you reside. Apply in less than a minute here.

Those who join the USTP by September 21, 2019, will be eligible to vote in the Electronic Primary beginning on September 22, 2019.

 


Highlights #1 – First Virtual Debate Among U.S. Transhumanist Party Presidential Candidates – July 6, 2019

Highlights #1 – First Virtual Debate Among U.S. Transhumanist Party Presidential Candidates – July 6, 2019

Rachel Haywire
Johannon Ben Zion
Charles Holsopple
Moderated by Gennady Stolyarov II


Watch highlights from the first virtual debate among U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (USTP) candidates for President of the United States, which took place on Saturday, July 6, 2019, at 3 p.m. U.S. Pacific Time.

Candidates Rachel Haywire, Johannon Ben Zion, and Charles Holsopple provided their introductory statements and discussed how their platforms reflect the Core Ideals of the USTP.

This highlights reel was created by Tom Ross, the USTP Director of Media Production. Watch the full 3-hour debate here.

Learn about the USTP candidates here.

View individual candidate profiles:

Johannon Ben Zion
Rachel Haywire
Charles Holsopple

Join the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party for free, no matter where you reside. Apply in less than a minute here.

Those who join the USTP by August 10, 2019, will be eligible to vote in the Electronic Primary on August 11-17, 2019.

 

First Virtual Debate Among U.S. Transhumanist Party Presidential Candidates – July 6, 2019

First Virtual Debate Among U.S. Transhumanist Party Presidential Candidates – July 6, 2019

Rachel Haywire
Johannon Ben Zion
Charles Holsopple
Moderated by Gennady Stolyarov II


The first virtual debate among U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party candidates for President of the United States took place on Saturday, July 6, 2019, at 3 p.m. U.S. Pacific Time.

Candidates Rachel Haywire, Johannon Ben Zion, and Charles Holsopple discussed how their platforms reflect the Core Ideals of the USTP and also answered selected questions from the public.

Learn about the USTP candidates here.

View individual candidate profiles:

Johannon Ben Zion
Rachel Haywire
Charles Holsopple

Join the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party for free, no matter where you reside. Apply in less than a minute here.

Those who join the USTP by August 10, 2019, will be eligible to vote in the Electronic Primary on August 11-17, 2019.

U.S. Transhumanist Party Presidential Primary Candidates Johannon Ben Zion and Rachel Haywire Discuss Policy, the Democratic Debates, and Transhumanist Advocacy

U.S. Transhumanist Party Presidential Primary Candidates Johannon Ben Zion and Rachel Haywire Discuss Policy, the Democratic Debates, and Transhumanist Advocacy

Johannon Ben Zion
Rachel Haywire


Two 2020 Third-Party Candidates dissect the “First Democratic Debate” from Johannon Ben Zion on Vimeo.

On June 28, 2019, two of the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party Presidential primary candidates, Rachel Haywire and Johannon Ben Zion, conversed about the juxtaposition of techno-progressive and public-health goals, policy-making, and organizing.

This thoughtful and constructive policy-oriented discussion is a worthy precursor to the forthcoming July 6 Virtual Debate (which the public can watch here), where candidates including Johannon Ben Zion and Rachel Haywire (as well as Charles Holsopple and Dan Good) will be articulating their visions of transhumanist policy to the public. The caliber and civility of discourse in the Ben Zion / Haywire conversation stand out as being immensely higher than what was observed during the Democratic primary debates, where it seems that many of the candidates were at one another’s throats. Once again, transhumanists have shown that they can do better. This discussion is a valuable building block for the outcome that we hope will happen once the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party Electronic Primary is concluded in mid-August – that all of the candidates will collaborate with the nominee, no matter who wins, and work toward maximizing the influence and impact of transhumanist ideas and policy proposals.

Update Regarding the Presidential Candidates and Forthcoming Events of the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party

Update Regarding the Presidential Candidates and Forthcoming Events of the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party


June 10, 2019: The U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (USTP) encourages its members to follow the activities of our current declared candidates for President of the United States. While we have not yet endorsed any candidate and will not do so until after the Electronic Primary in August 2019, we wish to offer this update in an informational capacity to give our members more insight into the current candidates and their recent campaign efforts.

Watch this video, created by USTP Director of Media Production Tom Ross, featuring the current four candidates, their campaign slogans, and the USTP Core Ideals.

Any additional candidates have until 11:59 p.m. U.S. Pacific Time on July 31, 2019, to declare themselves. To declare their candidacies, individuals would need to submit the electronic Presidential Candidate Declaration of Interest form. Thereafter, to demonstrate the seriousness of their intentions, all candidates who declare themselves will be asked to respond in writing to the same profile questions that were answered by the four candidates currently running.

The First Virtual Debate among the candidates will be held on Saturday, July 6, 2019, at 3 p.m. U.S. Pacific Time. The public will be able to watch the debate and submit any questions on the YouTube page for the livestream here.

The Electronic Primary to select the USTP Presidential nominee will be held during the week of August 11-17, 2019. A seven-day electronic voting period will be opened on August 11, 2019 (with some time window possible for early voting on August 10, 2019), in order to give all members the opportunity to conveniently vote as their time permits.

Currently, as of June 9, 2019, the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party has 1,525 members who would be eligible to vote in the Electronic Primary. We hope that this number will grow as a result of interest in the Presidential process and as the candidates reach new audiences and also rally support from their constituencies. We have encouraged candidates to recruit new members, and so far this has worked in increasing the volume of members registered each day.

Any individual who joins the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party as a member (see the online Membership Application Form) and expresses agreement with the three USTP Core Ideals, on or prior to August 10, 2019, will be eligible to vote in the Electronic Primary. Additionally, a tiny minority of members (fewer than 10) who did not express agreement with the Core Ideals will be queried by the USTP Chairman to determine whether their ideas are sufficiently in alignment with transhumanist values and aspirations to enable them to become eligible to vote. Such eligibility decisions will be made at the USTP Chairman’s discretion based on the responses of those members.

Charles Holsopple

Candidate Charles Holsopple offers the following update regarding his activities and aspirations.

Project222.org Human Rights Campaign and the Transhumanist Party have so much in common, that when asked just weeks ago, I decided to run for the nomination of the Party for the office of President of the United States.

My platform is rooted in the wise use technology and finite naturally occurring resources to ensure that all people have dignified access to a minimum of 2 gallons of clean water in a day, 2000 nutritional calories and 200 ft.³ of secure shelter. Accomplishing these reasonable and achievable goals is essential in solving the growing refugee crisis and a creating a peaceful, sustainable economy.

For the past year, word of Project222 has been spreading among aid workers, Board members of nonprofits, and my many connections on LinkedIn and social media platforms.

Project222 appeals to a wide audience and has been a great segue into introducing the Transhumanist Party.

Recently I have begun introducing myself as the founder of Project222 and as a Transhumanist candidate for the USTP’s nomination for POTUS.

So far I am very encouraged by the reception this decision has been given.

Whether you support me or another Transhumanist candidate, I ask that you take advantage of free membership in the Transhumanist Party. Also please check out Project222.org and help bring both into the conversation this election season.

If I receive the nomination, I pledge to promote the values of the Transhumanist Party, in their relationship to the benefit of humankind in this and future generations.

Remember! Wherever you live, you are eligible to vote!

“Welcome To The Party!”

Rachel Haywire

Candidate Rachel Haywire has teamed up with Transhuman Tees to develop T-shirts for her campaign. Find them here. See a broader selection of shirts here.

Rachel Haywire has also been featured in a profile by Biohackinfo, entitled “Transhumanist will defeat Trump using a pirate spaceship”.

Watch this video update by Rachel Haywire.

 

Johannon Ben Zion

Candidate Johannon Ben Zion has founded the Arizona Transhumanist Party and has been recruiting members to join it. He offers the following update:

Over the last few months and in cooperation with other Arizona Transhumanist Party members, we have begun development of policy proposals for a healthcare expense-sharing program and a legal fund that would allow Transhumanists to safeguard their life extension protocols and secure “health savings accounts” with longer lives in mind. We have also cultivated deep ties to political and private organizations centered on technology outside of the H+ community. We have, moreover, heavily promoted our increasingly popular platform, “The Futurist New Deal”, to one simple end – to bring new blood into the H+ community.

Watch these video updates by Johannon Ben Zion.

Update 1:

 

Update 2:

***
Become a member of the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party absolutely for free, no matter where you reside. It takes less than a minute to fill out our Membership Application Form.

The Transhumanist Party Presidential Process Can Change the World – Post by Zoltan Istvan

The Transhumanist Party Presidential Process Can Change the World – Post by Zoltan Istvan

Zoltan Istvan


As the 2016 U.S. Transhumanist Party Presidential candidate, I encourage everyone to take part in the USTP’s 2019 process for selecting its 2020 nominee for the office of President of the United States.  Please take the time to learn about the candidates, support the ones you favor most, become a member of the USTP for free, and help put science, health, and technology at the forefront of American politics!

I can attest to the effectiveness of transhumanist political activism as the candidate who trafficked 5th or 6th in the media for large swaths of the end of 2016 elections, making an enormous difference to life extension, which coincidentally now has many billions of dollars flowing into it – far more than when I started my campaign. One of these candidates above can win the Presidency and bring the Transhumanist Party to power as well along the way.

I would like to counter the critics who accuse the Transhumanist Party Presidential process of being “distractive nonsense” – and yet “distractive nonsense” is exactly what those critics are preaching. People have a right to push forward their ideas and political values regardless. And we may just find that it was the Transhumanist Party and its candidates that changed the world far more than the 4 or 8 years of Trump.

We are going to run into a lot of people who aim to deny Americans their right to vote and support whom they want to choose. I want everyone to know that the Transhumanist Party candidate can be powerful and historic. We must always maintain the right to support whom we want, win or lose. I absolutely despise this idea we are stuck with only left or right. There are many reasons to run for the Transhumanist Party – reasons that could prove far more important than a single Presidency.

This is really important in 2020. The Libertarians, Greens, Transhumanist Party folks, and other third parties and independents have as much a right to win the Presidency as anyone. That’s what America is about. In 2020, because of what happened in 2016, this will be a big topic. We must defend our right to exist and thrive as much as possible. We must fight to keep America free and politically diverse.

Zoltan Istvan is the founder of the U.S. Transhumanist Party and its former Chairman (October 7, 2014 – November 16, 2016) and 2016 Presidential candidate. In 2018 he ran as a Libertarian for Governor of California. Zoltan Istvan is a renowned journalist, entrepreneur, and transhumanist. He writes transhumanist-themed columns: “The Transhumanist Philosopher” – a blog for Psychology Today, and “Transhumanist Future” for Vice’s Motherboard. He has also worked as a reporter for the National Geographic Channel and is a blogger of futurist, transhumanist, and atheist topics for The Huffington Post. He is the author of The Transhumanist Wager, a philosophical science fiction novel.

U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party Announces Six Candidates for Its 2019 Presidential Primary

U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party Announces Six Candidates for Its 2019 Presidential Primary

The U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (USTP) is pleased to announce the candidates who have put themselves forward for consideration for the USTP’s endorsement in running for the position of President of the United States of America. To become eligible to vote for any of these candidates in August 2019, please register for free as a member of the USTP, no matter where you reside. Only those who register for membership through August 10, 2019, would be eligible to take part in the USTP Electronic Presidential Primary.

Because of the formidable hurdles to political-party ballot access on the State level, the candidates seeking the USTP’s endorsement would need to officially run as independent candidates. However, if those candidates qualify for inclusion on their States’ ballots, then, in approximately half of the jurisdictions in the United States, it would be possible to use a “political party designation” of “Transhumanist Party” to accompany the candidate’s name on the ballot.

Learn About the Candidates

The U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (USTP) has asked all of its declared candidates for its 2019 Presidential Primary to answer the same essential questions so as to inform the USTP membership of the candidates’ stances on key issues and provide each USTP member the opportunity to make an informed decision, including through comparisons of the candidates’ answers. The USTP will endeavor to pose the same questions and generate profiles for all of the candidates who make their intentions known to us via the Presidential Candidate Declaration of Interest Form.

The USTP has not, at this time, endorsed any Presidential candidate. Such an endorsement will occur as a consequence of the USTP Electronic Primary, which is intended to be held in August 2019. At this time, all contents of the candidate profiles are for informational purposes only, in order to contribute to a more informed membership and enable knowledge of the candidates and their positions to spread.

The order of presentation of the candidate profiles below is alphabetical by first name. It is not intended to indicate any preference or lack thereof for any of the candidates.

Brent

Reitze

Candidacy withdrawn on May 22, 2019

Charles

Holsopple

Dan

Good

Candidacy withdrawn on July 6, 2019

 Johannon

Ben Zion

Candidacy withdrawn on May 22, 2019

Rachel

Haywire

Endorsement and Electronic Primary Process – Anticipated Timeline

The following timeline is approximate and subject to change as circumstances may necessitate. However, it is intended to provide an overarching impression of the sequence and desirable speed of steps for reaching an endorsement of a candidate for President of the United States.

– April 5, 2019 – July 5, 2019: Candidates declare their intention to seek the USTP Presidential endorsement and begin to campaign through channels of their choosing (online and/or in person) to attract supporters and spread awareness of their messages.

– July 6, 2019: First Transhumanist Presidential Debate (Virtual)

– July 6 – August 3, 2019: Candidates continue to campaign; the USTP will introduce structured questions on various issues of interest for the candidates to respond to in writing. The candidates’ answers will be spread by the USTP, which will have the effect of further raising awareness of the candidates and their stances.

– July 16, 2019: The Transhumanism Handbook (edited by Newton Lee) is expected to be released. It is hoped that candidates will read this book (or significant portions thereof) and reference the ideas therein as part of their public outreach and campaign-related discussions.

– August 3, 2019: Second Transhumanist Presidential Debate (Virtual)

– August 3-10, 2019: Final week for candidates to campaign prior to the electronic primary.

– August 11-17, 2019: Electronic ranked-preference primary (7-day voting period, simultaneous for all USTP members).

– August 18-24, 2019: Votes from the electronic primary are tabulated and released. The candidate winning the USTP endorsement is announced simultaneously with the release of the results.

– August 24, 2019 – November 3, 2020: The candidate winning the USTP endorsement continues to campaign until Election Day 2020. The other candidates may seek the USTP’s endorsement for other federal, state, or local offices.

– August 24, 2019 – September 30, 2019: Potential separate campaign and primary process for the selection of the USTP Vice-Presidential nominee.

– Early October 2019: Potential for the candidate winning the USTP endorsement to deliver an official acceptance speech in a venue with a large number of attendees.

– October 15, 2019 – November 30, 2019: Selection of a Transhumanist Cabinet to assist the USTP Presidential nominee to demonstrate a model of governance and constructive policymaking in the event of a Transhumanist Presidency.

The USTP is committed to running a fair, transparent, and (small “d”) democratic election with no predetermined outcome. Each of these candidates has the opportunity to make his or her case to the USTP membership and to recruit new members prior to the August 10, 2019, cutoff date for registration. We find each candidate to be insightful, intelligent, accomplished, and representative of perspectives that constitute the transhumanist movement in all of its variety and will help shape that movement in the years to come. Accordingly, it is important that this election give voice to these perspectives and do so in a civil, orderly, and constructive manner. We will have true competition in this election – genuine debates, discussions of issues, consideration of the candidates’ similarities and differences. The candidates will be free to utilize the means, methods, and personal styles at their disposal to engage in such competition. At the same time, we will also have true structure in this election – an objective process that will apply equitably to all and provide a framework for different points of view to be articulated, with an aim of educating the public, raising the profile of the transhumanist movement, and hopefully resolving some key differences along the way, by means of the process itself.

 

U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party Call for 2020 Presidential Candidates and Outline of 2019 Endorsement and Primary Process

U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party Call for 2020 Presidential Candidates and Outline of 2019 Endorsement and Primary Process

Gennady Stolyarov II


The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (USTP) issues its call for candidates wishing to run for President of the United States in the 2020 elections and seeking an endorsement from the USTP. Candidates are encouraged to officially announce their intentions via this form and then spread awareness of the USTP, its forthcoming debate and primary process, and possibilities for individuals to sign up for free membership in the USTP in time to participate as voters in this process.

Because of the formidable hurdles to political-party ballot access on the State level, the candidates seeking the USTP’s endorsement would need to officially run as independent candidates. However, if those candidates qualify for inclusion on their States’ ballots, then, in approximately half of the jurisdictions in the United States, it would be possible to use a “political party designation” of “Transhumanist Party” to accompany the candidate’s name on the ballot.

Endorsement and Electronic Primary Process – Anticipated Timeline

The following timeline is approximate and subject to change as circumstances may necessitate. However, it is intended to provide an overarching impression of the sequence and desirable speed of steps for reaching an endorsement of a candidate for President of the United States.

– April 5, 2019 – June 30, 2019: Candidates declare their intention to seek the USTP Presidential endorsement and begin to campaign through channels of their choosing (online and/or in person) to attract supporters and spread awareness of their messages.

July 1, 2019: First Transhumanist Presidential Debate (Virtual)

July 1 – August 3, 2019: Candidates continue to campaign; the USTP will introduce structured questions on various issues of interest for the candidates to respond to in writing. The candidates’ answers will be spread by the USTP, which will have the effect of further raising awareness of the candidates and their stances.

July 16, 2019: The Transhumanism Handbook (edited by Newton Lee) is expected to be released. It is hoped that candidates will read this book (or significant portions thereof) and reference the ideas therein as part of their public outreach and campaign-related discussions.

August 3, 2019: Second Transhumanist Presidential Debate (Virtual)

August 3-10, 2019: Final week for candidates to campaign prior to the electronic primary.

August 11-17, 2019: Electronic ranked-preference primary (7-day voting period, simultaneous for all USTP members).

August 18-24, 2019: Votes from the electronic primary are tabulated and released. The candidate winning the USTP endorsement is announced simultaneously with the release of the results.

August 24, 2019 – November 3, 2020: The candidate winning the USTP endorsement continues to campaign until Election Day 2020. The other candidates may seek the USTP’s endorsement for other federal, state, or local offices.

Early October 2019: Potential for the candidate winning the USTP endorsement to deliver an official acceptance speech in a venue with a large number of attendees.

U.S. Presidential Candidate Qualifications and Expectations

Qualifications Pursuant to the United States Constitution

Pursuant to Article 2, Section 1, of the United States Constitution, to be eligible to become President of the United States, the candidate must:

(1) Be at least 35 years old as of January 20, 2021 (i.e., born on or before January 20, 1986);

(2) Be a natural-born citizen of the United States; and

(3) Have been a resident of the United States for at least 14 years.

The USTP considers the existence of the above restrictions unfortunate, as they could disqualify many otherwise fine candidates. However, in the absence of a Constitutional Amendment, they are insurmountable during the 2020 election season.

Expectations of the Candidate from the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party

(4) If officially endorsed, the candidate must commit to running for office until Election Day 2020 (November 3, 2020). During the time prior to Election Day 2020, the candidate shall not concede to or endorse another candidate from another political party. The candidate also shall not run on behalf of any other political party.

(5) Although the candidate is not obligated to either raise or spend funds, if the candidate does choose to fundraise, the candidate must agree to perform any such fundraising for the candidate’s campaign independently of the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party. Furthermore, any campaign committee and/or bank account established by or on behalf of the candidate must be organizationally separate from the USTP. The USTP will spread information and raise public awareness about the candidate, but the USTP is a non-monetary organization and so cannot collect or disburse funds directly. The candidate must also agree to independently comply with all campaign-finance laws and report campaign contributions and expenses in the manner required pursuant to all applicable state and federal laws. The candidate must agree that responsibility for such compliance is solely on the part of the candidate, and that, as a non-monetary organization which does not finance campaigns, the USTP has no obligation nor legal liability in regard to such compliance. (The USTP may, however, at times assist the candidate by providing relevant information, as long as such assistance is understood to be non-obligatory in nature.)

(6) The candidate must agree to participate in the USTP Endorsement and Electronic Primary process as set forth herein and to respect the outcome of that process, no matter whether or not the candidate is ultimately endorsed to run for the office of President of the United States.

(7) The candidate should be in agreement with the USTP Core Ideals:

Ideal 1. The Transhumanist Party supports significant life extension achieved through the progress of science and technology.

Ideal 2. The Transhumanist Party supports a cultural, societal, and political atmosphere informed and animated by reason, science, and secular values.

Ideal 3. The Transhumanist Party supports efforts to use science, technology, and rational discourse to reduce and eliminate various existential risks to the human species.

(8) The candidate should have significant areas of alignment with the USTP Platform. While complete agreement with all positions therein is not required, and diversity of perspectives is encouraged, it should be possible for the public to clearly perceive the candidate as being closer to the USTP Platform than any given non-USTP-endorsed candidate – for instance, a Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, or Green candidate – would be.

(9) The candidate must agree to work collaboratively with the USTP during the campaign season and not to disparage the USTP as well as not to work contrary to the interests and goals of the USTP during that time.

(10) If officially endorsed, and if the candidate raises $5,000 or more in contributions or incurs $5,000 or more in expenditures, the candidate must agree to register as an independent candidate for President with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Guidance pertaining to this process can be found on the FEC website here or in video form here. However, nothing obligates the candidate to either raise or spend $5,000 or more; any fundraising is at the candidate’s discretion.

For any questions, please e-mail Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman of the USTP, here.

You can also complete the embedded form below to express your interest in becoming a U.S. Presidential candidate who would participate in the USTP Endorsement and Electronic Primary Process:

U.S. Transhumanist Party Chairman’s Second Anniversary Message

U.S. Transhumanist Party Chairman’s Second Anniversary Message

logo_bg

Gennady Stolyarov II


It astonishes me that two years have elapsed since I became Chairman of the U.S. Transhumanist Party on November 17, 2016. Nonetheless, in retrospect, it seems that we are living in a different epoch from the one in which I stepped into this leadership role. In this epoch, transhumanism is no longer a fringe extreme; while we are a small political party, we occupy the sensible moderate ground – the civilized center of political discourse – precisely because we reject the downward spiral of toxicity, tribalism, political violence, and zero-sum partisanship which characterizes both the Democratic and Republican Parties today. Many people beyond the historic core transhumanist constituencies ought to find our message appealing, if they only knew about the Transhumanist Party and what it actually stands for.

While 2017 was a year of focusing on developing our now-extensive Platform, 2018 was characterized by increased outreach, more frequent events and interviews, steady membership growth (doubling our membership to 1,187 as of this writing), and the U.S. Transhumanist Party’s first foray into electoral politics under my Chairmanship. For a summary of our achievements in 2018, I encourage you to watch my speech at RAAD Fest 2018 in San Diego, CA, entitled “The U.S. Transhumanist Party: Four Years of Advocating for the Future” and attended by over 1,000 people.

We endorsed two candidates during this election season, James D. Schultz and myself. While Mr. Schultz fell slightly short of the 1,500 petition signatures required by New York law for ballot access, he did obtain 1,239 signatures, which shows that transhumanism can attract supporters in the four-figure range with diligent advocacy.

My own campaign for the Board of Trustees of the Indian Hills General Improvement District (IHGID) in Nevada was able to proceed to the general-election stage, since ballot access was available without the need to submit petitions. I ultimately obtained 520 votes out of 2,024 residents who cast their ballots. While I did not win a seat on the Board, 25.7% – more than a quarter – of the voters cast affirmative ballots in my favor.

While I would have preferred to win, this outcome still shows that my campaign – on which I spent no money but rather utilized social media, in-person appearances in public places, videos, and word of mouth – enabled me to reach more than a quarter of the residents after beginning with essentially zero name recognition in the area. Transhumanism, when articulated in a mainstream-friendly manner, can elicit support from people across the political spectrum and in all walks of life. We just need to continue to spread our message with determination and deliberate regarding ways of reaching constituencies who might not have become aware of transhumanism yet – perhaps because our methods of communication have not yet overlapped with their preferred media and social circles.

I am not particularly disappointed regarding the outcome of the IHGID Board election, since even getting to the stage where a Transhumanist-Party-endorsed candidate appeared on the ballot and received 520 votes constitutes major progress, since even Zoltan Istvan in 2016 had to campaign as a write-in candidate and so did not receive an official count of the votes cast in his favor. Furthermore, in my experience, the IHGID Board of Trustees is extremely open to resident input. As a resident, I have always been able to speak my mind at the Board meetings and make suggestions that have had substantive impacts. I am confident that the elected Board members are good people who have the well-being of the residents in mind, and that each of them will be receptive to at least a significant portion of my ideas in the future. Furthermore, I think this campaign helped me incrementally in the longer term to build ties with people in my community and to become more involved and able to have a voice in the many ongoing interesting developments that affect it.

From the standpoint of improving the U.S. Transhumanist Party’s political acumen, however, with a result such as the outcome of the IHGID vote, it is important to understand what happened and why and to see what this can teach about politics, the spread of information, and human dynamics more generally.

What factors could explain this outcome, to the best of my knowledge? Some of the electoral dynamics involved surprised me. Residents were able to choose up to three candidates, and it seems rather unusual to me that so few did. My calculations (which I am happy to share in greater detail upon request) indicate the following:

Of those IHGID residents who voted in 2018 at all:
– 878 voters did not make a selection.
– 605 voters only made 1 choice.
– 1,281 voters only made 2 choices.
– 138 voters made 3 choices. (I am one of those voters.)

It is possible that some voters did not understand that they could select multiple candidates. I expected that my best outcome would arise in a situation where I would be seen as a “consensus candidate” whom other candidates would be agreeable to supporting. However, this situation could only materialize if most, or at least many, voters voted for three choices.

However, the majority of those who voted actually selected two options rather than three. This suggests that they knew their prerogatives – so the possibilities are (a) they only voted for candidates whose names they recognized; and/or (b) there could have been a coalition between some two of the candidates (I do not know which two and would have no way of knowing), who informed their supporters to support both of them but not select a third.

However, the most disappointing explanation possible (if true) is this: names were arranged in alphabetical order by last name on the ballot, and some voters might have just picked the first name or the first two or three names. This could indeed have happened in an election which was not all that controversial, where there were no “hot-button” issues, where all the candidates were on friendly terms, where very little money was spent (none on my end), and where probably many voters only minimally informed themselves about the candidates.

My campaign, based on all indications, dominated on the Internet and social media – yet there are many residents of the District who do not appear to use the Internet or social media to any great extent. All of my interactions with residents who knew of my campaign have been extremely positive, but I posit that there exists a large demographic whom my efforts did not reach because there was not any online medium to even facilitate an in-person interaction (e.g., they did not see my announcements on Nextdoor.com and did not watch the candidate videos; also, their in-person activities do not overlap with mine). How to reach such constituents is a perpetual challenge, especially because I only practice genteel campaign tactics – e.g., no door-to-door soliciting or other intrusive messaging; I let people process information at their own convenience. I hypothesize that the only real way to attain recognition from non-Internet users is to build a reputation over many years of participation in in-person community activities. The contemporary world is quite fragmented, so those activities have been rarer than I would like – but there may be more opportunities over the coming years. I raise the more general question of how transhumanists can be more effective in reaching constituencies that are not as active online as most of us technology enthusiasts. What tactics can work to build both name recognition and good will? Comments and suggestions are most welcome.

For me, my next proximate political area of focus will be continuing to build the U.S. Transhumanist Party in its national and international presence and intellectual influence. There is much effort that could be put forth in this area in the immediate future.

  • We have already opened a new exposure period to consider clarifying amendments to the Transhumanist Bill of Rights. While the Transhumanist Bill of Rights is achieving significant media coverage, we need to be vigilant against basic factual inaccuracies regarding the representation of its contents. These amendments will enable us to steer the narrative toward what transhumanists actually think and value, rather than unwarranted assumptions and associations made by persons whose agendas often steer them in the direction of manufacturing straw-man positions that transhumanists do not, in fact, espouse.
  • In early 2019 we will conduct the selection process for the U.S. Transhumanist Party’s 2020 Presidential candidate. Unlike the major political parties, we will have a short campaign season for contenders and an electronic, ranked-preference primary held during the same timeframe for all members, no matter where they reside. This will be a practical implementation of Sections XXVIII, XXIX, and XXX of our Platform. We are still looking for potential candidates for political office at any level in 2020, but having a Presidential candidate will be important as a high-profile educational approach to expose vast numbers of people to transhumanist ideas and aspirations. For this role we are seeking an erudite, articulate, scientifically literate individual with sufficient resources to self-fund a campaign and an absolute commitment to carry such a campaign through to Election Day in November 2020.
  • We need to continue to press toward our crucial threshold goal of 10,000 members. Membership is free and quick to acquire, and now brings several additional benefits with it. Please persuade as many people as you can to go to our free Membership Application Form at https://transhumanist-party.org/membership/ and sign up in less than a minute, no matter where they reside.
  • We need existing members to organize grassroots initiatives – which can include meetups, presentations, writing of articles and policy papers, and outreach within their local communities. If you engage in activism on behalf of the U.S. Transhumanist Party, please contact me and let me know what you wish to do or have done already, and we will publicize it as an example to other members of what is possible. No matter what your skill set, there are many constructive possibilities for you to contribute to our movement and the public’s recognition of it. An active presence in public discourse matters most of all at this stage. Be creative in how you bring that active presence into being!
  • We need to create State-level Transhumanist Parties in every State. If your State is not represented on our list of State Parties, you are welcome to form a State-level party yourself and contact me about doing so. While you explore the relevant requirements for official formation, even beginning a Facebook group for coordination among the members of the embryonic State-level Transhumanist Party would be a major step forward.
  • We need to expand our Foreign Ambassador program to as many countries as possible. The U.S. Transhumanist Party is proud of its international membership and the many fruitful ways in which we have coordinated with transhumanists in other countries. The more representatives we have abroad, the more opportunities there will be for transhumanism to become an integrated global phenomenon that guides the policies of all nations in pro-technology, pro-life-extension, pro-reason directions. To apply to become a Foreign Ambassador, fill out our application form here.
  • We need to continue improving our internal infrastructure, from developing a more efficient voting system (while preserving the ranked-preference method, but hopefully automating the instant runoffs and the publication of results) to adding more features to our website to encourage members to visit it more frequently and participate in discussions and other initiatives available through it. If you have not actively participated on the U.S. Transhumanist Party website yet, we would be interested to know why not, and what additional elements of the website might encourage you to participate in the future.

If you were to retain only several key insights from this message, they would be the following:

  • Attaining basic public awareness remains the major challenge of the U.S. Transhumanist Party and of transhumanism in general.
  • Growth in active members who operate at the grassroots level is the key to overcoming this challenge. Encourage others to sign up for free here.
  • Our message is appealing to the mainstream when properly articulated, but to succeed in doing so, we need to be in control of the narrative and speak for ourselves, instead of letting the media and intellectual opponents portray us as caricatured straw-men.
  • The moment the general public becomes tired of the partisan toxicity of the major political parties to the extent of actually creating a political vacuum, we need to be ready with a constructive alternative. We already have the conceptual alternative prepared; now we need to prepare the infrastructure to deploy and expand it.
  • There is much that you as an individual can do. Do it!

May the next year of my Chairmanship see the U.S. Transhumanist Party attain many of its goals and achieve unprecedented growth and impact for the transhumanist movement. If this happens, it will be because you, our members, will have made it happen.

Sincerely,
Gennady Stolyarov II, FSA, ACAS, MAAA, CPCU, ARe, ARC, API, AIS, AIE, AIAF
Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party
Chief Executive, Nevada Transhumanist Party
Editor-in-Chief, The Rational Argumentator
Author, Death is Wrong