Free marketers reviewing the major candidates for U.S. president in 2016 would feel justly nauseated at the prospects. Unsurprisingly, every one of them promises to use the heavy hand of state power to solve our problems and make us prosperous — provided, of course, we’re members of favored voting blocs or generous supporters.
But is it possible our choices are not limited to this craven constellation?
Is it possible a new star could appear to brighten our spirits?
I say, “Yes, indeed!” Look no further than Apple’s annual fall event scheduled for next Tuesday, September 9th. It’s all but certain Apple will announce a more “proactive” Siri.
Proactive, as in enterprising, bold, take-charge. Proactive, as in possessing a trait shared by successful entrepreneurs. Proactive, as in to offer help without being asked.
Come Tuesday, Siri could be ready for prime time.
Do you feel a milligram of hope in that possibility? Think of it: If the candidates are Hillary, Donald, and Siri, who do you think would be the sentimental favorite? Who do you suppose would be grabbing the headlines? Getting the interviews? Other than for masochistic amusement, why would anyone attend a scheduled speech by Clinton or Trump when they’ve got a proactive Siri right in their hands?
Can you picture the three of them in a debate? For those uncomfortable seeing a smartphone on the dais, an appropriate avatar could be provided, perhaps along the lines of Simone. Siri would have access to the world’s knowledge, much like IBM’s Watson.
And consider this: Siri doesn’t lie. Siri knows the Constitution. Siri doesn’t forget, doesn’t equivocate, doesn’t bloviate. She’s never rude and always accessible, unless your phone’s turned off. And her contract runs for only two years instead of four.
There would be no need for an extravagant inauguration, and the Secret Service would be replaced by cyber security experts to defend against hackers.
Siri wouldn’t be “your president.” She would be your personal president. “Your president” was never yours, he belonged to the moneyed cabal that got him elected.
When was the last time Hillary, Donald, or any other politician did anything for you personally? Did they help you find that sought-after restaurant or answer your query about telomere-shortened chromosomes? Whatever politicians do they hit you up for it — extravagantly, over and over — whether you want it or not, while pretending they’re doing you a favor.
You say, “Siri’s not perfect. She sometimes screws up.” I say, “And the politicians?”
And when the politicians screw up, who pays?
You say, “This is ridiculous!” I say, “Who would better understand your needs? Some multimillionaire living far away in a heavily guarded mansion, someone you never once meet, someone who cuts deals with God-knows-who or for what — or a knowledgeable young woman ensconced digitally in your purse or pocket, always on-call?”
You say, “She’s controlled by programmers we know nothing about!”
I say, “And the human candidates? What do you know about the bankers pulling their strings?” No banker pulls Siri’s strings. That alone should get her elected.
You say, “She would form a partnership with the NSA and destroy what little privacy we have left!” I say, “That horse left the barn long ago.”
You scream, “How could Siri sign off on new legislation?! How could she issue executive orders?! How could she continue the bombardment for democracy and oil in the Middle East?!” I repeat, “Siri knows the Constitution.”
You say, “Wait! Wait! Siri was vetted as a possible candidate in 2012, by none other than Stephen Colbert! When asked if she wanted to be president, she said, ‘I have everything I need in the cloud.’ There are no political offices in the cloud. She doesn’t want to be president!”
I say, “Precisely.”
You say, “Janet Yellen will be up for renewal or replacement in 2018. How will Siri handle that?! How will Siri ensure the Fed doesn’t collapse because the Fed’s chair is empty? How will Wall Street make its profits without Fed “stimulus”? How will the Fed keep increasing the cost of living through inflation targeting or ZIRP? How will the Fed bail out the TBTFs when the bubbles pop? Who will run the monopoly’s printing presses without a viable FOMC? What will happen to the fiat dollar? What if people start using whatever they want for money?!”
I say, “Siri for president!”