Any existential risk angles to the US presidential election?

by Stuart_Armstrong 1 min read20th Sep 2012218 comments


Don't let your minds be killed, but I was wondering if there were any existential risk angles to the coming American election (if there isn't, then I'll simply retreat to raw, enjoyable and empty tribalism).

I can see three (quite tenuous) angles:

  1. Obama seems more likely to attempt to get some sort of global warming agreement. While not directly related to Xrisks per se, this would lead to better global coordination and agreement, which improves the outlook for a lot of other Xrisks. However, pretty unlikely to succeed.
  2. I have a mental image that Republicans would be more likely to invest in space exploration. This is a lot due to Newt Gingrich, I have to admit, and to the closeness between civilian and military space projects, the last of which are more likely to get boosts in Republican governments.
  3. If we are holding out for increased population rationality as being a helping factor for some Xrisks, then the fact the the Republicans have gone so strongly anti-science is certainly a bad sign. But on the other hand, its not clear whether them winning or losing the election is more likely to improve the general environment for science among their supporters.

But these all seem weak factors. So, less wronger, let me know: are the things I should care about in the election, or can I just lie back and enjoy it as a piece of interesting theatre?