The sight of former president Bill Clinton wiping away tears of joy while standing silently behind his wife as she was making her victory speech in the 2000 Senate elections in New York may appear a little melodramatic for some. However, when one considers the sacrifices and extreme loyalty that Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton has shown to her husband over the previous 26 years, that gesture suddenly makes all the sense in world.
Secretary Clinton’s ascension to Senator, and thereafter, Secretary of State, is not something all that surprising for those that knew her, considering what a gifted child, student and political operative Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was.
Born in Cook County and raised in suburban Park Ridge just outside of Chicago, Secretary Clinton grew up in a loving middle class family. Her early years were shaped by her Goldwater-Republican Navy veteran and business owner father and his tremendous work ethic, balanced against her mother’s Democratic leanings and harsh childhood.
At an age where young girls and boys were still too preoccupied with watching cartoons on TV, young Hillary was already busy demonstrating her leadership abilities and initiative with backyard carnivals and cookie and food drives for charity. When others her age were engrossed with the challenges of school and growing up, young Hillary was busy with the post-election canvassing of Chicago’s south side for the Republican Party. When children tread lightly around their parents and elders, she was engaged in delightfully spirited political debates with her family during dinner.
Her star continues to shine brightly at Wellesley, where her commencement address drew a seven-minute long standing ovation, and at Yale, where she was paid to intern at Washington every summer. She was already an experienced Democratic aide before even graduating from Yale, and was headhunted to be part of the Watergate impeachment inquiry team counseling House Democrats months after finishing college.
She was never a radical, beatnik or hippie, but neither was she a middle-of-the-road moderate. She is, above all, an idealist – an intelligent, disciplined, driven and practical idealist. Despite her image of a strong and uncompromising woman, people who she’s worked with reveal her to be a polite, considerate, consultative, and perhaps most surprisingly, religious individual. The latter perhaps is due to the influence of her mother and grandmother, both strong-willed Methodist women. She is also an exceptional public speaker, and can speak for an extended period of time without notes – done without pauses and filler syllables.
Over the years, many negative epithets have been used by the press and political opponents to describe her. As many have learned however, pigeonholing or underestimating Secretary Clinton often comes at a great cost.
The key to defeating Secretary Clinton lies in winning over her core support base - women, baby boomers and minorities. Meanwhile, her weakest demographic is the millennials, and this is clearly reflected in her underwhelming support online. And yet, one gets the impression that her opponents simply do not get this very simple equation. Will this prove costly in the end?
Zoltan Istvan lives in Mill Valley, California. He attended and graduated from Columbia University, where he majored in Philosophy and Religious Studies, but he has had a diverse career as a journalist, businessman, and writer, among other professions. A man with a deep affection for science and technology and their potential for improving human life, he founded – and is running for President as the nominee of - the Transhumanist Party, whose platform endorses technological progress as its main priority, with the aim of enhancing the natural human body to undreamed of levels of performance. He is the published author of “The Transhumanist Wager”, a novel based upon his aspirations for augmenting humanity.
Istvan has been interviewed on numerous occasions about Transhumanism, including by FOX News and The Financial Times among a great many others, where he elaborates upon his and his party's leanings and intentions. He believes that by vastly increasing the resources available to research scientists, it will be possible to develop technologies capable of dramatically improving the human body. Istvan speaks of bionic eyes enabling blind people to see and mechanical limbs repairing those who have been maimed, but he goes further, suggesting that the eyes could be tuned to detect not only naturally visible light but infrared and ultraviolet radiation as well, and that the prosthetic arms and legs could be many times more powerful and dextrous than biological extremities. He is also particularly concerned with technological means of slowing, stopping, and eventually reversing the aging process, and boasts that should one trillion dollars be invested in the life-extension field, “we will conquer human mortality within ten years.”
In order to secure such substantial sums for his research goals, Istvan particularly targets defense spending for budget cuts, in order that those resources be redirected to human improvement. “Why should we have a war in Afghanistan,” he asks, “if we can have a war on cancer, or a war on heart disease?” He also calls out the Iraq War, arguing that even a fraction of the money spent on that conflict would have been enough to end death.
Beyond his Transhumanist policies, Istvan is generally left-leaning. He accepts the theory of global warming and believes that human activity is responsible for the changing climate, however he rejects any notion of slowing progress in order to address the problem. Instead, his solution is once again technology, as he calls for research into scientific methods of modifying the planet's climate to compensate for the damage humanity has caused. He also professes his personal atheism, though he is careful to point out that absence of religious faith is not a prerequisite to Transhumanist inclusion.
Especially due to his feelings toward military spending, an extremely hot-button issue among many conservatives, most of Istvan's political support is to be found left of center. Regardless, even he himself would likely agree the point is moot – he readily admits that as a third-party candidate, his chances of winning the election are virtually nonexistent, and says that he is running to increase awareness of the Transhumanist platform rather than because he hopes to attain the White House.