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It might be constitutional for a robot to run for president. What a relief.


The concentration of power in the American presidency is an alarming trend, whether you’re more freaked out by the administration of George W. Bush or that of Barack Obama. In January 2009, Garret Epps wrote in The Atlantic, “As Bush leaves the White House, it’s worth asking why he was able to behave so badly for so long without being stopped by the Constitution’s famous ‘checks and balances.’” The presidency, he argued, was one of the Founding Fathers’ biggest mistakes. Even George Washington was criticized for exceeding his constitutional authority. And the end of Bush’s term did not reverse the pattern. In November 2010, Newsweek asked, “Is the presidency too big a job?” It’s just too much for a single human to do.

The Washington Post’s Philip Bump presents a solution: a robot president. Bump is more concerned with whether a robot could run than whether it should. As several legal experts explain, the biggest constitutional hurdle would be getting an android declared a “person,” and since corporations are people, it’s not inconceivable. 

A droid president is a tantalizing concept at a time when a President Donald Trump is no longer impossible. Imagine the rational decisions made by a president who could instantly access all knowledge and determine the probability a policy would be net beneficial for humanity. Who wouldn’t vote for a robot overlord?