Today we are faced with a troubling choice between two unusual candidates.
The one on the left could be indicted. The one on the right used to be on a left, and even supported the one on the left.
The Democratic choice has a background that features a mountain of failed deeds including Benghazi, the Russian reset, the email scandal. The Republican candidate has no track record in foreign policy – instead offers a regular litany of impulsive outbursts that are often entertaining, but suggesting of a risky temperament.
So what do we do?
I hereby nominate Watson, the supercomputer that trounced "Jeopardy’s" best players back in that well-known 2011 tournament. Watson isn’t just brilliant, he’s inhuman, he’s cold.
We keep hearing about a third party.
Me? I’d be for it, if only it were truly a departure from the norm. Not a libertarian, a green party goofball or a populist shouter. I think we need a complete change of type. Something we’ve never tried before -- a candidate that’s truly a historic first -- even more so than electing a female.
It’s time for a robot president. Here’s why.
You don’t have to feed a robot. A study from Israel found judges increase their likelihood of granting parole after having lunch. On average, judges grant parole roughly 35 percent of the time. But catch them right after lunch it's 65 percent or higher. It’s an overlooked fact as flawed humans: food influences your decision making.
According to the researchers, making tough decisions overworks your mental powers, so you’re more likely to screw up.
It’s like doing successive donkey squats at the gym. As you get tired, you start getting sloppy, and your form suffers. You fall over and drop the barbell on your foot. You end up in the hospital, where you get hooked on opioids and you never lift weights again. Your family leaves you. You end up in Amsterdam doing porn. And not the good kind.
This never happens with robots. Plug them in, turn them on, and they can work nonstop, without the need for a Twix bar or a plate of mac and cheese. Their judgment cannot be affected by food because they don’t eat anything but power.
The implications are obvious: no more costly presidential dinners; no more symbolic pardoning of turkeys, no more impulsive mistakes based on low blood sugar. Sorry, I don’t want a president pushing a button and causing World War III because he didn’t his get Wheaties.
With robots there is no sexual harassment, or sexism of any kind. In the late 1990's we had a president who was pleasured by an intern in the Oval Office. The odds of this happening are virtually nil with a robot. Even if President Watson (if we need to give the robot a name) happens to find an attractive sexual target (one of those large 12 slice toasters in the White House kitchen, for example), it’s an easy fix. Erase that part from his memory. But even if you let him have his dalliances – who is he hurting, really? Robots don’t marry (yet), so there’s no infidelity -- and he can’t be blackmailed by an angry lover. Well, unless that toaster is a spy working for Iran.
BTW: That’s another robot advantage: it’s impossible to seduce something that has no sexual desire – you can’t raise its temperature unless you work it too hard.
Speaking of Fahrenheit… another plus that eliminates the hazards of sex differences: no disputes over temperature. Studies have shown that women prefer a room warmer than men – roughly 77 degrees to 72. The difference in preference may be due to the lower average skin temperature for women, so they start out already feeling chilly. By eliminating the male/female conflict over the thermostat, we cut down on workplace animosity and “gender-discriminating bias in thermal-comfort predictions” (I lifted this phrase from a Dutch study, in case you’re wondering)
Robots stick to the algorithm. If you think my suggestion is crazy, please consider our most recent Great Recession. In the years leading up to that sucky catastrophe, we had the mortgage crisis – caused by bankers handing out loans to anyone and everyone who showed up. Egged on by the government, and the desire to be part of a compassionate movement to get the poor on the first rung of the real estate ladder, they gladly ignored vital signs like existing debt levels, credit scores, income and wealth.
The result: millions of defaulted loans, and financial losses in the hundreds of billions. What’s outrageous about this: it wasn’t like you could not recognize a potentially bad loan. An algorithm based on your credit score, debts and so on would have served perfectly, and it existed. But people chose to ignore it. A robot wouldn’t do such a thing: you would have had to pry the algorithm from its cold dead claws. The human seeking approval from the press might hand out loans so he’s seen as enlightened and caring – and years later, when the family ends up financially underwater – no one really cares. A robot wouldn’t let that happen. The moment it eyes the loan, it’s either yes or no. There’s no algorithm for sympathy, or ego.
Do you think a robot would approve of a sanctuary city? Hell no.
The fact is, every single bad decision in life is an emotional one, in which feelings, insecurity and ego overcome our rational brain.
Hillary’s decisions seem to be based on what’s in it for her – a scurrilous mix of self-preservation, legacy, entitlement, all driven by a sense of personal injustice. You cannot make sound decisions if that’s your starting point.
And Trump? Well, all of his missteps are impulsive belly flops into the pool of public opinion: we all laugh and get wet – and then we wonder if serious people do this sort of thing. Or… if this particular person should be running the greatest country that ever was, and is.
My solution attempts to avoid both. I hereby nominate Watson, the supercomputer that trounced "Jeopardy’s" best players back in that well-known 2011 tournament. Watson isn’t just brilliant, he’s inhuman, he’s cold.
He has no ex-wives or mistresses, lecherous husbands, email scandals, university scams or conspiracy impulses. He’s got nothing but a switch.
And if he doesn’t work out, we can always shut him off.